Leicester City: Daring to dream?

When it comes to being a fan of football, I am a bit of a romantic fool; either getting my hopes up for England to win a major tournament or for my own team, Leicester City to do well in the FA Cup.

Two silver Foxes!

Reaching a final, let alone winning, for both teams, seem like a lifetime ago. England reached the final (and won) the World Cup in 1966, while three years later in 1969, the Foxes reached the final of the FA Cup, which they lost by one goal to Manchester City. Heartbreak!

Goodness knows that both England and Leicester have broken mine and many more hearts a hundred times over in the years that followed…Ecstasy followed by Agony for one or other of them, and like all the other broken-hearted fans, I keep coming back for more, because there’s nothing quite as thrilling as your football team, local or national, doing well in a big tournament.

It’s the unique experience that all sport gives. It brings us together, excites us and enriches us. The lows are low but the highs are the best and both live long in our collective memories.

When the event and performance are very special, it engages everyone, including people who don’t regard themselves as sports fans, the excitement draws people together in a lovely way.

Southampton fan, so proud of the badge

I watched the FA Cup semi final between Leicester and Southampton on Sunday afternoon with the customary trepidation. I was amazed and delighted by the result. But also, I was even more delighted to see an audience at Wembley, albeit small, the fans were back.

Real people, real voices and a real presence to witness this game. I made as many sketches of them as the action, it was so great to see.

Study sheet of fans in the crowd

So here we go again, Foxes fans daring to dream once more. It’s not the repeat of 1969 as we thought it might be, because Chelsea beat Manchester City in their semi final.

Chelsea are the polar opposite of Leicester City, having enjoyed great success in the FA Cup over the years, but maybe it’s the Foxes time? We know this team is full of surprises, its recent history is legendary. 2016 all over again?

I hope you enjoy my somewhat frazzled drawings and paintings! I wanted to post fairly quickly while the excitement is still fresh in mind.

Meanwhile, I can’t wait until 15th May.. will it be Agony or Ecstasy? I hope Gary Lineker has got his best pair of underpants ready if they win!

Preliminary sketch – Kelechi Iheanacho, winning goal scorer

I am now in the process of making some more images based on the TV recordings and will post them individually with details for purchase. You can email for details or sign up to my newsletter for information 💙

Tour de France 2020: Coming tomorrow…

Hello and bonjour! The last day before the start of this year’s Tour de France and another post of some of my favourite images over the years inspired by this great race.

This first set shows the organism that is the peloton, weaving its way through the landscape. Chasing down, pulling back, from every view, the peloton is great to watch…

Tour de France, Cycling, art, Sunny peloton, by Maxine Dodd
Sunny peloton
cycling art, tour de france
Stage 7 – A long day! Peloton closing in, 29.7km
Following the Peloton
The Peloton- View from the back
cycling art, tour de france
Stage 18 – Départ réel – A long peloton

These images show the landscape itself, so diverse and beautiful…

Peloton and outriders on a long road

Next the landscape itself, beautiful and diverse…

Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Les Gorges du Tarn, Stage 14 by Maxine Dodd
Les Gorges du Tarn, Stage 14
Cycling, south of France, Mediterranean sea
Impossible roads!, £250
cycling art, tour de france
Annecy, the road by the lake
The coast road, by Maxine Dodd
The coast road
Cycling, art, Tour de France
Twisting road
The long road
Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Chaos on the mountains, Allez! Stage 19, by Maxine Dodd
Chaos on the mountains, Allez!

Next, the rain! It’s lovely to draw, not so great to ride…

Tour de France, cycling, art, Maxine Dodd
The last climb!
cycling art, tour de france
Stage 17- Feel the rain!
Torrential rain!
Poor visibility
cycling art, tour de france
Stage 17-Départ, Majestic trees

The cities and towns….

Stage 15 – Carcassonne, pink rooftops and green trees
Riding into a sunny town
Tour comes to Mont St Michel

The flags and animals…

How did they get that up there? Lacets de Montvernier, Stage 18
Tour de Horse!

The descents…

Descent from Tourmalet
Bardet climbs Lacets de Montvernier, Stage 18

The stars…

Bardet goes for it!
Brilliant Barguil!
Chris Froome sets out
Stage 20 – Nibali crosses the line!
Sylvain Chavanel – Stage 2, 17.9km
Second for Sagan; First for Van Avermaet
Descending like a skier, Sagan, Stage 16
cycling art, tour de france
Stage 18 – Brilliant descent – Bernal!

The last image is of the current champion, Egan Bernal, the great young rider from Colombia. Wishing him and all the riders the very best for a safe and spectacular 2020 race!

Stage 13 – Bernal-Gomez

Tour de France 2020: Coming soon….

Hello and bonjour! Only a few days to go before the start of this year’s Tour de France and another post of some of my favourite images over the years from this great race.

This set shows some team time trials, which is a feature of the race I love to draw. It’s the chance to see the team race as one unit and the best have a lovely rhythm to their riding which is great to watch.

This image of Omega Pharma Quickstep was made during the Team Time Trial in Nice in 2013.

