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.
1. Watercolour pencils
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: