One of the things I enjoy most about Bicycle Quarterly is the publisher’s decision to include Daniel Rebour illustrations in their publication. A French illustrator during the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, Rebour is noted among vintage bicycle enthusiasts as an extraordinary talent, merging technical and artistic worlds in his intricately detailed and finely crafted line drawings of bicycles and components.
As a former illustrator I can appreciate the exquisitely drawn images of Rebour. They must first be easy to reproduce and also be at informative and clear while continuing to engage the reader. Not an easy task, especially given the crude printing reproduction and frequently awful paper quality of the war and post-war years.
For some little while now I’ve been thinking about trying my hand at a similar type of drawing, using my own bikes as a reference point – a sort of homage to Rebour, if you will. The drawing above was drawn in Adobe Illustrator CS5 and took me about seven hours to generate. I printed it out and used a technical pen to add stippling and crosshatching, which is illustrated below.
I rather think I could do a better and faster job by hand – oddly enough, some of the subtleties of the mechanical components are difficult to draw using the computer.