View Full Version : RAFG IV(AC)Sqn Harrier GR3

Chas McHugh
12-21-2012, 07:37 AM
Started 20 Dec 12:
The undercarriage, whilst lowered in accordance with extended oleos, probably needs to be extended a little more. There are no nozzles or flaps yet leaving a wide scope of scenarios to be considered. I will for the time being concentrate on getting a pleasing skyscape done and dusted. 36" x 24" oil on canvas.

Mark A Bufton
12-21-2012, 10:44 AM
Looking forward to this one!!! :)

Chas McHugh
12-21-2012, 11:59 AM
The sky will be an autuminal sky of low stratus with little blue; however I need a base colour of blue on which to set it. Therefore this is undercoat or a foundation layer. I have used Liquin medium for the first time ever! ...in the hope that this layer dries quickly enabling me to get on with it rather then sitting and waiting.
Precision blending was unecessary but the photograph would have you believe that it is much looser than it actually is. Despite this, there are already variations in tone across the sky that are necessary and which I find many artists fail to grasp. The lower half is based on Cobalt blue and the top half on Ultramarine blue. Both were blended with Titanium White and a little Raw Umber.

12-23-2012, 12:34 PM
Good to see you back posting, Chas. Looks to be a good start.

Chas McHugh
12-30-2012, 10:22 AM
The Liquin was most useful on the sky but a PIA on detailed work. Lesson learned!

But the sky being dry already does mean that I can make progress that normally would have been a none starter.

12-30-2012, 02:29 PM
The Harrier colours look right. Nice work.

12-30-2012, 07:27 PM
Shaping up nicely.

Chas McHugh
12-30-2012, 07:29 PM
Thanks Neil. I must post a close up and then you can see what a cocktail of colours it has taken to get this authentic. There are purples and blues in there somewhere. Unusually for me, the green has proved problematic, but I reckon a brown glaze will see it right. The colour is more greeny brown than browny green. The main gear needs lowering a little more on the oleo. Glad I didnt spend too much time detailing the wheel.

01-01-2013, 03:42 AM
Nice gradations in the camo chas.. Very 3d ish already.

Chas McHugh
01-01-2013, 08:04 AM
Thank you. Happy New Year everybody. I do tend to go about my aeroplanes in a strange way insofar as focusing on what will give me a strong baseline to build upon. In this composition I knew that the tail area would need to be strong, and also provide a strong 3D aspect. The next photo I post will be just this area, yet I will then move from the nose across to join up with the tail as I did with my B24. This process works for me but I would never recomend it for anyone else. I am also a bit of a rivet counter despite the best efforts of a professional artist taking great lengths to encourage me to leave more to the viewers imagination.

Mark A Bufton
01-02-2013, 02:41 AM
It's looking stunning, as always. Great work. REALLY can not wait to see this one in all its glory.

Happy New Year guys :)


Chas McHugh
01-02-2013, 11:14 AM
Here is the close up I promised:


...and here is an update after starting the airframe from left to right using the tail as a colour reference point.

By not painting the undercarriage; I reserve the option to go 'gear up' or indeed 'gear travelling' however I am confident on this occasion that the wheels will be down. If I get a good reference for a centre-line recce pod, I shall include one which will make the appearance short, dumpy and heavy. Note that there is almost no areas of flat colour at all. ...and as I progress, there will be even less as I balance colour and tone across the composition.

01-02-2013, 02:19 PM
Some centreline pod ref material here Chas

Chas McHugh
01-02-2013, 04:31 PM
Thanks Neil. I am sure that I could 'scratch build' one using references such as that but I would need much more and ideally eyes on the real thing. I am prepared to travel if anyone knows where one can be seen. I think a fully laden Harrier best reflects the wide scope of roles that the aircraft did, and perhaps an indication of how much the solitary occupant of the cockpit had to do.

Chas McHugh
01-06-2013, 08:12 AM
Given that I have had three weeks t nail this, I am quite disappointed that I am not a lot closer to completion, but today I was on it before dawn (with daylight bulbs) and have now reached artistic exhaustion. Obeying my own laws, I have stopped before a major mistake was made, so thats it for this weekend.

I can taste turpintine which cannot be a good thing :angel: so now it is time for some lunch and a quiet afternoon reading the newartists mag I picked up yesterday.

Chas McHugh
01-13-2013, 03:05 PM
13 Jan 13 update:
Aircraft nearly complete. Glaze will help provide balance of tone and colour. I have a few options for the lower part of the canvas and I suspect that the routine used in my previous Whirlwind painting will be repeated insofar as having a second static aircraft on the ground. The primary aircraft will be depicted doing a short take off rather then the stereotypical vertical landing. Of course being me, so damp has to be in there somewhere and a Harrier departing a wet strip is always quite dynamic to watch.

Chas McHugh
01-20-2013, 10:12 AM
20 Jan 13 and I am now commited to the aircraft taking off as otherwise it would be about to crash into a ground party. The positioning of the Unimog tractor unit and another airframe (not yet seen) took careful consideration over a few days.

As usual, it is nowhere near as finished as it appears at face value. I have two phases left to complete on the main airframe; those being fine detail followed some time later by glazing.

01-26-2013, 01:01 PM
That's looking awesome, Chas.

01-27-2013, 04:07 PM
Your work is incredible, look forward to seeing it finished!

Chas McHugh
01-29-2013, 01:31 PM
I appreciate your comments gents; for a while i thought I was here on my own :wave: I am now finishing the background with a Harrier field site and the spray will look a little out of place for a while but eventually will be 'in front' of the Unimog truck.


