Making it different.

TT racer sketch

Apart from the story conveyed by an image to the viewer, a picture also contains another story, that which lies behind its creation. This is not the narrative expressed by the image but the tale of how the image was made. Whenever I look at an image the “maker” in me can not resist trying to work out how it was made. It is this questioning which drives my desire to try and share, whenever possible, the processes which lie behind the images I create. The techniques I use are not complex and I don’t use any cunningly developed or unique ways to create them, so why not let others see how these things come into being.


Above is the first sketch for a picture I am now working on. It comes from a series of sketches done for the V-twins project. The inspiration for it is american dirt track TT racing where oval tracks are supplemented with right hand turns and jumps. I find the idea of flinging a big heavy 750 around this kind of circuit attractively bonkers and so, worthy of a picture. It’s done simply in plain blue biro pen on some of the cheapest and low quality sketching paper I own. Believe me, it’s a good deal messier than the scan shows thanks to the wonders of playing with the levels in Photoshop in readiness for posting. Those shaded areas cover a multitude of hidden lines and you can see the engine has received some attention from the Tippex pen too.


Using my trusty little lightbox the image was transferred onto some water colour paper, firstly in pencil which was then overdrawn with fine black biro pen. I wanted to try having another go at introducing some colour to the images so thought I’d start on familiar ground with some water colour paints and inks. Normally one would stretch paper before making even an outline drawing, but that would not allow lightbox use so I stretched it after copying the drawing across. It’s a great way to do it and the image doesn’t seem to suffer any distortion at all.


The following images are my progress updates. The first is laying on some light washes to give the image its base colour. The second shows you what I’m aiming towards. By applying my usual biro pen technique over the washed areas I can achieve the impact I want but with a degree of colour behind it, and thus a nice bit of punch too. I suppose it’s very like how you ink in a comic strip but here I’m aiming for some variation in the tones and not such a contrasty finish. The third one just shows how far I’ve got. In reality I should have applied all the washes before picking up the pen but wanted to show what’s building as much as see for myself whether I was on the right track or not. Looking good, though forgive the odd colouration, my camera does odd things with daylight.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s