V&A Bicycle Drawing Studio

Over 100 participants joined us for three separate drawing sessions in the spectacular Raphael Gallery. The evening guest-starred Tim Gunn from The Old Bicycle Showroom.

“One of the purposes of drawing is to train us to understand through observation. Like the figure, a bike is an animate object. Drawing a resting bike can help us to understand how it’s made and how it works.

Like the figure, bikes are very hard to draw. They have a skeleton (frame); straight lines and curves; joints (lugs); legs (stays); a back end; an inherent, latent strength and the capacity to move and power forwards. It’s a holistic design: each part relates to, and relies on, the others.

Because bikes work with and mirror bodies, in a used bike you will also find subtle clues about the bike’s owner. From there on you can start to piece together the bike’s narrative: the journeys and adventures it’s been on.

A beautiful bike is much more that the sum of its parts: it’s a balance of aesthetics, form and function. These things, coupled with the animation that comes from human use, are what give a bike its unique character: its soul.

As your pencil takes its own exploratory journey across paper, these mysteries will begin to reveal themselves.”


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