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Motorcycle Painting

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By almyki   |   
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Title: Painting - The Motorcycle - Commission
Date: 2010
Dimensions: ?? I completely forget. About as big as a typical poster.
Media: Wood-Framed Canvas
Acrylic Paints (red, yellow, green, blue, brown, black, white)
Various Brushes
Fixative (Hairspray)
Adobe Photoshop CS3

Acrylic painting.


The painting is quite surreal non-sequitur, like a dream, with a star-filled night sky. Three moons are in the sky, red, white, and blue, as are clouds and a growing hurricane. The ground is pure white and barren with perfectly round black holes dotting all across it, and a river winding its way to the front, down a cliff. On the horizon is a volcano, pyramids, and a geometric dome all lined up. Wisteria blossoms decorate the corner, and a woman on a flying golden motorcycle is suspended in the middle of the air.

This was my first-ever 'real' painting, and first time I've ever painted on a canvas. I was basically winging it completely. I sketched out a bunch of basic thumbnail ideas, finally picked one (a rough idea, I wasn't completely sure of the details), and sketched that lightly on the canvas.

I then started painting with the wisteria in the corner, deciding to start with a very flat deco look to keep things simple and clean. I mixed paints a lot for this, since I only had a handful of colors to work with. After finishing that corner, I think I moved on to try the other corner, with the woman, starting with her similarly stylized black hair. I really sort of did a bit of this, a bit of that, all over the place whichever I felt like working on or came up with an idea for.

The ground in particular was a challenge, since making it empty would be boring but I didn't want to cram it with 'stuff' either. A combination of the book Holes and the Hollows of Bleach probably subconsciously inspired that XD . The clouds came out surprisingly well, and the hurricane was fun to paint.

Looots of paint mixed up for the background. The moons were a bit of a head-scratcher at first, trying to get that slightly transparent effect.

The most awful part of the whole process was the actual centerpiece, the motorcycle. I've never drawn such a complex piece of machinery before, so I had to look up ref pics, sketch out the design and the angle, the pose of the girl, etc.. I left it 'till the veeery end, and that's when I finished both the center version and her close-up.

I also originally painted her face with natural shading and such, but I didn't think it came out well, so I painted flat over it D= .

I sprayed over it with some super-stiff hairspray as a fixative, and viola.

Oh, then I took a pic in awful lighting, brought the photo to PS3, and messed with the levels and Color Balance to fix it up.

This was a commission my mom accepted for me without asking, as her co-worker loved art and collected art of motorcycles (he also loves motorcycles) . The request was to fill the canvas he provided with anything that related to motorcycles, anything at all. $50.

Again, I've never painted seriously before in my life.

Especially not a motorcycle.

It took a whole month to finish this bitch XD . It turned out better than I could have hoped though; I was real afraid I'd just make an awful mess of it. My mom kind of regretted the whole commission thing though, because afterward she felt sad that she couldn't own my first painting. XD

I tried a similar arrangement in this piece as I did with another one in my Design 101 class (though that one was purely in pencil) . The horizon line, black sky and white floor, dream-like architecture and such, I'll have to post a pic of that one soon too. That one came first and I loved how it turned out, so I intentionally tried a similar pattern here.

Artist Thoughts
Some things I'm not pleased with, like how her shading in her face didn't pan out and the awful color of that river. It's certainly not perfect, and it's just a little bit weird, but overall, as a first painting, I'm pretty proud of it. I'll have to make more paintings soon... one for my mom especially, it'll be her birthday gift! That's in October.

<3 ali
Image size
1368x1080px 2.52 MB
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hardleydavidson's avatar
I think you did a great job...might take up painting myself...would love to try a bike
almyki's avatar
almyki General Artist
Oh, thank you. Painting is fun, but messy, so I don't do it often ^^' .

<3 ali