The thrill of velodrome cycling

The technique and process of drawing fast movement.

Discover the process and technique I use to create a sense of fast movement, speed and action in this cycling painting of velodrome sprint.

How fast do cyclists go in a velodrome? Well, at speeds of up to 50mph the must be really flying!

This velodrome sprint painting was custom painted from photos and was commissioned as a present for the 18th birthday of a very fast and skilled cyclist. 

I wanted to evoke the sense of action and speed in this painting and the feeling of freedom One may feel when riding at such a whirlwind.  


The process:


1. Watercolour pencils

how good are watercolour pencil

First, I sketched the image on 30/42cm canvas using watercolour pencils. The benefit of sketching with watercolour pencils is that if I made a mistake, instead of rubbing the image off, it is easy to wash the pencil marks away with clear water and wipe the surface clean…

Watercolour pencils leave coloured marks on the surface in this way helping me to establish a colour scheme for my painting.

If I used an ordinary pencil it would leave muddy marks on my canvas, very difficult to cover.

2. Vibrant colours of ink

It is important to keep the surface clean because I paint with inks. The inks are quite translucent and the muddy marks of a pencil would show through and ‘contaminate’ my colours. The inks maintain brilliant colour even when they are dry. 

I also add inks to acrylic paints to make acrylic paint more vibrant and saturated.

3. The freedom of gloss paint lines

I have outlined the body of cyclists and their bikes with black gloss paint dripped directly from a palette knife – this is my signature technique. 

The intensive, deep black outline of gloss paint adds contrast to the painting making the bikes and the cyclists stand out of the background revealing the cyclists’ body position as they lean low to match the natural tilt of their bicycles on this sloped surface and to keep balance when riding. It looks scary to watch them riding at such high speeds, in close proximity to each other, with fixed gear and no brakes!

If there are some accidental splashes of gloss paint – they would add to the overall effect of the action.

4. Acrylic paints – cover mistakes

The acrylic paints have opaque quality so can cover little mistakes. I did use acrylic paints for the background; their thick consistency helped me to render the texture of the velodrome track.

5. More gloss – shiny surface

Next, I added white gloss lines, dripping them around the cyclists. In this way, I want to give the impression of space and fast movement… 

Finally, yellow gloss lines are used to show the reflection of light. The vibrant colour and the texture of gloss paint gives the impression of a shiny surface of the track.

My mission – painting sports in action

My mission is to depict the most exciting sports in the world and the athletic version of You!
By creating this artwork I want to celebrate your achievements in sports, motivate to active life and help you keep your greatest adventures in vivid memory.

Do you think I succeeded in my mission? Please, let me know in the comments below.

If you would like to commission me a custom sports portrait, visit this page to find out the prices, sizes and process:

Capturing Great Cycling Races – Tour of Britain

Glasgow, Tour of Britain

There’s no shadow of a doubt that the 2019 Tour of Britain was a momentous occasion with many nail-biting moments. With leads as large as 49 seconds thwarted by the hard work and
the effort of the other cyclists, there are so many excellent moments in cycling and it’s hard to remember them all…

Glasgow, Tour of Britain
Tour of Britain – Grand Depart, Glasgow 2019

I love watching cycling, much like the millions of other fans out there I lap up the excitement, the ups’ and downs’ the trials and tribulations each cyclist has to face throughout a race. To keep those memories alive, I very often found myself browsing the internet looking for those historic moments I remember seeing on the TV, so I can recreate them in my art!

I took it upon myself to capture each and every exciting moment. Be it a lone cyclist breaking out from the peloton…

The Final Mile
The Final Mile

or the sheer look of relief on their faces as they pass the finish line…

Gloss painting - crossing the finished line
Gloss painting – crossing the finished line.

I bring to you all the way from the starting line of Tour of Britain 2019 in Glasgow, on that cold Saturday morning through to the finish line in Manchester, all the exciting moments in the form of art:

The Grand Depart from Glasgow
Tour of Britain Stage 1: The Grand Depart from Glasgow

Paintings With A Twist

When it comes to choosing a moment to paint, I review hours of footage looking for the perfect mix of emotion and the settings to bring the piece together, allowing each painting
to tell its very own story…

Using gloss paint - dripping paint from a palette knife.
Using gloss paint – dripping paint from a palette knife.

Using gloss paint as the base of my paintings I slowly drip it off of my palette knife onto the canvas allowing the paint to run free and take its own journey just like each and every cyclist
in the race, expressing their freedom and agility in moving…

Gloss Painting – Team Movistar Closely Followed Around The Bend

Once the gloss paint has dried and finished creating its story, I delicately add colour using acrylic paint to add extra detail into the picture to really portray the current situation in the
painting, bring it to life. If it is showing the movement around a corner, the determination on their face as they climb a steep hill or even their incredible strength, I make it my job to ensure it’s shown
in the painting:

Quitting Won't speed Up The Ride
Quitting Won’t speed Up The Ride

Spoiler warning, and congratulations!

I would like to share a massive congratulations to the winner of the Tour of Britain, Mathieu Van Der Poel. What an athlete you are, conquering each and every challenge imaginable to
come out on top, completely well deserved!

Also a huge congratulations to Jacob Scott (King of Mountains Title), Matt Holmes (Best British Rider), Matteo Trentin (Cetaphil points jersey), Rory Townsend (Eisberg sprints jersey) and Dylan van Baarle (Wahooligan combativity award)!

Tour of Britain - Pursuit To Victory
Tour of Britain – Pursuit To Victory

And of course, a huge thank you extends to everyone who took part, you all played a vital role in providing such an amazing experience and exciting experience! I will try my best to
capture each and every moment!

Keep your memories alive!


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Click on the artwork to subscribe – the link will take you to the right place.