I love drawing bicycles.
Whenever I post a bicycle drawing here on my blog, on Instagram or Facebook - there’s always at least one person who comments by saying how hard bicycles are to draw.
Are they really?
They are just shapes. You start with a line, then add another line, next to it, and another, adding more lines as you go.
With each line your drawing grows. Whether the lines are confident or not, bold or sketchy, soft or strong… that all depends on your style and even your mood. The line though, makes the drawing yours. Nobody else could have drawn it the way you did.
Of course it takes practice.
It took me a long time before I would draw bicycles (or any other subject, for that matter) without hesitating.
I don’t know how many bike handles and bicycle seats I sketched, I must have drawn hundreds of wonky wheels, and many, many spokes.
Illustrator Miguel Herranz inspired me years ago, when he posted a drawing of a whole bunch of bicycles on his blog, and explained how he made use of the negative spaces. Those negative spaces (the spaces around the subject) are what you need to focus on. If you draw the shapes around the actual thing you are trying to draw, you will see the subject ‘appear’ between these shapes.
Avoiding drawing bicycles is just silly when you live in Amsterdam. There are bicycles everywhere, and they are kind of iconic for the city as well. So after reading that blogpost I realized: “I can totally do that’.
I expected to be challenged, but I also knew that all new things take time, focus, and a little help from other artists - like Miguel.
This post isn’t about bicycles, you know that.
It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone and then experiencing that it wasn’t as scary as you thought. Actually - it’s a lot of fun!
I love this quote by Alfred A. Montapert:
"Expect problems and eat them for breakfast."
Labels: journal, pen, Sharing inspiration, watercolour