View Full Version : Illustration in oils

Chas McHugh
09-21-2012, 12:00 PM
I dont think that oils are the usual medium for illustration as timelines make acrylic the preferred format. However here is the start of a small job I have undertaken that involves a 22" x 16" canvas orientated in 'portrait' upon which I shall paint four aircraft and a parachutist. The area in the top 1/4 of the canvas is deliberately dark as it will eventually host text, probably yellow, and requires contrast.
The aircraft visible thus far are 2 x Red Arrow Hawks and a single Tornado GR4. The bottom quarter composition remains negotiable although a plan is in place.

09-21-2012, 03:29 PM
Something different to the norm Chas - I'll be interested to see how this comes out.
I enjoyed doing my montage of Phantom plus various Atlantic crossers in Acrylic a while back - it can be fun to tackle something other than the usual recipe.

09-22-2012, 04:01 AM
Looking good already,look forward to follow ups.

Mark A Bufton
09-22-2012, 05:10 PM
Looks beautiful already. Have high expectations for the end product ;-)

Chas McHugh
09-22-2012, 07:02 PM
I appreciate your interest in this guys; and for sure it is off-piste for me although similar to a pencil work done last year. The next step is to restore the aircraft and parachute drawing by scraping off the overpainted blue with a knife. Due to a high oil content of new paint tubes, it may take a little while to dry and I cannot do much else until then. As dynamic effect is more important then rivets, progress should be good once the background colour is touch dry.

09-22-2012, 09:14 PM
I'll be fascinated to see how this developes.

Chas McHugh
09-28-2012, 01:15 PM
First came the scalpel, and the delicate job of scraping the overpainted drawing to again reveal the drawings.
Then came some paint for the Tornado. Barely any detail and in the coming days a balancing act between dynamic illustration and artistic realism. :crossfingers:

Mark A Bufton
09-29-2012, 05:54 AM
Dear God. I've never used oils but, if this is what can be done with them, I'm getting some come payday!!!!

Chas McHugh
10-01-2012, 01:40 PM
Steady progress and just enough detail to make it interesting without technical accuracy.


Chas McHugh
10-02-2012, 02:05 PM
I was hoping to have all of the composition drawn thus far concluded today; but I ran out of steam. Painting can be a tiring process I suppose. I now need to finish the last Hawk and get on with commiting to the bottom composition which will all come later in the week.


Chas McHugh
10-07-2012, 01:54 PM
This painting will eventually serve several elements of next years Cosford Air Show, and although the writing is only pencilled in for effect, this is the first stage of its use in promotion work.


10-07-2012, 05:43 PM
Wow, just wow! I'm a big airshow buff. I had the pleasure of being on several airshow committees while I was in the Jaycees. I had to travel to several shows to meet and greet the performers. :cool: At the time, we were trying to get Fifi but the cost was just too much.

Mark A Bufton
10-07-2012, 07:00 PM
Absolutely stunning!!! Local art shop, you'd better get your oils ready....I'm coming to town!!!

Chas McHugh
10-08-2012, 01:48 AM
Whilst I would encourage anybody to try oils, you do need to know that diferent brands have different qualities and as such you may find them difficult to use. A starter kit is normally the best value for money to get you going. Student colours and professional or artist colours differ in longevity which is probably not a factor in the early days. For me personally, W&N make awesome paint that can be a bitch to master whereas Rowney paint is very forgiving. I reckon the difference between the two lies in the content of oil but that is probably over simplifying it. Canvas boards are the usual canvas of choice for new guys as streched canvas comes with its own learning points and is expensive. Good Luck

10-08-2012, 02:33 PM
Came out really good Chas - I like that deep blue background offsetting the aircraft .

Chas McHugh
10-08-2012, 03:44 PM
This is only a pitstop; I now have the ground based elements to include and this will include a certain spotty Jaguar :) i will end up with two workable images, this being the first.

10-08-2012, 05:09 PM
superb work chas can't wait to see the spotty jag !! did you know it is signed by the painter ???? it was if i remember done by jaguar car employees the initials are at the base of the tail in black craftily designed into the spots !!

can back up what chas says about oils , it is a constant learning experience and yep the same colour from difrent manufacturers can have huge difrences for working with just one example is windsor and newton terre vert compared to rowney terre vert they perform so difrent i use them for difrent uses if i remmember correctly one has a yellow backnote and the other a greeny brown !!

i'm on the transfer to artist quality expensive and better pigments but i also still use my student quality alongside

Chas McHugh
10-14-2012, 02:14 PM
14 October, and with the previous work dry and photographs for a 'flyer' taken, it is now time to move onto the final phase. Depicting some of the ground based displays available to the public. There will be many 'open cockpits' in 2013 so I have depicted the well known 'spotty jag' with the cockpit open and I will probably follow it up with a parent taking photographs of children in or near the cockpit. I have also included a display that is actually indoors, that of an ejection seat with a child being strapped in by an airman supervisor. The problem with this one is one of concentration v a happy smiling face, as of course I want to 'sell' everybody having a good time.

Chas McHugh
10-15-2012, 01:27 PM
....and now I have to be very careful with colour. The orange 'jaguar' colour scheme on the jet has total dominance and the composition could all go wrong if the choice of colour on clothing clashes. The pink arm therefore is for me to sleep on and decide if conflict exists. The remainder of the ejection seat is dark and cool colours enabling the girl and her 'minder' to stand out as required.


Mark A Bufton
11-27-2012, 06:37 PM
Oh wow, wow, wow, wow, WOW!!!!

True to my word, I've just blown the better part of 200 on oils.....albeit Artisan water mixable oils - cheating, I know.

Now I just need to learn how to actually use them!!!

Chas McHugh
01-21-2013, 11:53 AM
This may be the final update as I believe that the composition is optimised given that there needs to be space for text and logos.

I could keep on tweaking it, but it never was meant to be a Michealangelo simply an incentive to assure people that an air show can be a good family day out. I oiled out the top with a weak glaze of very - very dark blue, almost black hence the appearance change at the top of the canvas.

01-21-2013, 03:58 PM
First class Chas, as always. Could call it Satco's Nightmare
Thanks for sharing

01-26-2013, 01:03 PM
Definitely great poster material, Chas.

01-27-2013, 04:00 PM
Super work of Art!