Drawing Photorealistic Motorcycles – Week 2

Weeks: 1|2

So week 1 came and went and while I didn’t produce a finished motorcycle drawing, I walked away with some insights into what I needed to improve on. Some of my biggest challenges included drawing tires in perspective, spacial layout of the motorcycle parts, developing a consistent starting point, sketching the entire concept before diving into details of individual parts and focusing on the concept of 2-point perspective to ensure the motorcycle’s lines all make sense. So, where do I go from here.

The end result of my week 1 efforts

To effectively eat an elephant one must eat one bite at a time. I need to use this concept in my 52-week quest to become good at drawing photo-realistic motorcycles. So this week I will focus on tires. I will focus on understanding the typical parts of a tire and how to draw them in perspective. In week 3 I will focus on spacial layout of the motorcycle parts.

Drawing tires presents a challenge allow two planes: perspective and lean. Often we’ll see a motorcycle on its side stand and at an angle. It’s these two plans that make drawing motorcycle tires so challenging. Here we go.

This week I practiced drawing wheels in perspective and I developed a grid process for dealing with composition. I found that without the grid, I was not able to line up parts of the motorcycle properly. I found the video below (way down) that gave great tips on developing a flowing elbow-to-hand motion for drawing oval shapes – which is what wheels in perspective look like.   The concept is this: when looking at a wheel from a perpendicular view (directly at the tire from the side) the tire is a perfect circle. The further you move your view to the front or the rear of the motorcycle, the more oval the tire’s shape becomes. Here’s my first attempt at sketching tires in perspective.

First sketch attempt – tires in perspective with no bike lean angle.

 

Once I did this for a while I tried to draw the motorcycle for this week. When I draw for a few hours then overlayed my drawing with the picture I found that the position of the motorcycle bits was off in many instances (see below). This led me to adopting a grid process using a 1-inch grid. This gave me a superb concept of where the motorcycle bits should be in relation to other parts.

Week 2 – First try with composition after practicing wheels.

 

Armed with this first attempt, I determined I need more structure to get the best composition so I opted for a 1-inch grid pattern. Using a grid pattern, I found, doesn’t negate the need for good art strokes. It does, on the other hand, offer a way to validate your parts positioning as you go rather than waiting until I was done. Here’s the result at the end of today. Look at my sketch portion of the below image to see the grid pattern in use. My graphics software (Paint Shop Pro) has a nifty tool that allows me to overlay a grid pattern on my images.

Week 2 – after wheel practice and using a 1-inch grid pattern for composition.

 

 

Photo with grid pattern in Paint Shop Pro

 

Stay tuned for week 3 where I will continue the above thumper to get close to the picture itself.

 

 

This was a very helpful YouTube video:

 

 

 

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