Todays stunt, the Wheelie. As much as they are displays of machine control and skill, they are also a perfect expression of the utterly boyish exuberance and confidence that infects us when we’re out on our bikes. It’s a lot of fun to depict them in images, though capturing that moment, like a camera snapshot, presents its own challenges. If you drew up some kind of list of all the variables one could consider before putting pen to paper, you would probably never start. For me the essence lies in capturing that sense of fun and confidence such a display gives off. It is after all, nothing more than showing off to an audience, so trying to get that into the picture is important. It would be far simpler to draw the whole thing as a straight elevational view but that would be too easy. Like a camera lens your eye can be a pretty wide angle device, and so creating a sense of depth and perspective is the main challenge. Which part of the image is almost flat to the viewer, and at what angle does one see the rest of the subject are aspects that present an interesting challenge when drawing from imagination. Too little and things look rather flat, too much and you get a kind of fish eye effect that turns the subject into a kind of banana. In perspective terms these are not perfect depictions but I hope they do enough to convey the idea. Cartoons invariably bend the rules a bit, but I think you can get away with it when you admit that that is exactly what you’re creating.
This one is Wheelie 1, and yes, that means there is another one coming along shortly. I hope you enjoyed it.