Perseverance rewarded.

Street Racing No.2

You don’t have to look far across the walls of the studio here, or delve too far into one of the sketchbooks lying about, to find a list. Lists of drawings to do, subject areas to take a closer look at, details to get images of and compositions to work up into something meaningful. Lots of lists and so always seemingly masses to do. Visiting a list at the end of a project hopefully kick starts the creative muscle at a time when all it really wants to do is take a break.


The latest visit has yielded the above drawing which has been sitting rather unloved in a large pad that spends most of its time being moved around to make room for other things. Such is the way of small rooms and large flat things. Anyway, it has sat there patiently waiting for its moment of glory, inclusion in a post in it’s final form. It’s called Street Racing No.2, following on from a previous drawing, done in a style I rather casually refer to as scribbling. It needed finishing off. Drawn pretty much directly onto the page over a very vague pencil layout, this technique involves a very light touch with the pen, working around the image in a very sketchy and indeterminate way.  It builds the picture very slowly and is without a doubt very time consuming. This is one of those methods that really tests your resolve to finish the piece, to persevere and get to the end knowing you’ve chosen this path yourself. Yes I know this is a relatively small drawing, but it does provide an insight into what working at a much larger scale involves in terms of focus and momentum.


Perhaps that’s why I haven’t undertaken any more of these recently. This one is spread across a sheet of A2 paper in landscape format. This is a lovely scale for a drawing but brings with it a firm refusal to fit onto the scanner bed in any orientation, even breaking it into sections. Hence this view is a bit lacking in some of the finer detail as I had to shoot it with the camera and fiddle about quite a lot in Photoshop.


So that’s another item to cross off one of the lists, but it’s already prompted the addition of another item on another; do something about a lighting set up to enable better photos of larger pieces, or get a bigger scanner……..


Cafe Racer No.6, finally.

Cafe Racer No.6

It’s raining, it must be June. Whilst the bad weather this weekend has done its best to put a massive dampener on anyone taking part in celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, in my case it has succeeded in driving me indoors, away from the distractions of motorcycling and into the chair in front of my drawing table. Unable to feel the tug of a sunny afternoon and a spin on the 250, a final spurt of creative energy means that the final drawing in the Cafe Racer series is now complete. Why this drawing has taken so long to finish could have something to do with the fact that all spare time over the last week has been taken up by constructing, fitting and painting a new front gate and posts, and giving the front door a once over. It may also have something (more) to do with nerves. When a drawing gets to a critical stage it can often be the case that I approach completing the final details with some trepidation, messing it up at a late stage is a huge risk. Biro is a fantastic medium, but you can never ever erase it. Once it’s down, that’s it. But it’s done now and other projects can start to take shape while I learn to breathe again!

The second part of todays double header is another lining paper sketch that didn’t make the final selection. It’s nearly there but not quite, very much a case of “ close, but no cigar”.  I was attempting to show some speed in the image without resorting to ending up with a huge blur. Various elements of the figure trailing off into the slipstream left behind. It’s something I have seen others do much more successfully than I’ve managed in this case, so there is some work to be done to get it working and may very well benefit from being tried again using a different medium. It is something worth aiming for as the alternative is the rather obvious big blurry background, and I’m not quite in the mood for one of those just yet. I’ll post my experiments as I go so you’ll soon see how things are progressing.