words in post.
Reading time: ~ min. or so.
Roughly during the autumn of 2017 I was searching for a subject as the basis of my Inktober challenge. I was looking for something that I haven’t attempted to draw before, but also meaningful enough to keep me inspired. It didn’t take long for me to decide on the theme of motorcycle riders.
To remove myself even further from my comfort zone, I selected new art tools:
The Pentel thick calligraphy pens, loaded with Rotring ink and the square Sennelier 250-paged sketchbooks.
This resulted in a more bold and disruptive style than any of my previous work.
My fascination with the innovative motorcycles, elaborate helmets and uniform-like jackets must originate from my year-long exposure to ’80s Japanese animated series.
The characters of those always wore brightly-coloured futuristic helmets that concealed their faces, while leaving their huge eyes visible behind the dark glass.
They all shared a common theme in my eyes: adventurers - in their full cartoon gear - operating cool-looking SCI-FI Mechas.
Mecha-riding protectors of the Earth in Mazinger Z,
Getter Robo and Grendizer (created by Go Nagai).
Space nomads from Robotech with their mecha-fighters, also known as Veritechs.
The heroes of Saber Rider with futuristic spacesuit designs that used more traditional themes (Cowboys, F1 Racers and Royal British army officers) (Image 1).
In Robotech’s intro video, Rick Hunter is raising his gaze from inside the cockpit ready to lunch into space (Robotech Intro) - while motorcycle riders are parading on the screen (Image 2); Even further down the title sequence an awesome motorcycle is overshadowing a powerful militaristic mecha (Image 2). To top it all off, the enigmatic femme fatal Sheila Misty - from Plawres Sanshiro - and her raven-black motorcycle from Image 3.
I devoured each of those visual themes. The combination of man and hi-tech machines left an imprint on my mind.
For the 31 days of October - the duration of Inktrober - I would sit down every morning and start sketching riders and their motorcycles. In an attempt to break free from the precise measurements of the machines I was working with gesture movements and created at least 7 sketches every 30 minutes.
Eventually the results starting to look less rigid and precise and more fluid and expressive. Two and a half months and around 400 sketches later, I started to feel more comfortable with the results.
Initially I selected my 30 favorite ones and then the best 12 for adding watercolours.
The originals for those 12 are available for sale at jamesdoe.bigcartel.com.
Links for purchasing prints of various sizes can be found at society6.com and redbubble.com.
See in you in space.