ARTWORK QUALITY and RESEARCH.
I have been producing nothing but aviation
illustrations and painting for over 20 years so I've had quite
a bit of practice. As aircraft are technical objects, I do attempt
to make my pictures as technically accurate as possible. This
ranges from putting the correct size rivets in the right place
(profile artwork) to making sure an aircraft is at the correct
altitude (full colour artwork). Whether buying or commissioning
a print I am convinced you can't get better quality elsewhere.
Following artistic ability, the second most important aspect of
aviation art work is adequate knowledge of the subject matter
and the references used. For the production of my profiles I use
a vast collection of close-up photographs to ensure all details
are correct. The artwork itself is always based on an accurate
technical drawing; where such drawings are not available I produce
my own. Using an accurate drawing ensures the shape of the aircraft
is correct at the outset.
I only ever use photographs as a reference source for colours and markings. Additionally many of my historical profiles were done with the assistance of the veterans that crewed the planes; often their memories are good enough to specify the individual colours of nose art. I do try my best to get detail such as colour correct; this area in particular can be a minefield as 'accepted wisdom' can sometimes merely be the same repeated error. Nose art can be the most difficult subject when trying to interpret black and white photographs. It is usually impossible to establish colour from the tones in a monochrome picture so sometimes a best guess has to suffice. Colour photographs can also be misleading; you have to take into account (if known) the time of day the photo was taken, the type of film used, the age of the airplane and/or its paintwork. Color chips, Munsell numbers etc., are fine to establish what a color is supposed to look like when manufactured and viewed under controlled lighting conditions; the problems arise when applied to an aircraft, exposed to direct sunlight and the passage of time. Non standard colours are also often applied to aircraft, some of my profiles depict aircraft finished in car paint for instance. As I have complete control over all the printing of the artwork that I offer via this site I at least can ensure the colours are what I think they should look like. It should also be noted that the images that appear on my site are JPEG versions of my original artwork. JPEGs (like the internet they were developed for) use a narrow range of colour and as such they are not exactly the same as my originals and the prints I produce.
When commissioned to produce a full colour painting I source all the information required from the squadron personnel themselves. This means the picture accurately reflects the mission depicted. Below I have pointed out some details on my most recently produced full colour artwork and a detail section from a profile.