View Full Version : P51 Reflections

04-18-2013, 02:25 PM
OK, next... This one took about 8 hours to do. Oil on canvas 16" x 12" and represents the P51C Mustang at Fantasy of Flight, Florida. It is the first time I've painted a polished aircraft and as such I wasn't THAT bothered about getting the nose profile of the 'stang right. I wish I had been... :( Anyway, this is a massive departure for me.




Faults to note from me:

1) the nose profile is wrong, but I'm damned if I can figure out where! I THINK its something to do with the anti-glare black.
2) The right hand reflection of the propeller which begins at the exhaust stacks and goes to the canopy rail is somehow out of line. More to do with an inaccurate drawing....

Here's the original (my photo)


04-18-2013, 06:46 PM
Well, a good stab at it with good colours in the wing root especially.
Re: the nose profile. If you look at your ref, the edge goes almost horizontally to the left side of the pic while on the piece it drops to the bottom left nearly 45 degrees. This also shallowed out your canopy - look at where the framing meets the cowling and you will see.
Aside from that, this piece relies on high contrast to really sell the reflections. Go bolder with your colours - look at the depth of colour on your ref. Spend the time to nail your drawing, because bright pieces like this need it to look real. Keep going for it - takes guts to give one like this a shot!

Mark A Bufton
04-18-2013, 08:05 PM
Something that with my mustang I'm still dreading. The idea of it daunts the hell out of me. Must confess, this looks good. Tricky thing to capture.

04-19-2013, 05:59 PM
Agree with D'Arcy - a very good effort .
The left line of the nose makes a triangle with the reflection of the prop and doesn't run parallel with it as you show - and its straight across , not humped.

04-20-2013, 06:19 AM
Something that may help John. I know many here use computer plotting (I am a little too old school on that front). I actually use the primary school approach when I want a photo ref copied or enlarged. If you canvas is in the same aspect ratio, cover it with a grid, I keep mine down to a simple 6 or 8 squares. I cover my canvas with the same grid, then just make sure you match the points from the ref to your canvas and fill in the details. The larger your grid - even 6 lines by 6, the more precise your pic will be.

04-20-2013, 01:26 PM
thanks for the comments, and all information has been logged! ;)

as I said right at the beginning - the aim of the exercise was to attempt polished aluminium rather than an accurate aircraft. The chromed appearance turned out better than I thought, although I do need to darken some areas to represent the 'black' colouring of the nose.

As the comments have been coming in, you have steered me to realise exactly where I went wrong. I started the initial sketch with the nose profile but made the nose too long in relation to the rest of the aircraft - which has resulted in the canopy being too low in relation to the propeller hub.

The Star and Bar on the fuselage side is utter crap too...

Once it has dried off in a week or two, I'll alter a few things and re-post here. :D

04-23-2013, 12:47 PM
A lot of colours and curves in that one, John. Looking forward to seeing the end result.