I had been racking my brain for weeks about how to paint Cadel Evans (present Tour de France champion) in a clever way. I found so many great photographs of him and have really come to love his riding style. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that he used to be a champion mountain biker and rides low, close to his bike. He is also shorter and stalkier than a lot of other cyclists. After researching his background (which is very interesting) and looking for something to spark an idea, I finally came up with this Man of Steel/Superman idea. After almost winning the Tour so many times, he finally made it, revealing his true self. I decided to try to paint this in a graphic way: a departure from my normal more realistic style. At first I thought this would be a really easy feat but soon realized it was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated, having to work out all the colours more carefully and really pay attention to the highlights and shadows. There are certain parts I am less happy with but I really enjoyed the process and learned a lot along the way. I am going to try this style again on the next painting. Here is the write-up explanation for the work Man of Steel, 2012:
Man of Steel, acrylic on canvas, 2012.
Cadel Evans, former champion mountain biker, became the first Australian to win the Tour de France in 2011, and don the famous yellow jersey. He finished eighth in the Tour de France in 2005, fourth in 2006, second in 2007 and 2008. In the latter Tour, he entered as the favorite, but Evans said he suffered more in that race than in any other, a combination, he said, “of injuries, bruising, loss of skin and so on.” In 2010, after carving a lead in the mountains, he broke his elbow. Cadel is among the five oldest winners in the race’s history and was thought to be past his prime.