This was a special piece to illustrate. A thoughtful wife reached out to coordinate something special for her husband. His father had passed away and the two shared a love of motorcycles together. To celebrate his memory, she commissioned an illustration of his Dad’s Honda, Indianhead motorcycle for his birthday.

I was really excited to dive into the intricate chrome and reflections. Reflective surfaces are a lot of fun to paint with watercolor. I also might have used this painting as an excuse to try a few new red watercolors…ended up settling on Da Vinci Red. It’s a perfect bright read that doesn’t pull orange or pink. It also is pretty easy to control.

The other element in this motorcycle I was particularly excited about was all that chrome! I branched out of my typical Payne’s Grey and Ivory Black (Windsor Newton) rut and decided to try Shadow Violet (Daniel Smith) and Grey Ochre (Ruby Mountain Paint Co.) for the chrome. I did pull some Payne’s in where I needed blue but for the most part those grey/purples carried the load! Because of the red of the motorcycle the chrome was picking up lots of pinks and purples and not so much blues/greens. Using a grey/purple helped keep everything cohseive.

I like to create a cheat sheet for each project’s color palette. You have no idea how quickly I can forget my color mixing recipes…yes even mid-project! I have my experiments and musings on the larger sheet of paper and my final color palette with recipes and pigment names on the smaller strip. I also used Bloodstone Genuine (Daniel Smith) for the pavement underneath the bike to get that nice gritty granulation.

I’m very happy with how the final motorcycle illustration turned out!

Illustration on White, 8×10″
Paper: Arches cold-press watercolor paper
Paint: Winsor & Newton Professional, Daniel Smith Artist, Ruby Mountain Paint Co.

Lovely 5×7″ illustrations on white. Both places are filled with memories. My client’s Nana’s house as well as the Chi Omega house from Vanderbilt University.

The illustration of this sweet yellow house required a few adjustments to restore it to its former glory. With a solid reference photo and the right notes, it was smooth sailing; adding in the right flowers and removing a few other features.

Getting the colors and windows right for Chi Omega was especially fun! Using multiple reference photos I adjusted the season to ensure both trees and flowers were in full bloom.

Custom Illustrations

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Both of these illustrations are 5×7″ and utilize my Illustration on White style. Illustrations at this size can fit directly into a 5×7″ frame or you can mat them for a more dramatic presentation style and frame them at 8×10″.

Illustration on White, 5×7″
Paper: Arches cold-press watercolor paper
Paint: Winsor & Newton Professional