Omega Pharma Quickstep

This year’s race returns to Nice and it will be great to see the lovely city and glimpses of the Mediterranean Sea that I personally have missed greatly!

Here are some more of my favourite images and my favourite teams. I hope yours are there too! Have a great Wednesday!

FDJ
FDJ
Garmin Sharp, £350
Tight unit, Team Sky
Sky
BMC, Stage 1
BMC, World Champs
Movistar
Tinkoff Saxo into the sun
Lotto Jumbo, Stage 1
Lotto NL Jumbo
Stage 2 – Ineos – Attention!

Tour de France 2019 – Excited!

Bonjour! It’s July, it’s Tour time! Three weeks of absorbing racing through some of the finest scenery you’ll ever see.

Tour de France, cycling art,Flat out to the finish! by Maxine Dodd, watercolour, pen and ink
Flat out to the finish!

There will be crowds and flags and great spectacle along the way.

The last climb
Grand depart
Filth, flags and paves

The race begins in Brussels to mark the 50th Anniversary of the first win of Eddie Merckx, one of cycling’s greatest racers. It also marks one hundred years since the first award of arguably the most famous sporting trophies, the Yellow Jersey.

Tour de France, cycling, art, Chatting Champs! by Maxine Docc
Chatting Champs!

It was first won by Eugene Christophe in 1919, who will wear it and eventually win it this year? It will be a great adventure finding out!

Sprint!

Wisteria magic

Hello! Spring is almost over and the season on the brink of changing to summer. One plant that marks this transition is the wisteria, which pours colour and fragrance like fountains in many gardens, including ours. It’s a lovely subject, offering curling lines, twisting branches and of course the colour. I’ve drawn it in pastel, pen and ink with watercolour and now digitally for the first time. Here are my drawings…

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Tour de France 2014: Stage 15 – Tallard to Nîmes

Bonjour! Stage15 was a long stage leaving the Alps and heading through the south of France towards the Pyrenees. The course passed through classic French countryside, but with crosswinds and storms at times, it was still a challenge for the riders. Two made an impressive breakaway lead by Martin Elmiger and Jack Bauer. At the end of the stage they were caught and passed by the head of the peloton – all sprinters – and there was nothing either man could do to assuage the onslaught! Amazing stuff – can’t wait for Stage 16! Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2014: Stage 14 – Grenoble to Risoul

Bonjour! Stage14 continued in the Alps in a hard day’s climbing and an engrossing day’s racing.  The skies promised rain but didn’t deliver – instead riders worked hard in the sun. The race saw great performances from the AG2R team, Vincenzo Nibali, but the stage was won by up and coming climber, Rafal Majka, who crossed the line, jacket unzipped and flapping!  Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2014: Stage 13 – Saint-Étienne to Chamrousse

Bonjour! Stage13 arrived in the Alps and passed through the city of Grenoble. Spectacular scenery, including the still snowy and very white, Mont Blanc. This was another hard stage with more riders abandoning or falling back. Steering a very confident course through much of the race was Alessandro De Marchio who forged ahead. Until that is, the brilliant Vincenzo Nibali burst past everyone in the final kilometres to take the win alone and in style. Vincenzo has worn the Yellow Jersey for many days and must be the favourite for Paris. Who can catch him? Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2014: Stage 12 – Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Étienne

Bonjour! Stage12 continued the theme begun on Stage 11, hot sunshine, rolling countryside and beautiful chateaux. The announcement came that Andrew Talansky joined 4 other team leaders in retirement, but the race pressed on. French fans enjoying the progress of riders Cyril Gaultier and Perrig Quemeneur who brokeaway with Simon Clarke to lead for a great section of the stage. The sprint to the line saw Peter Sagan miss out on the win yet again – just beaten by Alexander Kristoff for the Russian team Katusha. And this was a ‘quiet’ stage! Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2014: Stage 10 – Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles

Bonjour! Stage10, was absolutely amazing. Riders toiling into the mountains through sunshine, rain and fog for over 4 hours – only to be rewarded with the near vertical climb at La Planche des Belles Filles, the killer hill!  Contador sadly retired after an appalling fall. A brilliant ride by Rodriguez was outshone by Vincenzo Nibali who was first over the hill. A memorable Bastille Day! Thank goodness it’s a rest day tomorrow – we can all calm down a bit! See you on Wednesday – Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2014: Stage 9 – Gérardmer to Mulhouse

Bonjour! Stage 9 was another exciting day, with sunshine, showers, arduous climbs and fast descents. It was also a tale of two Tonys, namely Martin and Gallopin. The two men delighted their fans with the stage win and yellow jersey respectively.  Tomorrow is Bastille Day and the Tour heads into the mountains proper. What could be better?  Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2014: Stage 8 – Tomblaine to Gérardmer La Mauselaine

Bonjour! Stage 8 saw the first climbing section in France. Another mixed day of weather, the stage starting in good sunshine with riders looking relaxed and smiling. As the stage progressed and the land rose, down came the rain once again, putting everyone to the test. Nip and tuck all the way, there was delight for the French as Blel Kadri took the stage win. The battle for second nearly as exciting, with Nibali, Contador and Chavanel going for glory. Congratulations! Here are my drawings:

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