Fortunately I had my camera with me the day I saw this Harley in a parking lot at the Indiana State Fair. I’m not a motorcycle person, but this thing was a work of art. It was gorgeous. The chrome was blindingly shiny, reflecting sky and clouds and earth. The painting is small, only 9 x 12″, but I’m imagining how cool it would look painted life-size or a little bigger.
Painting chrome is new to me, so I fussed with it a lot and was never was completely satisfied. I’m starting to understand it better though. Next time I need to be bolder with the strokes, and think of them as abstract squiggles.
Here are some shots I took along the way:
The canvas was toned with a sloppy mix of acrylics using a big brush. I suppose I should make a better drawing right from the start, but usually I just begin painting with minimal pencil guidelines and refine as I go with paint. But really… that wheel is pathetic, and if I’d started with a good wheel, I could have saved an hour of “refining.”
There’s one part of this painting I love – the background! I made a few pastel color mixtures, thinning the paint a lot, then slopped it on casually. It’s loose and colorful, but not so much that it detracts from the bike.
Finally the big shapes were in place and the wheel was looking less wonky, so I was able to start adding details.
The final step was all about making the chrome “pop” by adding the final darkest darks and lightest lights.
I could probably keep torturing this one for hours, but I think I’ll call it done and get back to painting some desserts. Probably something chocolate. I have a new tube of a color called Terra Rosa sitting here, and it almost looks like chocolate right out of the tube. Can’t wait to try it!