Divers on the wall

Sketching and drawing women’s diving today from the European championships. Using larger drawing paper A2, I drew with ink and brush, charcoal.

It’s extraordinary to watch and very hard to draw, but great to try…I put them up on the wall at the end of the day. Thought it would be good to see them together.

Detailed view

“If you are not skillful enough to sketch a man jumping out of a window in the time it takes him to fall from the fourth storey to the ground, you will never be able to produce great works.”

Eugene Delacroix

… I reckon he’d struggle with women divers!

Tour de France 2022: Wet, wet, wet!

Stage 1 was very, very wet! Really quite hazardous at times, with nerve wracking wobbles for some and a fall or two for others. The speed other riders achieved later in the day as the road dried was quite astonishing.

I wanted to share something of my process today as the beauty of an individual time trial, for me, is that you can really see the technique of each rider and their position on the bike.

I began with line drawings on larger paper, just one after the other while the riders made their way round. Not worrying about who was who really, just getting the attitude and position on the bike where I could. These scribbly, fast studies get my hand to move a bit faster!

The next step is colour, again, practising at this point, nothing finished really and one rider merges with another, so you get a bit of Roglic, with a bit of Bardet or whoever, it’s about movement and flow really. These began with watercolour with pen and ink but I worked over them with pastel to bring the colour out. There’s pastel dust all over the place now, so I need to sweep up before Stage 2!

Painting outside…a little more

Progress, with help from a visitor

Yesterday, I mentioned that painting outside was always a different experience partly because of wildlife and nature joining in… well in this next video, you can see exactly that…not exactly wildlife but she made her appearance at just the right time!

Painting outside when the subject comes along!

At the end of the afternoon, before getting ready to watch the Euros matches, I put the pictures on the grass to photograph and then bring everything back inside and forget all about them until the next day…

This morning, the weather is completely different, rain and cloudy… England will face Germany (AGAIN!!!) on Tuesday….hmmm!

Here are the sketches from yesterday…the question now, is what to do next? I could leave them as they are, but I feel that a bit more would be fun to try… but what?


I don’t rush! I take photos, I put mounts round, just to see where the composition could go next

This is very important ‘mulling’ time! Lots of things to consider, but my first thought is that some elements need strengthening, so as these are quite large scale on cartridge paper, I will change medium and go to a pastel of some kind, which is strong and a little goes a long way, leaving my watercolours ready for the football and cycling pictures that I will make later – a practical consideration but an important one. I really don’t want to run out of yellow and green two days before the Tour de France starts!

Mulling over composition options

The next thing is that I will work on them on the floor, so I can draw comfortably… and still see them side by side. I feel that I want to crop them into square formats.. like these two photos, but if I do, it will be the Very Last Step!

So today’s adventures have begun, I will see how these turn out later and share the results…have a good Thursday! 😊

Painting outside…

It’s a joy!

Basically, it is great to work outdoors. I am not an artist who does this in an epic way, I like my creature comforts too much in all truth. But just to get outside and paint presents different challenges which are just a pleasure. From your eye wandering all over the place… (a constant state for me!) to wildlife and nature joining in, ie, sand in your paints, small creatures wandering over the paper, raindrops plopping on the surface. It’s great and something that many artists love. What you see before you is real, the light moves and changes, you have to work to keep up.

Maxine ‘Two easels’ Dodd

The short video at the end, gives an idea how I often work, especially outside. I like a proper easel, so these two studio easels are my favourites and I have used them in the garden a lot over the years. They are sturdy and withstand my stronger mark making! Lesser easels have been known to topple! If away from home, I work on the ground, on a beach towel often, again with everything spread out.

I also work on several pieces at the same time, at least two, like this. There are a couple of reasons, the first is practical, watercolour needs time to dry, so moving between one picture and another, means that I am not tempted to overwork. The second reason is also practical, I may well have more paint mixed up than I have used, so rather than waste it, I use it on a second (or third) picture.

The other reason is more esoteric perhaps, but I find that with several pictures ‘on the go‘ at the same time, I don’t feel pressured or ‘precious’ about one piece. Each one is important, posing different problems to solve… it’s an enjoyable quest for an image that may or may not work. I like that!

Painting outside

So today’s adventures have begun, I will see how these turn out later and share the results…have a good Wednesday! 😊

cycling art, tour de france

Tour de France 2018: Julian Alaphilippe – Study in blue, black and yellow

Bonjour! Breaking with the routine a bit – This piece is inspired by the French rider Julian Alaphilippe who put in a storming performance on Stage 10. Left everyone behind! This image is mixed media – combining watercolour, ink with pen, brush and twig – as well as a little gouache.  It’s drying at the moment, so see what you think….

cycling art, tour de france,
Julian Alaphilippe, Study in blue, black and yellow -SOLD
Across the blue


Hello! Progressing quietly through January with time to experiment -it’s nice to return to a medium or technique not used for a while. This time, I rediscovered acrylic paint and palette knives, thinking about landscape. It’s been so dark and grey here lately, that I felt the need for colour too – variations on the primaries, red, yellow and blue. Have a great weekend – Here are my paintings:


To enquire about the pictures, click here…

Copyright Maxine Dodd