A slight diversion today as finishing the story of the 250 build is way overdue. So some words and pictures of painted bits, metal bits and a nice piece of leather.
With three coats of base black applied, a series of white stripes were then masked and added. Everything was left for a couple of days to harden up before a very fine rub over with extra fine paper prior to the lacquer going on. For reasons of cost more than anything I’d elected to use rattle can lacquer rather than 2-pack on all parts apart from the fuel tank, which would be treated to a good couple of coats of petrol resistant lacquer, again from a rattle can. In retrospect I wish I’d gone the 2-pack route but it made the whole paint phase way too expensive, the petrol proof stuff works well but has yellowed in places and was quite tricky to apply evenly. With the lacquer all hardened it was time for a good polish and I can’t recommend Autoglym Super Resin Polish enough. Fantastic stuff and everything was just so shiny shiny.
Two important pieces of metalwork remained to be fabricated as all the painted parts made their way onto the bike for the final assembly. I knew the area at the back of the seat needed tidying but hadn’t been able to do much about it without the seat so it was stroke of luck that the seat arrived back just in time from being recovered. The first task was to make a piece to shut off the open area between the new mudguard and the seat mounting assembly. this then wrapped over the seat mount and formed an infill sitting below the rear of the seat base moulding.As before I worked it all out with thin card first which meant I could create a pretty accurate template for marking and cutting the sheet steel which was cut flat and then bent up in the bench vice.
For ages I’d been wondering how to finish off the rear of the seat. Knowing that there would have to be some kind of cover plate didn’t seem enough, there needed to be something else in there to give a more finished look. The answer came to me out cycling one day when I spotted and old bicycle with a little pouch hung from the back of the saddle. I ventured onto the internet to see what I could find for motorcycles. As it turned out, not too much unless I wanted something that looked like it had fallen off the back of John Wayne’s horse, and tassels are definitely not my thing. Taking the bicycle route proved more fruitful and in a fit of extravagance I splashed out on this lovely little number from Brooks the saddle makers. I quickly made up an angle bracket to fix the panel to, mounted to the seat base, and again using some card drew around the profile of the seat and transferred it to another template for cutting. A couple of holes and two slots later I had a neat little cover panel that the pouch straps attached to directly.
With these two new parts painted black final assembly could continue apace, my deadline for borrowing the workshop was looming.
While the urge to “ship” or complete any drawing or image is a strong one, it’s very much proving to be a case of “slowly, slowly, catchy monkey” with this one. Jacket and hands done, head and legs to follow, and then something to ground it. Pushing aside the daily distractions of everyday life to focus on a specific creative task, particularly when that task is not born of your normal world of deadline fueled rushing about, is a skill which all of us amateurs must constantly struggle with. I am no different. It is good to know though, that these periods of slow progress are more than balanced by highly productive phases when stuff just pours out of your head and hand, and across the page. these slower moments are also a great opportunity for reflecting on sketch work and ideas, learning new things, recharging the creative batteries and dabbling in other creative pursuits.It would be good to finish it off by the end of the week though.
Here above is another of the sketches done on lining paper a while ago whilst churning out ideas for the Cafe Racer series.I like the idea behind it but my execution of the idea went a bit off track which led to me not including it in the first series. Rather like with the previous sketch shown in the last post I managed to make a bit of a fudge of the front wheel and that kind of ran all the way up the front forks too. Must try harder. You’ll also notice, and fair dues if you haven’t, that the rider figure has a strange look about him. Amongst other things his nose is a tad weird and his chin’s gone the same way too. It’s only a sketch so one can’t be too critical but, these things matter if one is to learn from examining ones own work and improve things for the future. What works though is the bike, apart from the front bit of course. It has that solidity to it that I’m always looking for, a great big engine surrounded by a chunk of hefty engineering. Again this will likely get redrawn sometime in the future, perhaps in another medium, and much bigger even. certainly a contender for the pending file.
It seems that one only has to blink and time appears to have rushed past.Things have been a bit quiet on the Soulcraftcandy front these last couple of weeks as a hefty chunk of freelance work has done it’s best to sap the creative batteries. It has always been a challenge to keep focus on the art, and the blog, during periods of intense work. It remains to be mastered.
But as you can see, things don’t stop completely, and progress is being made on the final drawing in this initial series of Cafe Racers. With a couple of free days ahead it should be complete soon. Psychologically speaking it will be an important moment to reach the end of this set. It will signal the completion of my first self-initiated “project”, and a time to reflect on progress and cast my mind towards what to do next.
A hint of where things go from here might be contained in this other sketch which I’m sharing with you on todays post. This is another relatively quick drawing done directly onto heavy weight lining paper. You will note that I made a right old mess of the front wheel. The freehand ellipse remains a tricky fish to land, but at the time it didn’t concern me enough to want to stop the drawing mid way and start again. The pleasure derived from doing these quick drawings, and exploring the view and texture, is more than sufficient to motivate the desire to complete them. There is nothing wrong with a flawed drawing, they are interpretive in nature anyway, and mistakes are always things that we learn from, be they major or minor.
It was not included in the main series as I’d already selected the group of six but, it does join a group of other drawings which I hope will inspire some experimentation with techniques and media that will follow on from here.