This is a commission that will feature the 4th Fighter Group Spit Vb of Steve Pisanos ... the client is a national champion R/C warbird builder/pilot, and through him I had the pleasure of Steve's company while attending a major R/C event in Colorado in 2006. The client, a cousin of Steve's if I recall correctly, has been 'pestering' me to do Steve's Spitfire ever since, and I finally have the chance to jump in and "Git 'er done!" (Sorry, I live in NASCAR country - :lol: )
This is the mockup for the 24 x 40" oil painting. The sky is cropped from a pic I shot on the way to Seattle in '08, and then messed with in Photoshop a little. The model was shot - then reshot - then reshot - as I played with the composition in Photoshop. The fun will be adding to the cloudwork as I go. That blue sky is a bit bare ... need to add some 'interest' up there as well.
First thing to do is a full drawing of the scene to figure out my distribution of tones -
The High Country
(pencil study for oil painting)
16.5 x 27.5 in., pencil on toned paper
Collection of the artist
The tonal plan was worked out with the pencil drawing above, and the colors will be worked out via an 11 x 14" color study. The study serves as a "full dress rehersal", and will be used as a guide to mix/match paint for the larger painting sessions.
A monochromatic underpainting has been laid down as the first step using the drawing as my guide. The underpainting functions as a tonal foundation and also a nice initial layer of oil paint to work over. I'll do the same thing on the final painting.
After a few hours work, the background is complete on the oil study. It went pretty fast, but that's due to all the thought I put into the drawing. As you can see, the aircraft at this stage remains "underpainted only", and appears somewhat odd against the color backdrop. It will be fun (for me) watching it come to life as I add the proper colors and sharpen lines ... and correct the background swipes of paint over parts of the plane! The underpainted aircraft will become a tonal 'foundation' for the color camouflage colors, but it also served as a tonal 'note' to judge the lights and darks of the background as I painted ...
Phase I of the aircraft is complete. The cool side of the camouflage is in place, and all that's left is the warm side. The brushwork is rapid, with much more attention paid (on my studies) to color and value than detail ... that said, the shadows of any object must remain slightly 'mysterious' as I have them here. The lit side is always the place for the pin-prick details.
The study is complete, now on to the 24 x 40 panel ...
The High Country (oil study)
11 x 14 in. Oil on panel
Collection of Roger Watts
To be continued ~