Royal Enfield & Tank Painting
Hello everybody, I welcome you back to Pavinder’s art blog. I hope you like the posts that I have written so far as I have tried very hard to find subjects that will interest people. This is my first ever blog so please tell me if there is anything I can improve as I would like to learn and get better.
I have titled this article ‘Royal Enfield & Tank Painting’. I grew up in India so if there was one type of motorcycle that you’d see on the streets above any other, it would be Royal Enfield. Harley Davidson are also a popular brand in India but as they are more expensive, people tend to go for the Royal Enfield instead. As I love art very much, I was fascinated by a friend of my father in the local community who would paint custom patterns on Royal Enfield petrol tanks as well as other parts of the bike where you are able to apply paint. These patterns could be of anything you like. He was like a tattoo artist who tattooed bikes rather than people.
My Art Influences
I would go down to his small garage shop sometimes after school or sometimes on weekends, just to watch him paint. I was quite young then so I never got chance to do any painting myself but I used to love to watch him at work and he never minded me sitting there staring at him for hours whilst he put together his masterpieces. The tools he had were so basic but he’d somehow always manage to create whatever anybody wanted. He’d cut out templates and use those to paint around. A lot of the time though, it was just done by hand with only his eye and steady nerves to guide him. It was seeing people like him and the artists around the Town & Cities in India growing up, that made me fall in love with art.
Having a go, myself!
I recently persuaded my partner to buy a second-hand Royal Enfield for sale off the internet so that I could experiment myself now that I am a lot older and have acquired some skills from all of my experiences & from my time spent at University studying abroad. I’ve not started the project yet but we have purchased an old Royal Enfield and it is sitting in our garden ready to be painted. My partner fortunately is ok with me painting it as long as I don’t make a mess and use horrible colours. He said I should respect it as it is an antique and I completely agree. I’ve therefore been looking for some ideas on the internet so that I can make whatever pattern I choose, look good and also look professional.
Royal Enfield Factory
The Royal Enfield factory actually hand-paint their tanks anyway to this day, something that no other manufacture does now that you have computers that can be programmed to cut and paint patterns. I really like that they do this and are keeping the tradition. I would feel bad painting over a brand new Royal Enfield knowing the work that’s gone into it but our old model is in need of a paint job after running around for so many years so I think it is my duty to restore it to its former glory.
Unfortunately, I live in a different part of India now so I cannot seek guidance from the old man I used to visit and I am not sure whether he’s still got a shop anyway but I do hope he has. In order to get some tips, I’ve been looking at some video recordings of the actual painters employed by the Royal Enfield factory. It really is amazing what they do and it takes me back to watching the old man when I was a child. He used to create all kinds of crazy patterns but the guys in the factory show the same kind of skill needed. I’m not sure my hands will be able to keep that straight so maybe hand painting is asking a bit too much. I think it I a real gift to be able to paint free-hand without any aids and you either have it or you don’t.
I’d noticed on our Royal Enfield that the Emblem was missing to but fortunately I’ve managed to find a good website (Classic Motorworks) where I can source a replacement and they have quite a few designs to choose from. I’ll be starting the project soon once I’ve done a little more research so I’ll update you on my blog at a later date with progress.