Motorcycle Fun in Watercolour!

When I asked my dad what he wanted for his birthday he said ‘a Honda Goldwing’.  This, or the alternative answer, ‘a Ferrari’, is his usual response!    🙂    So this year I decided to give him an actual Goldwing in the only way which won’t give my bank manager a coronary – a painting!

I began with a pencil drawing…

This was quite tricky compared to other artwork I’ve attempted before.  The Goldwing is a beautiful machine, but it’s also really complicated.  I started with a loose sketch but it quickly became clear that I needed a much tighter form of drawing for this project, so I drew it more like you would draw a formal technical drawing.  This gave me the detail I needed and I felt more comfortable measuring and calculating sizes.


Then I began to layout my colour…

Because the image was so complex I divided my picture into three basic colour areas – the reds, the blacks and the light grey’s.  I painted the lightest shade I would need on the painting for each colour.  I knew I would have to repaint almost all of it again after this but now I could see clearly what was what and relate it easily to my reference image (which I stuck to the top left corner of my drawing board).


Next I began to work in the deeper colours and darker shadows…

You can see how sunny it was while I was painting this bit – beautiful!  As well as my regular Winsor and Newton watercolours I also used some Aquarelle pencils, by Faber-Castell.  These are basically just watercolour pigments in a pencil form, so you can draw on your watercolour painting and then use a wet brush to make the pigment into paint.  I find them really useful for  fine details on top of my watercolour layers, especially where I needed small straight lines between different sections of the bike bodywork.


Finally, after working really hard to get it finished in time for the framers to be able to frame it before his birthday, it was done!

Here’s the final painting…


PS:  This post is late being published this week because I wanted my Dad to see it first.  He did, and I think he likes it!!!!!         🙂


12 thoughts on “Motorcycle Fun in Watercolour!

  1. Thanks so much for your encouragement. I think he did like it. He put it straight on the wall in his study when we all got home from the restaurant where we went to celebrate his birthday. Thanks again!


  2. Very well done, everything. I like when artists are good at drawing because that is quite rare. That’s why I take a lot of pride in the ability to draw anything, anywhere from any object.
    Your drawing and painting sparkle and the amount of detail is just right. I would think your dad liked it a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow – thanks! I must confess, I was struggling with drawing a living breathing horse just last week, I’ve ridden more bikes than horses – maybe that makes a difference? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, the iron horse is so much more complicated than the flesh-and-bones one! I wouldn’t even dream of tackling a motorcycle as an art project. Congrats to you for doing it so perfectly!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh wow Jo. This is amazing. As an old biker myself I appreciate how detailed this is. You got the colours and the reflections just right too. A few weeks ago I did a bike in pastels. It’s on my page under art. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

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