Tag Archives: bikers

Drawings For A Dead Biker

29 May

There’s an odd little church nearby for born-again-bikers; the pastor and church members are outlaw bikers who have converted to Christianity and today they held a funeral for one of their members. There were hundreds of motorbikes, some really gorgeous ones – Triumphs, Harleys, a few vintage and everyone turned up in full colours as a mark of respect. They were from all over the place and were not just the Christian bikers [whose colours bear the logo ‘God Squad’]. It was a great scribbling opportunity and as I was sketching it took me back to my own wild youth, I was a biker chick and rode several BSAs and a Triumph. The occasion reminded me of two of my old biker friends who died from tragic accidents, ironically not involving motorbikes, when they were in their twenties. It’s over two decades ago now but today’s funeral brought the grief back very suddenly and sharply. When people die, we struggle on and gradually the grief fades into the background, but never really goes away, waiting to be activated by something, like it was earlier.

I don’t know the biker whose funeral it was today – someone said his name was Baz – his friends did him proud. It was a fantastic turnout; the streets around were full and the police held up the traffic so the hearse could be accompanied by an unbroken convoy of hundreds of motorbikes. My friend, neighbour and fellow artist, Mel, posted photos of the cortege on Facebook here. It was good discipline for me to sketch a crowd, I normally work with single figures so I need to practice putting people together, getting the perspective and proportions right. I also rarely draw inanimate objects, so doing the bikes was a challenge – how do designers cope with it? Their brains, and patience, must be phenomenal!

Hot Rods, Velocettes and The Yellow Submarine.

21 Aug

Ink Drawing: Hot Rods at the seaside.


We’re having a few days away on the English South coast in a very typical small seaside town with some friends and this very sunny morning we wandered down to a field by the seafront to a festival of vintage and custom motorbikes and cars, with leather-clad bikers, heavy rock bands and ………. the Women’s Institute cake stall. We discovered the 21st century version of the British Summer Fete!

 There were loads of beautiful classic bikes – I fell in love with a gorgeous Velocette – and even a couple of Vespa scooters fully kitted out in 1960’s Mod style as well as dozens of Hot Rods and beautifully restored vintage cars. A young couple with a lovely little Hillman Minx were using it to pull a fantastic home-made caravanette, lovingly fashioned from plywood with the most amazing storage solutions and looking like a large grey woodlouse. The event was very cool and laid back but even so, perhaps because of jitters over the recent riots, there was a Police CCTV van on site with three bored officers lolling about in it with absolutely nothing to do.

The drawing is in ink using Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens size S and F onto cartridge paper in a complex folded sketchbook, which I bought in May and which looks fab but is quite awkward to draw into when you’re out and about. I like drawing outside, I think that artists should be more visible and people seem to respond very well, without the hostility that photographers can face in public places. I liked this little hot rod with it’s bonnet up – it was like a cross between the Anthill Mob and The Yellow Submarine.

Man and Boy on a Seashore Safari; Big Bikes at the Ice Cream Parlour

14 Aug

Ink drawing: Man and Boy.

I carry a small sketchbook and a pack of four Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S, F, M and B in black and I’m always scribbling. The most difficult is drawing on the move, trying to capture spontaneous moments of life in a few seconds. This fleeting sketch was done two summers ago when we took our two little nephews, Nathan and Owain, to the Seashore Safari in Swansea Bay at Mumbles.

Our local council puts on loads of free educational events throughout the school holidays and on this blazing hot day we went to the beach for a guided tour of rock pools and beach life from local environmentalists, teaching children how to care for the seashore environment. It was fascinating but we were constantly moving, so I had to work fast to draw Nathan and Melvyn exploring the shoreline. Nathan had borrowed Melvyn’s beany hat, which was huge on him, but it kept him shaded.

We found some tiny brittle star fish  that I had never seen before. Afterwards we went up to the old pier which was in a pretty bad way; the far end was almost falling into the sea and had been cordoned off, but fishermen had clambered over the dodgy crumbling edge to get a better pitch. Then we went along the promenade to Verdi’s ice cream parlour and a large cornet to cool off. There are always bikers outside Verdis scoffing ice cream and admiring each others machines. I did a quick sketch using a new set of pens; Faber Castell Pitt greyscale brushes.


Ink drawing: bikers at the ice cream parlour

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