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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Flying Hat

The hat gets ahead!

coming along... feeling better now.. the blockage might be over. Meanwhile the Vulcan is off getting framed for  an exhibition and the Solent is awaiting its new owner!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Beginnings

The Solent is now complete - the original is so much better than this small image can convey. The subtle coloured lights in the background seem to intensify the darkness of the night. Unfortunately, this is spoilt by the way the light fell on the painting when I tried to photograph it - but the scan will be superb.

Ka945 simmers in the afternoon sun awaiting a final touch-up - I need to add a tad more detail to the tender undercarriage:

Brett has started his next drawing - Denny Hulme in a McLaren M19:

and I have commenced NZR RM123, one of the Blue Streak Railcars:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Let there be Light!

coloured lights in the distance that is...
nearly there now.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Reflections on the Solent

Been dabbing at the Solent all day on and off..
Reflections are improving but not there yet... Harder than the dratted plane!!

and here's a couple of my pics from the airshow to complement Warwicks.. I only have a canon compact SX1 so not as good as warwicks professional kit...  as you can see

But here's the new Albatross DVa and one of the P-40 flashing past

Vintage Aviators

No combined drawing today - Brett has decided to concentrate on his painting.

Yesterday the boys travelled to Hood Aerodrome in Masterton to view the Vintage Aviator's 'Joyeux Noel' WWI evening air show. A great collection of aircraft including Fokker Dr.1 & DVIII, Sopworth Camel & Triplane, RAF RE8, SE5a & FE2b, Albatross DVa and Pfalz DIII to name but a few.

We were both busy capturing images as references for future possible drawings - here we see Brett amongst the SE5a:

Overhead there were flying displays and mock battles - the Pfalz comes to an end.

And, because it was Hood, the Corsair and Kittyhawk put on a display of power flying. Here we see Keith Skilling waiting for clearance:

Monday, January 16, 2012


Sunday morning at Warwicks...The E.R.A. R4D is complete.. finished the tweaking of the car with grey pencils and then brushed a light wash over the background to darken it once I got home.
Looks fine... btw ERA stands for English Racing Automobiles and with Willie Green on board this one is certainly 'racing'!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

winnie atwell

the famous black and white rag is playing as I post this (hence the name).. so progress on the Thud is slow but positive.. lots of detail. we now have a Hat!. Might restart the Solent tomorrow after the drawing session at warwicks..
We DO apparently get some blog viewers from all over the world.. I wish at least one would post a comment someday!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I agree with Warwick's previous post (generally). Lots more detail in train undercarriages but cars have their issues. I am also using more than one reference work too these days.. the Solent being a good example.. and spend about the same time on a picture as Warwick... I guess I do more during the week being less gregarious maybe. Retire to my studio, turn on the Radio NZ National program and lose myself in the joy or drawing or painting.
Speaking of painting.. Ive had a bit of a break from the Solent to gather myself for the final push.. So Ive started another painting. This is based closely on a photo I took myself in 1964 at Ohakea during an airshow there. I think I had an old Brownie 127 camera with black and white film. I was stunned by the appearance at the show of some USAF Thunderchiefs (F-105's) and pushed thru the crowd to get the best shot I could of the front of the plane. Now 48 years later!! I dug it out and it shouted 'paint me' !! so I am.. Colorizing as I go!
I love how the people frame the plane and the mans hat provides a focus.
Here are 2 images.. the first one the initial monotone acrylic and the second after colouring in the sky and twiddling the clouds after discovering a new technique using a fan brush and a flat blender brush. Its not perfect but it IS getting there so ... joy of painting continues... wonder when warwick will dive in this pool?

ps: the nickname of the F-105 was the 'Thud'!  and we'd love to get some feedback.. there IS a guestbook on the blog or a simpel email or tweet would be cool.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Back to normality - Sunday mornings, with beer (Monteith's Black & Monteith's Original Ale) and cheese (Smoked Cheddar from Somerset, Jarlsberg from Australia & a good ol' Kiwi Brie (by Bouton d'Or)).

Both Brett and I have been on holiday this past week. But we have both found time to work on our art - Brett primarily on the Solent. Meanwhile I have been concentrating on Ka945. Which got me thinking about how much time is actually spent on an one of our drawings. I guess it takes, on average, 4 to 5 weeks to finish a picture, sometimes more sometimes less, depending on the complexity of the image. That equates to a minimum of 10 hours per drawing. Brett seems to produce more prints than I do - this will be dependent on the quickness of the hand and whether we spend time during the week drawing - I know Brett does, less so for me. In my case, locomotives tend to have more detail than cars - pipework, grilles, wheels & rods rather than body panels, although reflections & decals on cars will complicate matters for Brett. As my artistic endeavours have progressed, I have tended to combine source images, so that my works are composites, interpretations of the subject matter. Brett tends to replicate a single image. Each to his own. Ka945 has taken an estimated 20 hours, not including research. We sell our prints for $15 to $20. That equates to $1 per hour. A poor return if we only sell one, but if we sell 100 (we limit our print runs to that number) then that's a much more acceptable return for our efforts. We obviously don't do it for the money - although we both get a great deal of pleasure from what we achieve - but your continuing support is important.

Brett added detail to the ERA:

and I beavered away on 945:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Finally made up the P-38.. and have displayed the Me109 with its racing car mate (both powered by Mercedes and both 1:18 scale!).

The SR-71 is 1:72 scale!

up and at 'em

early start today for the painting.. Yesterday was all about the ERA so thought Id better get a bit further on the painting. Funny thing is.. the more you do the more there is to do! overpainting for the third or fourth time.. using a small reference pic shows up those details you missed first time around... Thought Id better start the rain soaked hard too... MORE black!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Solent Night, Wholly Night

There's a lesson to be learnt here: don't let Brett have a holiday at home - he gets all creative. Justifiably, by the look of things.I've not seen the actual Solent painting, but the images look very promising. The ERA, though, is better in the flesh - today's photo doesn't do it justice. Makes me tempted to try something with a little animation, rather than static locomotives.

A very good session today, Monday instead of our usual Sunday. Brett has only the background to do on the ERA...

... and Ka945 is coming along...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Acrylic delight

I really am loving doing the Solent (but its giving me severe shoulder pain as I hunch over the easel..)
Painting is tedious but SO rewarding!
3 or 4 hrs on it today and I think its coming alive! I do thank the commissioner for the excuse to do this.. something I would never have picked to do.. wait till the lights are picked out in subtle colour...

ill gotten gains

This is a sample of what I use my prints pocket money for..
Its not the most accurate or detailed model but it represents a '53 Buick Skylark which is the closest I could get to Stephanie Plum's 53 Buick 'Big Blue' from the famous paperbacks by Janet Evanovich. The only car Stephanie couldnt blow up, lose or otherwise trash... and you can see why.. 1:18 scale!