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Bill on a bicycle

I’m doing a portrait exchange with Bill. He’s been waiting very patiently for me. Thank you Bill! See how great he did my portraits here!! Not fair that he does so well and I am struggling!

As I say, I’ve been struggling. I started off today with just a contour drawing, which got filled up a bit more than just a simple contour. Then I did another one and another…and then jumped on my bicycle and went for a ride.

contour drawing, rotring pen on paper, 29,5×42 cm

I have new bike, a very cute one. Based on the old “Hollandais city” style. Up until now I’ve used an old bicycle which had me running just as I thought I was pedalling well away. Or I was on Liandri’s mountain bike, with my behind way up in the air and my head almost down between my knees. I sort of feel at this age, I would prefer my “derriere” closer to earth and my face “lifted”. So now I look very elegant, with my back straight and my hair in the wind.

…wizard of oz…

rotring pen and watercolour in Artistico sketchbook, CP, 18x26cm(7″x10″)

When I came back, my head felt clear enough to give Bill another go.  Put in some shadows this time. It doesn’t really look like him. And before I attempt a painting, I have to get the drawing right first. He has very intense eyes and I make him glare from the page. So, I have more work to do. More cycling to do.

inkdrawing, rotring pen on paper, 29.7x42cm(11.7×16.5″)

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21 responses

  1. Ronell even your bike has style. I like the bikes with large seats and up right posture too. Much more dignified cycling!

    This penetrating look you are after is def what you’ve got here.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:39 pm

  2. Leslie

    Ronell, I love seeing your portrait work of Billl (my husband). I’m so used to seeing HIS portraits of himself that it’s fascinating to see someone else’s hand and style capturing that noble brow. I’ve also watched him work on your portrait. This was a good project, trading portrait work – very challenging! Thank you for the new view of Bill!

    June 10, 2008 at 6:41 pm

  3. Hee, hee…great post. Looks like the bike ride was a great solution. I can completely understand where you are coming from on the butt up in the air situation…

    June 10, 2008 at 7:01 pm

  4. Bill Sharp

    I distinctly remember trying not to glower when that picture was taken. Of course trying not to glower is exactly what creates the impression of glowering.

    I’ve posted a few attempts I’ve made of you now as well.

    Nice Bike!

    June 10, 2008 at 7:09 pm

  5. sandy

    Oh how I Adore your style the bicycle is fabulous in all respects (hair flowing and such) – the portrait is strong and obviously a very handsome man – I do not know what makes you unhappy – but I am sure more cycling will help! And fill that basket with some flowers, bread and wine please!

    June 10, 2008 at 8:26 pm

  6. Great bike Ronell.
    I like the second portrait of Bill you did, very interesting with it’s vertical shading.

    June 10, 2008 at 10:43 pm

  7. Beautiful painting of your new bike, Ronell. I need one like that because my little skinny tire bike is sitting in the garage waiting for me to suit up and strap in. These days, not only is my butt up, but I fear a flat tire and no one will answer my calls and I will have to walk the 25 miles home in bike shoes. Enough of the “pitiful me”. I really dropped by because I absolutely love your watercolors!
    Thanks for visiting my blog.
    Jennifer

    June 11, 2008 at 1:11 am

  8. How brave of you to exchange portraits. I find them very difficult. Love the new bike!

    June 11, 2008 at 8:50 am

  9. Both efforts at your friend, Bill look great to me Ronell. I’d have been very pleased with the initial contour drawing. But as I don’t have a bike (and live on top of a very steep hill) I wouldn’t have had the means of inspiring the second drawing.

    Love your bike! May I have your bike in my sketchbook, please?

    June 11, 2008 at 2:00 pm

  10. Your stories are so much fun to read, even when you’re struggling or when your derriere is aloft (perhaps especially so in the latter case ;D.)
    I like the drawings of Bill—you might want to pay special attention to the plane of the eyes and their (the eyes,) distance from the bridge of the nose. I think you’ve got that ever so slightly askew in these. This is the hardest thing to get right when you are working from photographs. I should know—I’ve been having the devil of a time, trying to do Kate Johnson’s portrait! It’s easier in real life because you are really SEEING the object/person in three dimensions and you can more easily understand the structure of the face.
    All of this you well know, of course, but sometimes frustration just breeds more of the same and you lose your analytical ability in all the heat and dust!
    When I say ‘you,’ I mean ‘me, too ;D.’

    June 11, 2008 at 3:04 pm

  11. lin

    Ronnel — I LOVE this!!!! From your bike to the two portraits of Bill — awesomely done!!!! What a fun bike — but I can tell you, I’d be biking away if I had to do a portrait!! LOL I so admire the way you stretch yourself!

    June 11, 2008 at 4:51 pm

  12. This all sounds so enjoyable – the portrait swap (scary though, from photos) and the bike. I love the word-pictures too of derrieres and face-lifts… that bike looks like it’s raring to go!

    June 12, 2008 at 3:16 pm

  13. Just pass here. Its always a pleasure. Love the exercise turning drawing.

    June 12, 2008 at 8:50 pm

  14. I love bike riding but my neighborhood has become too congested with traffic that it’s not enjoyable anymore. So, Idon’t get out too often. your bike looks beautiful and I can imagine you rding down a path headed into the wind! The portraits are good but like you , I sure struggle with them. Good you are taking your time, I tend to rush into them and am then disappointed.

    June 12, 2008 at 10:55 pm

  15. Sarah

    I find portraits so hard, I have to do so many drawings on the rare occasions I do do them. I like the top one actually – I like your looseness applied to a portrait. I also like the bike – I vastly prefer ‘sit up and beg’ bikes – much more comfortable I think!

    June 13, 2008 at 7:53 pm

  16. Oh I just love your stories and your sketches! Wow, your good. I think these are just wonderful! I wish my contour drawing looked like that, they resemble more chicken scratchings than anything else. Portraits are so hard, capturing a likeness, making them look relaxed, finding an interesting look or pose, I think you have done it! I really love his eyes.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm

  17. Tonniece

    Love your new bike, I find that the right fit can make a world of difference when one rides a bike. and I see it’s a form of therapy as well as for you.

    The second sketch of Bill is my fave

    June 17, 2008 at 12:47 am

  18. juj

    that bike is simply fabulous! and obviously a very good drawing aid as well. I’m drug my rollerblades out of the closet and had a little spin around the living room – tomorrow I’ll take them on the road. I hope they work as well as your bike, but I also hope I’ll be able to keep my butt as far from the ground as possible!

    June 17, 2008 at 2:19 am

  19. bec

    Gosh! Ronell!! I just love your cute bike!!!
    And, I like your line in both portraits…. it gives his face nice depth and roundness.

    June 18, 2008 at 3:59 am

  20. I always enjoy your posts–lovely portraits, and interesting to see them as they develop. Injecting the bike ride and sketch here was masterful! Just charming…

    June 18, 2008 at 4:03 pm

  21. genxster

    That is one cool bike! Great watercolor. I love your prelim sketches. It’s great to see all the ways you are seeing. : )

    June 25, 2008 at 8:11 am

Tthank you for your visit and comment, II appreciate it!

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