View Full Version : HMNZS Gambia painting

06-27-2015, 08:45 PM
Ive started my coloring in by paint by numbers of my original drawing of the Gambia.
I found a book (as I think I said before) that has a color picture almost exactly the same attitude and showing waaay more rust etc. So ive started with a base acrylic layer of roughly battleship grey which Ill paint rust over next. Its all done on a printed canvas of my first drawing so I have something to copy..

Its cheating, yes, but hey Im feeling Im adding something with the paint!


06-27-2015, 09:12 PM
Should be a good one, faminz.

06-28-2015, 05:53 AM
No such thing as cheating......I call it using your loaf :)

Watching with interest......Loved the original drawing :thumbsup:

06-28-2015, 11:12 PM
Veremier (misspelled?) traced a lot of his paintings onto canvas after having used a grease pencil and glass to get the picture. then pressed it onto paper for transfer to canvas. If he can do it so can you. Besides you still have to paint it!

07-04-2015, 11:51 PM
Not the best photo, left hand edge has a shadow showing.... slow going though.. I'd say I only have the basic undercolors in process so far. Painting like this isnt a matter of wide sweeping strokes, its more fiddly close work with a tiny brush and plenty of smerging with a fingertip or sponge dauber thingey I have. There will be a LOT of detail painting over this eventually.. But I have all of July and August to do it!

Note the darker area of the hull which was a camo attempt I think to give the impression of a smaller ship.


07-05-2015, 04:13 AM
That's really nice so far

The camo effect usually had a false bow wave painted on the ship as well

The bit of this one that is a bit confusing is the bit 3/4's of the way down the ship towards the stern....is that a ships boat coming alongside ?

07-05-2015, 05:18 AM
The problem with painting Warships in camo, is the fact that the whole idea is to confuse the viewer, it's not supposed to look like the ship you are painting. I usually paint it all grey with shadows, then add the camo. Don't worry about getting the exact shade as in the colour chips you see on some sites, that is only a datum and reference for the paint in the pot. What the rivet counters seem to forget is that the second the paint is on the ship it's appearance is changing. Even the part of ship that the paint is applied to affects the way it looks, whether in light or shade. War time paint, like most other things, was not of very good quality, it was also produced by lots of manufacturers, and would probably be mixed by the crew or dockyard workers,( been there and got the paint splashed 'T'shirt) paint also faded quickly due to sunlight and weather not to mention the salt
I find it useful to have a plan or at least a line drawing of the ship so that anything your not sure of should show clearly. The part Lenny mentioned looks like part of the Armoured belt, so there you are the camo is doing its job!
The whole idea of painting using WW2 era photos is fraught with booby traps, so you have to be prepaired to accept that your work is your interpretation of an old photo probably reproduced several times.
Hope this helps

07-05-2015, 06:41 AM
Ship camouflage is IMHO the most effective all the forces when properly implemented

There is a painting at Yeovilton museum which depicts several ships in a fiord WW2......until you get closer & realise that is the Tirpitz alone

Very clever painting and clever camouflage

07-05-2015, 07:14 AM
I think you have to realise that most aircraft camo was to hide the a/c, where as ships were painted either to reduce there visual appearance ( the various Admiralty and Atlantic schemes ) and to confuse, using the 'Dazzle' in an attempt to alter the shape, size, speed and direction of the vessel.
Land based camo is a whole new can o worms!.

07-05-2015, 07:21 AM
Land based camo

I have seen photographs of fields painted as dummy a air bases and air bases painted as farmland....very cool & again very effective

07-05-2015, 07:36 AM
No more camo. This is The Gambia thread

07-05-2015, 07:44 AM

How did you get the drawing printed onto the canvas ?

07-05-2015, 04:18 PM
Hi chaps, the confusing bit at the stern is just where the camo stern stops and the real ship continues.. I have a profile of the Gambia like this and will post here this evening (tho Im sure vegaskip has the same profile!)..
the water splash just happens to co-incide with the camo stern line so it looks like a break. Well spotted.. Ill extend the white water splashes a bit..

re the printing gollum, I just took the scan of the drawing to a local copyshop who has a large professional digital printer (really large!) and he printed it onto an A1 sized piece of canvas they use for canvas digital prints..(after really lightening the scan first in photoshop of course) Im not really sure if its 'real' canvas or the faux stuff they use for fake canvas prints of your wedding etc etc but it works like canvas. Of course it means no gesso layer so I just hoped and prayed that the paint would take OK.. its plain jane acrylic paint and so far seems fine... In the end it will have to be rolled to send which is another worry ...(will it flake?) but I intend a jolly good spaying of fixative before I try that!
Bit experimantal really but interesting.. Ive been tempted to palette knife some of the hull actually (Chas..) and still might try that.. could give a great plated look..

and thanks for all the tips and thoughts vegaskip et al... always welcome as Ive learned there's always something new to pick up..

btw.. one area I researched a tad was the waterline.. I wondered if it was red or black but found a colour photo that showed it was black and the profile confirms that and that the below water hull is red.. but that wouldnt show I think!

07-05-2015, 05:28 PM
As to rolling up your painting for shipment, how long does acrylic paint take to cure....not dry but cure ?

Paintings have to be rolled (Paint side out) that way if it does crack when it is layed out flat any cracks will seal, do it (paint side in) and you crush the paint...so when it is layed out flat it will stay in crushed curls and show the cracks

Make sure you cover the paint side with something like grease proof paper to avoid the rolled painted surface coming into contact with the back of the painting

Oils take at least 6 months to cure...Acrylics cure time ?

How big is this painting ?

