There’s nothing quite like the self-imposed pressure of painting a friend’s motorcycle, nevermind also needing to get as close a likeness as possible on the portrait side of things – for 2 reasons:
- He’s a bodybuilder … #aesthete
- He’s a bodybuilder and can lift things and break things
So in my quest to build up my own portfolio of paintings and to upskill, I pulled this really cool photo of François and his Honda Fireblade off his Facebook page and set about splashing it out on canvas.
It took a long time… lots of caffeine… and a playlist ranging from Audioslave to Tori Amos, Live and The XX. You want the process? I’LL GIVE YOU THE PROCESS!
Laying down base “colours” – a whole spectrum of greys.
With my usual technique of building the back layers up in order to keep clean lines, I had to focus on the bike first and, while trying to be neat, to also stay away from micro-painting every single little detail of the machinery.
When some painting sessions were done in short bursts, I decided to lay down the base colours of Frenchie himself – initially making him look like a white celebrity chef in pastel corduroys *haha*, so that took the edge off and made it fun for me… in light of the torture that was about to ensue!
Okay, so that’s the bike done – messy CBR badge and everything.
The original photograph was taken before François removed the decals from his bike, so I decided to honour the updated look by keeping the stark white fairing. Here you also get to see a bit of my workspace… so nice to have a permanent space in which to make such a big mess!
Jeans! Argh! Can’t I go back to painting mechanical stuff?! At this point it was tough to keep things loose and not be tempted to paint everything down to the freaking seams of those pants.
Same goes for the shirt. Give me strength…
Ta-da! I’m really happy with it 🙂 … especially because Frenchie’s likeness is as close as I was going to get in the 2 hours I spent on painting his face (I’m not slow – painting is hard).
I’m not sure I’ll sell this piece – it’s getting framed to be used as marketing material… and because I miss my friend since moving and this is a great way to fondly remember our rides ❤