Thursday, 19 December 2013

Pacific Ghosts

The islands of the South Pacific are full of shattered wrecks of World War Two aircraft, still being sought by collectors and enthusiasts. I painted one such - probably in the New Guinea region - of a WW2 Mitchell bomber. When I searched for subjects I also came up with the following which I've now painted.

Japanese Mitsubishi G4M Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber 18" x 12" Fabriano Extra White not 140lb (300gsm)

Because the Japanese named their aircraft in a way that westerners found difficult to comprehend a code system was introduced by the Americans with boys names for fighters and girls for bombers plus some other variations.  The G4M1 or 2 depicted above was code named `Betty'. The Betty was the standard navy attack bomber of WW2 and soldiered on to the end as potential replacements failed to appear . It was fast and had an enormous range but suffered from lack of protection for both crew and fuel tanks, a major Japanese weakness. As a result losses were very heavy. Nevertheless it is considered one of the outstanding aircraft of WW2. This example was lost somewhere - I would guess - in the Solomon islands.

I first made a loose pencil drawing, the only area of any detail being the aircraft itself, which is surrounded by a tangle of jungle vegetation. Colours were Cerulean, Cobalt Teal Blue (Daniel Smith PG50), greys from Ultramarine and Burnt Umber/Burnt Sienna. The fuselage colours included Quinacridone Rust (Graham PO48), Sap Green and Hookers plus some Raw Umber. The surrounding foliage was a variety of greens including Green-Gold (Rowney PY129), Sap Green and Hookers, Apatite Green (Daniel Smith) Raw Umber, Cobalt Teal Blue and Ultramarine Blue.

Brushes used were the Isabey Kolinsky Series 6228, sizes 6, 8 and 10. The Da Vinci Artissimo 44 Kolinsky mop and also - unusually for me an angled shader, about 5/8th. I think I may introduce small flats with certain paintings. I've seen Janet Rogers on video use flats in her portraits to great effect.  

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