Tour de France 2022: Arc de Triomphe

The Paris stage is the climax to three weeks of grinding racing. There is so much to reflect this year, which has been extraordinary, one of the best men’s races ever in my view. Paris was also the place for the start of the 2022 race, the women’s Tour de France, which runs this week. A long time coming but great that it’s finally here.

I made images on the day and there are more to come but I just quickly wanted to reflect the city itself with the Arc de Triomphe, which features so much on this last stage and also in my work over the past ten years. I never tire of that view – It’s amazing!

Here is the Arc de Triomphe 2022 style..

Picture information

Mixed media original – watercolour, pen and ink

Size: 28cm x 28cm, unframed

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Cycling art, Tour de France 2012, Chris Froome, keeps Bradley going

Tour de France 2012 -2022: Ten Years

Ten years ago, Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France; the first British cyclist to do so. He was part of a team then called Sky now Ineos Grenadiers. I drew the race for the first time in 2012 and began a blog as each day unfolded. It was an amazing story then and it still is.

Ten years on, British riders have continued to light up the Tour, with no less than five wins alone between Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, also part of that extraordinary team. Along with 34 stage wins for Mark Cavendish who was part of Sky in 2012, the profile of British cycling, especially in the Tour de France, has grown and developed to a remarkable level since 2012.

Other members of that team are still there, while others may move on, the presence of British cyclists throughout the race stems, I believe, from inspiration from this first achievement of Team Sky. Among the extraordinary crop of new talented riders, there is a remarkable contingent of riders from that team, still competing and still near the top of the standings. It’s quite a remarkable testament to the 2012 generation; they are exceptional athletes. If you look at the post carousel, you’ll see the names of riders of different nationalities, who are still competing in this year’s race.

I acknowledge that this team and even Bradley himself divide opinion, but personally, I have taken huge inspiration from them and their steadfast presence these past ten years. They have won seven out of the last ten Tours. I am a fan of their inspirational performances, which in turn, inspired me and set me on my path, which is a joy.

Thanks for the memories!

Tour de France 2022 - The King of Cool, Tom Pidcock

Tour de France 2022: The King of Cool

Stage 11 was a defining stage, Stage 12 ripped up the race completely! This came in the form of Tom Pidcock, who lit up the race with a breathtaking descent on the Col du Galibier. With 10km left, Tom took off like a rocket and held his lead not only to take his first TDF stage win, but on the Alpe d’Huez no less. What a way to start your Tour de France career? So cool!

This is my first image from the Stage 12 but there are more to follow, as the wonderful stories and images from this and yesterday’s stages will live long in the memory, but I had to start with this phenomenal young rider. He’s a cycling gem!

Tour de France 2022 - The King of Cool, Tom Pidcock
Tour de France 2022 – The King of Cool

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Mixed media original – watercolour, pen and ink

Size: Standard Portrait 17cm x 25cm

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Tour de France 2022 - Barguil et Bardet

Tour de France 2022: Barguil et Bardet

Stage 11 was a defining stage for many reasons, not least that the Yellow Jersey changed hands and possibly decided the winner of the race itself, but you can never tell! However, it was also a great stage because we saw some wonderful performances from other riders too. Young stars and older guys who I have followed in paint and pen for some years – not least two French stars, Warren Barguil and Romain Bardet. They have always been a joy to watch – Bardet is magnificent on the descents, Barguil great on the climbs (rather a silly observation given that in order to descend, one must first climb – I think that they’re all brilliant climbers!) Anyway, the men both took their turns at showing just how good they are yesterday, firstly Warren Barguil attacking the breakaway on the Col du Galibier…

TDF2022 - Barguil attacks the breakaway!
TDF2022 – Barguil attacks the breakaway!

Secondly, a superb attack by Romain Bardet, who ended the day in second place on the General Classification. A result that must bring joy to many French fans’ hearts. Come on! Allez allez! 🙂

TDF2022 - Bardet breaksaway
TDF2022 – Bardet breaksaway

Here are a few more images of these two from over the years – I do love these two!

