Well here we are into what will hopefully be the downhill run towards the end of the lockdown. New Zealand has done well, with a comparatively low infection rate, and very few deaths.

What's an artist to do, holed up in The Asylum? Get busy, that's what. And while it has been an inconvenience for the most part, it has allowed me to build the new website (www.kieranrobertsart.com) with some cool new functions like the Augmented Reality tool. If you haven't seen it yet, go to the aforementioned website and check it out.

You don't need to download an app or anything, as it runs off the camera in your phone or tablet.

On to what I've been creating.

The 2nd of June will be fifty years since Bruce McLaren was tragically killed while testing the McLaren M8B Can-Am car at Goodwood. I thought I should do something to commemorate the anniversary.

Having never really painted people, I set myself a challenge. I wanted Bruce to be looking pensive as he kitted up for what would be his final drive. I wanted to convey a picture which would be poignant, without being morbid.


The main composition finished. base coat of background orange down, and a crew-cut hairdo. Three more coats of orange until I'm happy with the colour. Facial features refined and hair added to make him recognisable. I really dislike seeing a portrait of somebody that just doesn't look right, and I really hope I've pulled it off here.


Time to make the racing suit look less like a surgeon's gown. Depth added to the folds and seams with stripes on and the sponsor logo's getting laid down.


The helmet was next, and this posed a number of challenges. McLaren had still been using an open face with goggles for the Spanish G.P. on the 19th of April, but had the Bell Star full face helmet for the Daily express trophy at Silverstone on the 26th. The Gulf and Reynolds aluminium stickers seem to have been on the helmet from the start, with the Goodyear sticker turning up sometime during the weekend of the Monaco G.P. on the 10th of May.

In late May, a week before the crash he tested Denny Hulme's M8D, before flying to Indianapolis to oversee his team in the Indy 500. Obviously there wasn't as many motorsports photographers around as there is these days and as a result there aren't many good photos for me to reference.

As well as the central Gulf logo, McLaren also had a smaller one on the side of the helmet, but curiously it was on the left side only. Also of note was two small holes drilled on each side of the visor, presumably in an attempt to stop fogging.

As so often happens, in the next few years, I'll haphazardly stumble upon a whole lot of photos that will either vindicate my research, or show what I missed.

I'll continue this next week.