01-30-2013, 12:39 PM
This is really looking good. I like that truck you've placed in there. It gives it a nice depth.

Chas McHugh
02-09-2013, 05:48 AM
9 Feb update:
A canvas full of colour is always nice. However there remains aircraft detailing, glazing and tonal adjustment before it will be finished. 36"x24" oil on canvas.

02-09-2013, 04:31 PM
Looking wonderful!

Chas McHugh
02-10-2013, 08:04 AM
Thank you Bergere. I attended an Art Class recently and whilst it was very good and my instructor respected the differing attitudes to art we individually held; he would have a hissy fit at me spending time detailing trees and vegetation. I guess I believe that out clients use less imagination than the average art critic. Yet much of the vegetation effect came from tips gleaned from the very same lessons, and in particular, use of rubber 'brushes' otherwise known as clay crafting/shaping 'brushes'.
I have printed a black and white image to assess the needs of highlight and shadow as I move towards the glazing phase. Much can be changed with glaze.

Mark A Bufton
02-13-2013, 10:41 AM
I am always told how "talented" I am, but you put me to shame every time.....and you haven't even finished it yet!!! My dear fellow, to be only half as talented as you would very much see my life's ambition fulfilled :)


Chas McHugh
02-14-2013, 02:24 AM
I am humbled by your kind words Mark, and it will be of no comfort for you when I say that my own artistic voyage of discovery is a long way from completion. Very few of us are born artists and therefore we must discover through experience, and the more I study art, the more I understand that one mans nectar is another mans poisen. There are however simple guidelines in regards to composition that I endevour to mention on occasion, such as giving the subject aircraft some space to fly into. Perhaps it is worth sponsoring a thread not as a WIP, but as a Rule of Thumb. If I can keep my own ego in check, I may do this myself.

02-14-2013, 06:32 AM
Looks like you've got this one just right for detail Chas.
I'm all for detail - certainly perspective fade comes into it but you have to know the subject (trees , buildings ,whatever ) to be able to suggest enough to convince as you paint more distant objects . Too sketchy a backdrop and I'd feel the artist has shortchanged me or is a one trick pony who can only paint machines etc.
Fair enough - when showing off power and speed a blurred backdrop is fine but otherwise I like to believe in what I see on the canvas .

02-14-2013, 12:30 PM
Super piece of work, Chas.

Mark A Bufton
02-14-2013, 07:55 PM
No comfort at all haha :D

Chas McHugh
02-24-2013, 12:01 PM
Once you have a fully painted canvas, changes can be difficult to see. In this image, I have started the glazing process and continue to strive for accuracy in my depiction of the trees. The glazing adds realism to the aircraft in providing oil stains and wear and tear rather then maintaining the impression of a factory fresh machine.
The glaze also changes the tonal colours and the camouflage greens in particular are now getting to where I want them. I needed to have the background appear 'wet' to justify the spray, and a little work has been done there to achieve that effect. Now I need groundcrew.

02-24-2013, 09:33 PM
Chas - Really great painting!! All the activity on the ground should make the story even more interesting! :thumbsup:

iwan rse
02-27-2013, 06:57 PM
most beautiful! Love this so much....

02-28-2013, 02:18 PM
Now I understand why the overall painting value is so subdued. It's a dark, rainny day. A very impressive work Chas. The reason you have so few people replying to your beautiful work, is it has a very narrow appeal. You have to love aircraft to be interested. I love it!:)

Chas McHugh
03-01-2013, 01:15 AM
In the big scheme of things you are right in saying that aviation art has a narrow appeal, but the people that are involved be it artist, collector or enthusiast are as passionate about the genre as anybody could wish them to be. For WC visitors to these pages, there is light, shadow, skyscape, landscape and the full range of artistic interpretation to be seen in addition to the challenge of merging pure illustration into an artform in the sure knowledge that many viewers are fully aware of the subject matter and are thus able to pass a critical eye over both technical accuracy and artistic merit alike. Most of us escape on occasion to other subject matters and my own inspiration is Douglas Hoffmann with his photo realistic and extremely tasteful renditions of the female form. However I fly aeroplanes; the aviation industry pays the bills and will eventually pay my pension that enables me to never be dependent upon art for an income, and as such, I consider myself very.. very, lucky. I appreciate your thoughts (thank you) and welcome other comments from the casual visitors to these pages.

Chas McHugh
03-02-2013, 01:07 PM
Started 20 Dec 12 Finished 2 Mar 13.
Oil on stretched canvas.
36" x 24"
Harrier GR3 field deployment:- Royal Air Force Germany .
This painting started off rapidly but in the end became quite a journey. I had the benefit of daily access to a Harrier GR3 which helped a lot and is perhaps a factor that otherwise may have hindered progress were it not available.

03-02-2013, 01:11 PM
An authentic "day in the life" portrayal Chas. If you could just add sound to that !

03-02-2013, 01:37 PM
Once again an excellent painting, I don't like commenting untill the job is Finnished, I have been a bit apprehensive with the down wash, it seemed to be behind the Unimog in all the pics up to the final, when it all fell into place. Hence the reluctance to comment till completed.
Thanks for sharing with us.

03-02-2013, 04:42 PM
Nicely put together Chas. Looking forward to your next project!

Chas McHugh
03-09-2013, 10:26 AM
After some knowledgeable and constructive advice, changes needed to be made. These have now been executed and hopefully it is now 'done'.

'Spot the difference!'

03-09-2013, 12:16 PM
First class work, Chas.

Chas McHugh
06-06-2013, 03:32 PM
Having completed the oil painting; I am now working with the real thing :)


06-07-2013, 01:06 PM
Cosford Airshow... :clap: