The Boris Bike Conundrum – Painting decisions?

The Boris Bike is everywhere in London.

Boris Bikes near the Ritz
Boris Bikes

The Boris Bike,you cannot miss them, unless you walk around London with your eyes closed.

The Boris Bike is a great idea, rent a bike for as long as you need it, then leave it in the nearest convenient bike stand.

The first ones were sponsored by Barclays and were branded with their corporate blue. Now Sandander have taken over sponsorship, they are now red. I have to admit, I love red and much prefer the new livery, which is probably one reason why I’ve painted them now and not earlier.
Another is that paving with the swirls, echoing the shape of the bike wheels. After taking several photographs, I settled on this one.

Converting it to a sketch was tricky

Getting those curves requires a steady hand, even when using a flexible ruler. There’s also the issue of the logo. Do I include it or not? I’d prefer not to use it, but one of my principles when creating my work is to include everything, leaving them off would go against this.

Besides, did I say I like red?

Boris Bike - the graphite image stage of painting by Cathy S R Read ©2016
Boris Bikes – the graphite image stage of painting – Cathy S R Read ©2016

The painting went well,

Boris Bikes - the painting by Cathy S R Read ©2016 Work in progress
Painting nearly complete on Boris Bikes

Although it always looks a mess when I start. I decided to reuse rock salt. The foreground was very pale, and I wanted to retain the tone but increase the number of colours without it appearing too harsh. I’ve tried reusing salt before but the results have always been disappointing. This time it worked well.

By the time I’d finished painting,

I was preparing for a workshop. I delayed removing the masking so it could be my workshop demo. After the demonstration, I let my students rip continue removing the masking fluid. As you can see below, they were engrossed!

Students at Masking Workshop removing masking from Boris Bike Painting
Students at Masking Workshop removing masking from Painting

It was a nerve wracking time for me.

I’d used paper found during my recent clear up, and couldn’t, for the life of me, remember what make it was. So the probability of tearing could be high.
Fortunately all went well.

Clean up complete, this is the result.

Boris Bike - the finished painting by Cathy S R Read ©2016
Boris Bikes – the finished painting

More than one person has suggested I approach Santander to get them to buy it. I’ll let you know if I’m successful with that.

So, have I inspired you to get cycling?


PS: The next workshop is 2nd April 2016


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