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This was my first attempt at a proper mixed media piece, that I had on the go for months and months, alongside my commissions. I wanted to find a good way to encorporate line work, colour, collage and my trademark pencil drawings. I liked the idea of picking out one or two colours from a picture to work with, and it's an idea I've used a lot since this piece. In terms of my style, this is quite a key piece, as it was the first time I'd tried out mashing all these techniques together, and was closely followed by 'Portrait of a Young Boy'. At this point, the style needed a fair amount of refinement, mainly in the background, but I was really pleased with the way the pencil, paint and line worked together.

I chose to use the tiny cut out letters for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's a technique I've used before in sketchbooks and I absolutely love the slightly obsessive nature of both the process of cutting and sticking, and the way it looks when finished. So this seemed like a good way to reflect the slightly obsessive, passionate love of mountain biking held by the rider - my fiance - depicted in this artwork.

Normally with a pencil drawing, I just start in one place and work my way around the picture, but with this one for the first time I had to carefully consider the order that I was doing things in.

Once the main drawing and collage was finished, I left it for a few months because I couldn't decide how to resolve the background. Eventually I decided on the simple pen work you can see now.

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