Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Back to the Drawing Board Part 2

Eyes On The Prize
(Indian Ink on A3 Bristol Board)

Its been a while since I've done any line work in ink so I thought I'd try out a new composition I've been playing with based on board track racing. The idea was to get a dynamic view on a steep board track, with elements of story telling using the interaction between the riders.

Some American tracks had almost wall of death type inclines on circular tracks.

St Louis Board Track
Sept. 6, 1914, by St. Louis photographer A. F. Eike
Newark Board Track

The early part of my week was spent playing about with the mono print process and combining the prints with loose ink sketches. I like the way that the mono print technique abstracts the image producing textures that wouldn't normally be made with brushes or pens.

Board track Racer 1
(A5 Monoprint on Ink Sketch)

Board track Racer 2
(A5 Monoprint on Ink Sketch)
Board track Racer 3
(A5 Monoprint on Ink Sketch)

Friday, 20 January 2012

Back to the Drawing Board Part 1

The new year is always an exciting time as it's a good opportunity to develop some new work and explore some new techniques. Here are a couple of sketches based around board track racer Albert "Shrimp" Burns.

Albert "Shrimp" Burns
(sketchbook page)

""Shrimp" Burns was one of the top dirt and board track racers of the 1910s and early '20s. The diminutive Burns rode for both the Harley-Davidson and Indian factory teams during his career. He was the youngest champion of his era, winning his first titles at the tender age of 15. "

"Shrimp on the home straight"
(sketchbook page)

"Shrimp on the home straight"
(Mono print, etching ink on Bristol Board)

Mono print is a technique I've been wanting to get to grips with for a while. It consists of painting directly onto a sheet of glass with an oil based etching ink. A piece of paper is then laid on top of the sheet and rubbed to press the ink onto the paper. The advantage of using glass as a printing plate is that you can place a sketch underneath it as reference as seen by the mirrored image above.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

SUMP Magazine

Sump Magazine are a classic bike website and publisher and have been rather taken with my work. So much so that they have used my Otto Walker Painting and the recent sketches from Newark on their website.

To see more click on the images below. I'd encourage you to not only look at the links but have a browse around, as there are some great articles and publications.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Classic Bike Guide Winter Classic Show Report

Well the season has definitely kicked off early this year, after sleeping off the mince pies I had the urge to get back out there and get scribbling. So much so I made a 3 hour journey to get to Newark for the Classic Bike Guide Winter Classic Show. Was it worth it? Well there certainly was a lot to see from the auto jumble to the club stands I was spoilt for choice of what to sketch.

Velocette 1922 Model E (220cc)
(digitally painted ink sketch)

First sketch of the day was this Model E Velocette. A lovely restoration, simplicity itself.

After getting the fingers warmed up I moved on to the New Imperial Stand.
The Owners club had a great turn out with a great array of bikes from a Model 7 with sidecar to a winter project Model 7. My choice for a sketch was this Model 37.

New Imperial 1935 Model 37 (250cc)
(digitally painted ink sketch)

Winner of "Best Unrestored"

Very few of these model 37s still exist. This is a true barn fine having been left alone on the Isle of Man since the outbreak of WWII. According to the owner Dave Baddeley he had to scrape off a load of mud and straw from the underside of the mudguards which had been under there all that time. The only non original part is the Magneto as the bike would have had a Maglita with a dynamo. Dave took this off and will eventually get it restored, but I'm glad he decided to go with the magneto and have fun with it rather than leave it sitting about.

New Imperial 1923 Model 7 (980cc)
A barn-find from Northern Island and last run in 1927. Apparently "still a work in progress".
The side car is a close approximation to the single seater variant.
New Imperial also did a tandem which must have been a sight to behold.

New Imperial 1930 Model 2 (350cc)
A very tidy example of the cheapest 350cc on the market at the time. Produced between 1926 - 1933 with very little change to the design. 1,260 were produced in 1930 alone.