07-06-2015, 06:06 AM
good points Gollum. not sure about curing.. will check that out.
size wise the canvas is A1 size but the painting will only occupy A2 size or 420 x 594 mm (16.5 x 23.4 in)

here's the profile of the HMNZS Gambia I promised.


07-06-2015, 06:36 AM
I would sandwich that one between two sheets of light weight hardboard, then two sheets of good strong cardboard , then bubble wrap and finally brown paper

It will cost more to post but you will have peace of mind in knowing it will get there in perfect condition with no damage

Sometimes good customer service will get you more orders :thumbsup:

I never send drawings or paintings through the post rolled up.....it ruins the drawings & sending un-stretched paintings gives the customer a problem that they may not know how to solve

07-06-2015, 04:13 PM
Best to give good service ALWAYS imho gollum..
so yes, I agree.. will be worth laying flat for peace of mind.

07-06-2015, 06:14 PM
That way you will also have (no problem) with the varnish

Acrylics and varnish can apparently have problems especially when the painting has been rolled

Make sure also that the paint is cured...they say for the thickness you are using...wait a good 4 >7 days before varnishing, other wise you can get separation...no point is spoiling a great picture :)

07-07-2015, 08:13 AM
This is the typical under water look of RN ships, as you can see the bottom is a much browner shade of red than the lipstick red beloved by kit manufacturers.

07-07-2015, 09:37 AM
After about the 1960's It was Red Admar ...very similar to Red Led which is like a dark Brick Red

RAF roundels WW2 were apparently more Brick Red than the bright red used nowadays

This is pretty close to red admar & red led


07-13-2015, 07:52 PM
latest update. (iphone photo!)

did some detail on the rear superstructure (is that what its called?) and roughed in the sea to fill the canvas. Also taped around the A2 size so I had a boundary to work within.


(and corrected the rear camo stern area)

07-18-2015, 07:53 PM
Slow going... Im not really a painter so I suspect Im doing this with technique that would be thought very naive! But Im slowly covering the canvas!! About 1.5 hrs at a time is all I can stand.. Maybe do a tad more this afternoon.


I do want to get onto the rust!

07-18-2015, 08:30 PM
1.5 hours of concentration at a time will wear me out as well :o

07-19-2015, 07:14 PM
All coming together now, faminz.

07-25-2015, 08:24 PM
Had a go at the sky and clouds to fill in the top and have pretty well completed the ship (as a first painting!) Sky needs more and the planes need outlining too. Am determined to get the rust started as well today!

It all feels a little Mk1 - ish as it now needs the detailed go over but at least the canvas is filled!


and the All Blacks won in Ellis Park again too!! Whew, what an intense game!

07-26-2015, 07:29 AM
Progressing well so far :thumbsup:

07-27-2015, 11:12 PM
Hooray, some rust at last! and the 3 corsair planes too!
Redid the sky again! but still needs another layer I think, clouds are a bit heavy, Maybe onto the foreground(!) sea next.


Had a day off while the car was in the garage undergoing surgery!! Good opportunity to progress.

07-28-2015, 07:08 PM
That's looking good

I was afraid the planes would stand out too much & distract but they turned out just right :)

07-29-2015, 09:39 PM
The rust adds that whole new dimension.

08-02-2015, 12:11 AM
redid the sky to be less dark and smerge into the lighter right hand side and had a good go at the waves on the sea. I think both the sea and sky will benefit greatly from a glaze soon. A dark ish sea color glaze over the sea will tie it all together! Now on to some ship detail with a teeny tiny brush. This pic is quite large for me A2 size is some 25.5 inches x 18 inches and occupies a lot of my work table and uses a lot of paint each time...


08-02-2015, 06:14 AM
Looking pretty damned good so far :thumbsup:

08-02-2015, 08:10 AM
Yep - looking good Faminz.

08-02-2015, 12:58 PM
I like that wave action you have going, faminz.

08-08-2015, 09:41 PM
Pretty close to completed I think.
Ignore the weird cloud effect, that's due to waves in the canvas when I took the photo.
Lots of layers of glazing done to lighten the sky cloud area and make the sea lighter and bluer (reflecting the blue sky to a certain extent)..


oops just the white ensign to go....

08-09-2015, 12:52 PM
Looking really good, I think you should look again at the part below the Bridge, the angled item is the stbd Paravane boom, it is a long steel tube like object used like a crane to hoist out the paravanes (the two drop tank like objects under the boom in the pic). Paravanes are part of the minesweeping equipment and were fitted on most ships, even Carriers. How effective they were on the larger ships I don't know, never having seen them used. I have enclosed a close up in case you want to alter it. I think 'as is' you should be ok, unless an old Cruiser Hand sees it
Ps this is the Port one.

08-09-2015, 02:53 PM
thanks vegaskip! ill certainly look to clean that up as the painting is for the son of an 'old cruiser hand'!

08-09-2015, 03:27 PM
He should like that one, faminz.

08-15-2015, 02:37 AM
Final scanned version (reduced in size.
I think the paravanes are better now (I hope)..
I had a local Image Lab do the scanning for me. Lucky in that the canvas wasnt stretched onto a frame so apparently far easier to scan. No damage to the painting also which was excellent.


Now... whats next?

08-15-2015, 05:16 AM
That one turned out ok :thumbsup:

08-15-2015, 07:38 AM
Came out well, why not try one of the smaller vessels. There was a Flotilla of NZ Fairmile MLs operating in the Soloman Islands during WW2, nice tropical background, possibility of aircraft, native craft. Should be plenty reference material. However you are the man with the brush!.

08-15-2015, 07:39 PM
That came out very well, faminz.