Better, but still work to do.

Cafe Gold.

Following the chromatic onslaught of yesterdays post, and those neon bushes, I’m rather hoping that everyones retinas have recovered sufficiently to absorb another blast of colour. Sincerest apologies go out to anyone mildly traumatised by the experience.


Todays featured image is the second attempt at the same picture and it is hopefully less bold than the first, but just as eye catching in its own way. This time around I made a serious effort to take a good look at the first image and learn from it, to analyse as much as address what problems existed. After all, technique isn’t going to get any better without being able to self criticise and understand not just what’s happening, but also to learn to know what to do about it. Without a tutor or associate looking over your shoulder all the time this is not always as easy as it sounds.


This second image took rather longer than the first as paint went down in a much more considered fashion.Firstly the base drawing was tightened up a bit. The rather “dauby” approach of the first is starting to be replaced by a tighter method. When employing wet on wet technique over areas of the picture it is a real skill to be able to control it and achieve the desired level of detail. One has to be confident but not overly so and using a smaller brush helps despite many manuals telling you otherwise. I also elected, and rightly so I think, to limit the creation of all grey areas in only two main colours. Winsor & Newton Payne’s grey, it’s got a lovely blueish hue, for all of the metal parts, and Schmincke Payne’s Grey, much more black in nature, for the tyres, leather and other details. This has  helped give various areas of the picture a more distinct separation than in the first where they are all mixed up. The golden yellow of the bodywork was tricky but worked out OK in the end. It was a deliberate choice to avoid trying to recreate perfect reflections in the tank and panels as I felt this just sucks you into a realm of photorealistic worrying and potentially ends up making the rest of the image look out of place. It’s an honest attempt to achieve a consistent feel across the whole image.


The background resulted from trying a few things out on other sheets of paper and a bit of photoshopping. Again it was about finding something simple that complimented the bike but didn’t overshadow it. I like it, it kind of works, and evokes memories of summer afternoon rides out through the countryside on small deserted roads with only the wind for company.


The third version is already underway and this will be a bit different again. Whether it ends up being any better is up for grabs. Here’s where it stands today.



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