New Imperial 1936 Model 23 (150cc)
Paul Doughty's winter project. He describes it as a "hedge-bottom job", but I'm inclined to agree with the NIOA members that say "Surely not - a rub over with an oily cloth and she'll be as good as new!"

If your interested in finding out more about the New Imperial mark why not visit the
New Imperial Owners Association website:

Ian Whitehead's New Imperial Grand Prix racer was at Montlhery in 2011 and will be there again in 2013, along with this Douglas Sprint bike.

Douglas 1929 SW6 (600cc)
(digitally painted ink sketch)

After the New Imperial Stand I was off to the London Douglas M.C.C. Stand, as there were some great examples of the mark on display. I was particularly taken with this sprint bike, it was used by Colin Clifford in the 60s / 70s for sprinting. Whilst chatting with the owner a Mr D Lawrence I found out that the SW model was favoured by racers but the standard Douglas gearbox was not. Racers in the 30s preferred to change the box to a Triumph gearbox which is exactly what is on this SW6. The twin cylinders are horizontal, and the big metal box in the middle is an air box which takes in air from underneath to regulate it between the two carburetors. A window is provided to check whether the oil is dripping in ok but at 90mph I don't think I'd want to be looking down.

Douglas 1921 WD 2 3/4 (348cc)
Back to basics with this oily rag condition WD. No Clutch, 2 gears and gas lighting, those were the days, well at least that's what I'm told.

The London Douglas M.C.C.
have a smart website with a history section and gallery:

On top of all the great club stands the Autojumble also had a couple of lovely bikes on offer:

Matchless 1936 250 G2 Sports
All Original with old Log Books

BSA 1930 600 Twin Port Sloper.

I've always liked these slopers, unfortunately I didn't have the spare £6700 to spend. Oh well I'll just have to satisfy myself with a home made cheese sandwich on the way home, and feel satisfied with a nice day out skribbling and chatting bikes.

Friday, 6 January 2012

The Cymota

The Cymota
(digitally painted ink sketch)

Well when Mr Nick Taylor my next door neighbour came home with a smile on his face I instantly wondered what crazy contraption he had bought now. My hunch was right and he had succeeded in buying the worst in two wheeled transport the Cymota. Nick describes it as "a thing of Beauty." and I can't agree more.

Advertised as “The sensation of the nation” the Cymota was a copy of the VeloSoleX 650 (45cc, 0.3 hp) and was made by Cymota Motor Components Ltd at Leamington Road, Erdington, Birmingham, UK, between 1950 and 1952. Only about 200 Cymota units were sold.

The engine was covered by a sheet-metal cowling with a 1.7 litre fuel tank is mounted above the engine. A Miller magneto ignition was fitted to replace the French SEV version and an Amal 308/12 (12 mm) carburettor fitted to replace the French version.

The Science Bit

Mr Nick Taylors fantastic Cymota
(mounted on a Triumph Sports no less)

Well I couldn't just sketch it could I...

Don't let the blur on the photograph fool you I'm not really going that fast.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

£100 Morris Painting

Here is a Commission piece from last year of a £100 Morris.
The piece was based on an actual cover of "The Motor" I learnt a lot from analysing this cover. The artists that produced these early magazine covers really did understand the subtleties of what makes an effective composition. The lines through the trees and the white lines coming off of the wheels are very effective at giving the impression of gliding through the woodland.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

First Post of 2012 "Back to the Drawing Board"

Well Happy New Year!

2012 is here and it's already looking busy.

First event of the year is coming up this Sunday (8th January), the Classic Bike Guide Winter Classic at the Newark Showground. I will be attending on Sunday and going round doing some skribbling as I go, so if you see me stop me and say hello as my eyes will be glad of the break. More information on the show can be seen here:

(click Image above)

In the mean time here are some more digitally painted sketches from 2011.

Vanguard Woody

Early Morris Rat Rod
The First Production 8 litre Bentley
Last restored 1987
ABC Aero Engined Special