Thursday, 31 July 2008

First P-47 line drawing

As I mentioned in the previous post I've started work on the line drawings of the aircraft. I use a perspective software developed by Joe Demarco, a talented aviation artist in his own right, and a really nice guy. Joe's Artists' Perspective Modeler (APM) can be used to create a basic line drawing based on plotting X, Y, and Z co-ordinates for as many reference points as required to create the object.

Once the co-ordinates are all plotted the data can be manipulated so the object can be viewed from any distance, and at any attitude but with the perspective remaining correct regardless of the view distance and attitude. Once the desired view is decided upon, the program will provide the necessary X and Y co-ordinates so the object can be plotted and drawn (at any scale required).

Here is the line drawing from the review function within APM, which while it is identifiable as a P-47 is also a long way from the finished drawing required.

This is the partially completed pencil drawing based on the plot data. As you can see this is a much more refined outline, and will be the basis for the final highly detailed line drawing. The lines of the aircraft are already evident here, with the foreshortening of the fuselage very easily dealt with by the software.

APM allows an accurate outline of an aircraft to be created from a set of 3 view plans in perfect perspective, which is a much better alternative than just copying a photograph. It also means that truly unique compositions can be created.

The next stage is to complete this drawing and the use it as the basis for either a value study in pencil, or a colour study in oil. This aircraft is the more distant of the two and so the secondary point of interest, and as such must allow for the main aircraft to hold the strongest values and colours.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

P-47 prep, progress being made

Slow work, mainly due to the day job, and the kids being on summer holiday, but progress on the P-47 painting is being made. I'm still refining the idea at this stage.

Here is a more refined version of the thumbnail, which I've created using a perspective software program.

And here a very basic version done in photoshop using a model placed at the correct distances and view angles to match the previous thumbnail. Given I can't get to see the real thing flying just as I want them to, the use of models is a big help in understanding how light plays over the surfaces and shapes.

I'm not yet 100% happy with the composition, but have moved onto creating the line drawing of the first aircraft. At this stage things start to come alive as the detail of the aircraft comes into play. Hopefully this stage will confirm the composition is working as I want it to.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Some P-47D reference

I was lucky enough to get up to the Paul Allen collection at the Flying Heritage Collection when in Seattle last month with the ASAA 2008 Forum. As I was already planning the P-47 painting it was nice to get some shots of the real thing.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

P-47 prep work

The next major project is to be of two P-47 Thunderbolts taking off, with their undercarriage in the course of retracting, and each aircraft laden down with two drop tanks to allow for the long range mission that lays ahead.

The idea was born out of the desire to paint the P-47, and incorporates the interesting shapes created by the fuel tanks and undercarriage. I feel that panoramic canvases work well for aircraft paintings and so have used that idea here as well.

Here is the first thumbnail sketch showing the concept, it is no more than a pencil scribble in a note book.

Work is underway to take the concept and create a more formal layout of the planes, the distance between them, their height above the runway, and crucially the position of the sun, and so the light source.

Whilst the sketchbook was to hand I played with a quick pencil work (copying a drawing by Robert Taylor, just to get a feel for his style).

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Into the Storm

As shown in my previous post my last painting was of an US Navy A6A Intruder over Vietnam, entitled "Into the Storm"

I've included here the history that goes with this specific plane and the sad fate the befell Fred Holmes. The events of December 1971 provided the inspiration for this painting, reflecting both the "All Weather" capability of the aircraft, but also the bravery of the pilot and B/N as they prepare to fly into enemy AAA fire and missile defences over the target.

Proud Deep Alpha, a five day campaign 26-30 Dec1971, saw the greatest level of strikes since Rolling Thunder had been called to a halt on 31 October 1968. Targets for the five days were suspected munitions sites to the North of the DMZ.These strikes coincided with a period of serve bad weather, which saw solid cloud cover over the target areas from 500ft up to 10000 ft. On the last day of Proud Deep Alpha, December 30, 1971, an A6 from VA-165 flown by Lt Cdr Fred Holmes, with Lt C W Burton as B/N lead two A-7 Corsairs, and two F4 Phantoms from the USS Constellation on a radar guided bomb run. Their aircraft was observed to take a direct hit from a surface to air missile.

Lieutenant Burton was wounded, blown clear of the aircraft and his parachute deployed successfully. Another aircraft on the scene reported seeing two good chutes
deploy, but this report was later viewed as not confirmed. A search and rescue aircraft then reported both pilots in sight and in the water off Hon Nieu Island. Lieutenant Burton was rescued by U.S. forces. SAR forces located a pilot's ejection seat and life raft possibly belonging to Lieutenant Commander Holmes but were unable to locate either him or his chute in an area with a large number of North Vietnamese sampans.A Radio Hanoi broadcast referenced this incident,
one of several U.S. aircraft losses on the same date in the southern part of North Vietnam. While some pilots were reported captured alive,Lieutenant Commander Holmes' name was not identified among those captured. One returning POW recognized Lieutenant Commander Holmes' name but no returning POWs ever reported him alive in the northern Vietnamese prison system.

In April 1975 Lieutenant Commander Holmes case was submitted for a casualty review at the request of his next of kin. He was declared dead/body not recovered.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Welcome to my first posting

To date I've run a blog within my website, but the time has now come to break out of the comfort zone, and widen my horizons.

This blog will be used to show the progress of current projects, from inception through to completion - well that's the plan, and as the military say "no plan survives contact with the enemy"

My last major painting was completed in early April this year, of an A6A Intruder flying in bad weather over Vietnam in December 1971

The painting is oil on canvas, 36" x 28".
The original is available for purchase, and I'm currently in the process of offering a limited edition giclee print. Details to follow once the print is colour proofed.