Sunday, 12 January 2014

Another shot at `Betty'.

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.





12 comments:

guin saunders said...

I think it looks rather lovely. not overworked at all and it definetly has a nice unfinished look that works. well done!

http://saundersartistblog.blogspot.co.uk/

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for comment guin.

artist said...

Betty is as quin said 'nicely unfinished', I agree.

On your choice of mask. I've use pebeo drawing gum, but my favorite is Schmincke liquid frisket. I use a Colour shaper to apply it. These tools come in various shapes and sizes.

Ray Maclachlan said...

Definitely less is more in this case, Peter. The nose of the aircraft comes forward beautifully. Nice work.

Peter Ward said...

Hi Delilah
I've never tried the Schmincke product but I do have some colour shapers. recently I've used nothing other than a ruling pen. It seems to work quite well.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for comments Ray. After I studied the original photo I decided the nose was the thing and concentrated on it.

Yvonne Harry said...

I like he delicate use of the lovely colours, Peter. Maybe we should try to get hold of the Schminke liquid frisket. Could be worth a try

artist said...

Schmincke liquid frisket unlike other friskets has no ammonia smell. Most watercolorist I know use an old brush they've rubbed on a bar of soap to apply the frisket, but the shapers are hard or soft rubber depending on your choice and if you let the frisked dry it comes off quite easily. If you let frisket dry on a brush it stiffens the hairs and is virtually unusable.

Peter Ward said...

Jacksons sell this Schmincke product so it is easily obtained Yvonne. Thanks for comments.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for that info Delilah. I'll definitely give it a try.

Mike Porter said...

Peter, we share a lot interests. I enjoy your writing style. Also an encouragement to me. Thks

Peter Ward said...

Welcome Mike and thanks for comments.