The big Green Meanie – it’s finished.

A personal commission by Jon Tremlett for Soulcraftcandy.

For once, having said in the previous post that I was close to finishing a picture, I have done exactly that, and faster than I thought I would too. So here is the finished article. The pictures are the wrong way around today, finished one first, purely because it’s great to open a post with a completed picture. I’m pretty happy with how it has come out.

You will notice that I have left the top of the picture plain white rather than include the very dark area at the top of the reference photo. What drove my decision in the end was the thought that I wanted the main subject to really stand out, surrounding it in big dark bits would have dulled it off too much. So there’s just a hint of ochre wash back there to lift it further.

A personal commission by Jon Tremlett.

This view, and apologies for my iPad’s inability to take a decent photo in my studio, shows things at about the half way stage. With such dark areas in the image it was a bit of a juggler getting the various tones down in an order where they didn’t conflict too greatly. What helped was mixing two different kinds of grey, one for the riders leathers and the other for the bike area shadows, so I could maintain a distinction between them. The shadow areas go down in a couple of passes with the brush, but the leathers took rather longer, slowly building the tone with much thinner washes. The really tricky bit, doing the helmet and face, came last and again was a slow build. I’m not afraid to admit I find faces and flesh tones quite difficult so going slowly with a small brush gives me the best chance of getting it right. Finally, once all the above is dry, my attention switches to the ground area and their associated shadows, making sure I don’t include too much detail so as to keep your eye focused on the big green thing in the middle.

There is always a process of final fiddling and fettling at the end of the main paint stage. Each time your eye returns to the image after a short break you pick up on little things which just need a small tweak so out comes the tiny brush for some edge honing, some white gouache to bump some highlights up and a colour pencil or two. Some things you can’t adjust so there’s only so much you can do, your biggest challenge is knowing when to stop. This one turned out to be more of a painting than a drawing, something I don’t do that often, but I don’t think it loses anything because of that. Yes, it was a challenge but, it was a fun one to undertake which is just as important.

Thanks for dropping by today and hopefully you’ve enjoyed the post.


3 thoughts on “The big Green Meanie – it’s finished.

  1. Came here to have another look at your project bike, spotted this. Not an artist, but a couple of comments anyway. The bike,and the dudes body looks great. The right air intake hole (looking from front) looks a little odd. If I had painted it, I would have put a bit more detail in the front brake disk.

    Also, the guys helmet looks really old. Hope he doesn’t crash!

    • Hi there Dave,

      Thanks for posting a comment on the blog. All feedback is very welcome so thank you for taking the time to look around and post your comments.

      To clarify, the Big Green Meanie picture was referenced from a very ropey old photograph given to me by Julian the rider of the bike. Things being what they are, there was a fair amount of “interpretation” involved in creating the image you see, hence the slightly odd looking front air intakes etc. The shot was actually taken back in 1990, pre digital camera days, by a track side photographer who may have had a drink at lunchtime, it’s very blurred. It’s about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and then sun is shining brightly at Druids corner, this is why the front disc is virtually all black, it’s completely in shadow like some other details. This is also why his helmet looks so old, and believe it or not he confessed to me the other day that he’s wearing hi-top trainers not motorcycle boots!

      Needless to say, he did indeed crash that day, hence the significance of the image for him. He binned it coming out of Clearways on to the start finish straight, breaking his ankle. The bike was relatively unscathed, scuffed fairing, broken levers, that kind of thing. He still hobbles a bit today, esp in cold weather, after all these years.

      So there you have it. I hope you’ve found the blog enjoyable, and drop me a line if there is anything I can help you with vis project bikes etc.

      All the best


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