18″ x 24″ on 140 lb. watercolor paper
While traveling in northeastern Spain in the fall of 2016, we visited the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey located up in a beautiful mountain top ravine. We spent several hours walking around the grounds, taking pictures and admiring the views down into the cloud-shrouded valley below.
This is the fourth Harley-Davidson motorcycle I’ve painted. I love painting the chrome with all the highlights and contrast. This particular Harley was parked in bright sunlight near the University of Oregon Bookstore this summer. I took some snapshots for reference then forgot about them. This fall I was scanning through my photos and this one caught my eye.
This took about 3 hours to draw or maybe longer. It was a painstaking process but worth the time. When I spend a lot of time with the drawing, the resulting painting is usually better than if I rush things or trace a projected image (which I almost never do).
I started painting what I think are the exhaust pipes. The blue of the sky, black of buildings being reflected and the tan of the ground took multiple layers to get it just right. I got a bit lost in this painting at times, but was able to recover to my own satisfaction. Part of the challenge was to understand what I was painting. Since I don’t know how a motorcycle works let alone a car, I wasn’t always sure what all the parts of the machine were or what they did.
In the end I was happy with the finished painting and the overall composition.