My first photorealist painting’s source photo was taken from Snap, an American BMX magazine. I realised that a grid would enable a detailed drawing to be made; so I took the magazine pages, stuck them together and drew a grid over the top with a biro.

The picture features two riders prominently – Christophe LeVeque and John Purse, who at the time was dominating the sport of BMX. This race was called the So. Cal. Nationals and this became the basis for the title of the painting – ‘Southern California landscape.’

There was a smaller image on the left which was overlayed onto the main image, which was a problem. My solution was to use whiteout to cover it and interpret how the shadows would form. Just as I was finishing the painting, I needed reassurance that I had got it right. So I e-mailed the magazine, explained my situation, and they e-mailed the original image back. I was thankfully spot on!

Painting information

Materials: Acrylic on canvas board
Dimensions: 61 x 91 cm
Painted: 1999


This painting is available for purchase for the princely sum of $500 + shipping.

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From Fine Art America