I recently posted a painting of a derelict shot-down `Betty 'bomber somewhere in the jungle on a South Pacific island. This aircraft was a Japanese WW2 Mitsubishi G4M Type 1 Navy twin engined attack bomber. The islands of the South Pacific and other adjacent areas where fighting took place are littered with the wrecks of Allied and Japanese aircraft, and when discovered , if possible, they are reclaimed by enthusiasts. in order either to be restored or just partially displayed if they are decayed beyond a full restoration. As reiterated earlier the Americans, unable to comprehend the complexity of Japanese aircraft names, initiated a code name system with boys names for fighters and floatplanes, and girls names for bombers, flying boats and training aircraft. This isn't the same aircraft although the `pose' is similar.
This was my setup.
Derelict `Betty' 15" x 11" 140lb not Paper Unknown (another `reverse' painting).
As so often happens I felt the original painting was overworked. Charles Reid says whenever he asks students to critique their paintings the usual comment is that they have overworked. I personally feel overworking is the main fault of many, many watercolours, but that's just my opinion.
Putting my thinking cap on I decided to concentrate on the aircraft this time and hint at the mass of foliage that surrounds and entangles it. Often I'm far too hasty in approaching subjects and a little less haste and more thought usually produces a better result. There are also a lot of subtle colours in this photo and that presented a challenge and opportunity. After a careful drawing, with the main emphasis on the glazed nose of the aircraft, I applied masking fluid Pebeo Drawing Gum, with a ruling pen, not a huge amount but lots of small touches, mainly on the framework of the glazed nose but also the engine and lower belly and into the surrounding foliage. I let it dry really well not painting until the following day. You cannot leave it too long as removing it can cause problems and damage the paper. In this instance the Pebeo came off with no difficulty so it may be better in this respect than some other makes.
When painting I began with the nose and put in the darks as a starting point. then progressed to the underbelly, then cockpit and fuselage sides. The darks were various mixtures of Ultramarine and either Burnt Sienna or Burnt Umber. Greens were Viridian, Hookers, Green-Gold with added Ultramarine, Cerulean or Hansa Yellow Medium to vary the shades. The cockpit area and immediately below the fuselage side are Ultramarine Violet. Quinacridone Rust (Graham PO48) is the `rusty' colour, which was emphasized with a stronger mix at the end. I think,that's it but there may be touches of other colours here and there.
Brushes used were the Isabey Kolinsky sables series 6228 sizes 4, 6 and 8. Plus the Da Vinci Artissimo 44 size 2.
It may seem an odd subject to paint and one that is unlikely to sell, although I don't paint to sell. Charles Reid says paint offbeat subjects. In his case he can probably sell anything but in mine.....It ties in with one of my other interests which is WW2 in all its aspects and aircraft feature strongly. One of the attractions was the multitude of subtle colours, even the greens. I am quite pleased with this one, particularly as I think I avoided overworking and the painting has a nice `unfinished' look. Well I think so anyway.