  • cycling, Tour de France, art, barguil, Bastille Day
  • Cycling art, Tour de France, watercolour pen and ink painting, Bardet goes for it, by Maxine Dodd
  • Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Bardet climbs Lacets de Montvernier, Stage 18, by Maxine Dodd
  • Tour de France, cycling, art, Maxine Dodd
  • Barguil checks behind! by Maxine Dodd

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Mixed media originals – watercolour, pen and ink

Size: Square 20cm x 20cm

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TDF2022 - Fans at High Altitude - Detail

Tour de France 2022: Fans at High Altitude

Another panorama – I love this format! It really gives a sense of time and progression… and great for telling stories too. The Bayeux Tapestry is my favourite example and I believe, the best panorama you could imagine! I digress! This scene happened yesterday, I was watching Warren Barguil leading the Tour, when I noticed fans lining the mountain side, way up in the far distance. They seemed so high up, and yet clearly on the route waiting for the race to arrive and cheer on. It’s extraordinary, not only what the cyclists do but the fans as well. They love this race! So, I felt they were all kings and queens of the mountains. A timely flag finished the picture.

Wishing a Happy Bastille Day to our friends in France!

 TDF2022 - Stage 11 - Fans at High Altitude, a painting by Maxine Dodd
TDF2022 – Fans at High Altitude

It’s really shaping up to be quite a memorable Tour… 🙂

Picture information

Mixed media original – watercolour, pen and ink

Size: Panorama 8cm x 36cm

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TDF2022 - Stage10 - A Bright Road- Detail

Tour de France 2022: Bright Road

Stage 10 in the Alps – what more could you ask? Phenomenal scenery – lovely sunshine, for spectators and the roads that make you gasp – not only because of the engineering behind them, but also for the condition of them – they are immaculate. I made this image as the peloton snaked round a dramatic bend. The green sections disguise the long drop down.

I love the panorama format – this is quite small really, only 8cm high but 36cm long, so there’s concentration on the action and movement of the group. I kept the palette quite limited too because the green of the foliage was really electric, being backlit by the sun. It’s nearly the same colour as the Green Jersey, very bright!

Painting by Maxine Dodd TDF2022 - Stage10 - A Bright Road
TDF2022 – Stage10 – A Bright Road

It’s really shaping up to be quite a memorable Tour… 🙂

Picture information

Mixed media original – watercolour, pen and ink

Size: Panorama 8cm x 36cm

Price: £195 mounted ready for framing – or £255 fully framed

The size of the image is 8cm x 36cm, with frame and mount approx 28cm x 56cm

Carriage to a UK address would be £12 mount only, £25 fully framed. For other destinations, I can quote separately.

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Tour de France 2022: Take it to the bridge

Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2022 is a 202km flat road stage from Roskilde to Nyborg. It finished with an 18km crossing of the Great Belt Bridge – an extraordinary construction over the sea.

I loved this scene of the peloton crossing the bridge – the normally huge convoy looked almost small on this vast sea road. I have lingered over this one – but it was a compelling scene.

Tour de France 2022 - Take it to the bridge
Tour de France 2022 – Take it to the bridge

Lovers of soul music might just hear James Brown in the title… Have a wonderful Friday 🙂

Picture information

Mixed media original – watercolour, pen and ink, gouache, watersoluble pastel

Size: 26cm x 36cm

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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!

Tour de France 2021 - Stage 5, Pogačar waits, original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2022: Wonderful, wonderful!

The great race starts in Copenhagen – and the song is in my head! I am so looking forward to seeing the Tour start in Denmark – I have family connections, my grandfather being Danish born. The first stage is an individual time-trial, so here are a few images from TTs I’ve made in the past. Tadej Pogačar features here – and seems to be favourite again. Time will tell. The only thing you can predict surely, is that this race is undpredictable! Allez allez!