On the 3rd July I was extremely fortunate to be granted access to the garage of the Lotus F1 Team. The day of my visit was a practice day, a busy day for the team as the cars go out for two 90 minute practice sessions and are constantly worked on during these sessions and in-between.
During these practice sessions I did fairly quick loose sketches of the cars to get used to what was going on. I'd sketched at race meetings before but this was something very different to anything I'd experienced before.
In The Sketchbook
In-between the practice sessions the cars where worked on within the garage. I soon learnt how quickly the mechanics work and to what extent the cars get taken apart.
(20 min pencil sketch)
(1hr 20 min pencil & ink sketch)
(40 min pencil & ink sketch)
(ink sketch with digital colour)
After the last practice session the cars were stripped down and then rebuilt in just over 5 hours. During this time I decided to use my scrolling sketchpad to produce a panoramic sketch of the garage. I juggled sketching between the two cars trying to capture as much as I could of each section before it changed, second guessing what parts were going to be worked on next, in order to keep what I was drawing to a realistic goal. The end result shows the cars in a semi stripped state, no photographs were to be taken from the rear of the cars so I couldn't not rely on reference photos for use back in the studio. Technically they were never in the exact state as seen in the sketch, due to the time factor of using pen and paper, resulting in the piece representing many different moments in time composed so that they makes sense as a whole composition. I spent around 10 hours in total sketching in both the sketchbook and scrolling sketchbook.
If I was to do it again I'm sure the piece would be totally different, due to a combination of now knowing what can happen in this environment and the fact that no two race meetings are the same.