View Full Version : Wip-- Tuskegee Airmen

04-25-2006, 07:56 PM
I've just completed a very rough pencil sketch of a project I'm going to do for a Government Class. (Almost out of highschool for good!) It is a title page for an oral presentation on the Tuskegee Airmen, and is executed in a mostly Gothic style. The center will have a small group of fighters zooming over a body of water. It is a very ODD combination, I know, but it fills a need! :) Filligree-type sprays of strawberries, periwinkles (Vinca minor, not the Madagascar type,) and some others will fill the space between corner peice acanthus leaves, much like the borderwork in The Hours of Englebert of Nassau. The text is simply "The Tuskegee Airmen" and is emblazoned on a large banderole. The right side is twisted into a volute, but the left is covered by a big acanthus leaf. Knotwork is used in several places, and is of the "Silhouette" type. (My favorite) The text is humanistic. (aka bookhand or serif) The initial T is of the Whitevine type, probably on a blue background in pink or yellow.

This is a ten-minute sketch, and so is quite rough. I worked out the knots, but I did not touch the filligree past laying down the skeleton. As you can see, I am not afraid to mix styles extensively. Any comments and critiques are quite welcome.

Anyway, here are the pictures:



NOW, the important question. This is on watercolor paper, and I was originally considering using watercolor. However, I am not at all confident with using the brush, as the pen or pencil is my natural medium. However, color is esential for the project. Do you think colored pencil would be appropriate to use? If so, that would be a load off my back!

PS- I know the planes need work! Those sketches were only for placement. Now to find a photograph of a P-51...

04-26-2006, 07:39 AM
Looking good! :thumbsup: I like the mix of styles in this.

about using colored pencil... did you use hot or cold press watercolor paper? If you used cold press, you may have some trouble getting even coverage. If you've got a little extra $ to spend, you might want to consider a new type of pencil that's just come on the market. Derwent Inktense (from what I've heard) behave like the watercolor colored pencils, but are actually dried inks... haven't gotten my mitts on 'em yet, so can't give a personal report, but you can peek at them here. (http://www.dickblick.com/zz220/51/) A thread about them in the CP forum is here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=327480).

The only thing I'd be concerned about is that cp is a translucent medium, rather like watercolor, and you might have trouble covering over your graphite lines on this. And they can be a little... um... tricky if you've scuffed the paper from lots of erasing.

Looking forward to seeing your progress on this!

Merry Scribe
04-26-2006, 08:17 AM
This work is looking good and I love your use of different hands. Now for the use of watercolor. You can make an ink out of tube guaouch and use a speed ball nib to color. It works great with nibs and it will cover your pencil makes well. Also guaouch comes in many colors I do not use ink any more I strickly use guaouch as ink and I love it, because it is so versitile.

04-26-2006, 07:46 PM
Yes, it is cold-press, but in the end I decided to go with colored pencil. It's a rough look but a soft one. Inserting details will be a little difficult, but I'll work on it! Here is what I've done:


I took the T in a very different direction. Also the k and g in tuskegee were elaborated. Next will be the border and last the miniature.

04-27-2006, 07:47 AM
Nice work!

What type of pencils are you using? If you've got a steady hand, you can use ink on top of the pencil (careful of smearing if they're wax-based) for fine lines & detail. And you can use a very very (think deadly) sharp pencil if you aren't comfortable with using the ink on top.

Really enjoying watching this come together. Btw, you are putting some effort into the actual presentation, aren't you? y'know content & research etc.?

Can you tell I'm a mom? :D :rolleyes:


Merry Scribe
04-27-2006, 08:25 AM
Very nice work and I am enjoying watching this wip. Keep up the good work.

04-27-2006, 12:46 PM
Nice Work! I like the color combinations. The royal blu really sticks out! - Chris

05-10-2006, 08:39 PM
Please excuse the long absence-- I've been quite busy lately. I've finished now, and so have not been able to show many steps. The teacher suprised us with the due date, and so I had to complete it in a bit of a hurry... I think it came out well, but you'll have to excuse the orange flowers on the top... I musn't have been completely lucid at the time. The picture is a bit glared, but you've already seen the scroll.


On the left is Dianthus (Pinks) and on the bottom is Fragaria. (Strawberries) Due to the results of the flowers on the right (color too thick) I switched from prismacolor to humble old Roseart, which has a harder lead, for the last acanthus leaf. Detail is done with the all-purpose Sharpie. (Magic Marker, that is)

Merry Scribe
05-11-2006, 06:13 AM
You did a great job thank you for sharing this with us and keep up the great work. :clap: :clap:

Brian :wave: :D

05-11-2006, 03:45 PM
I've made some amendments, so NOW I think it's done!


The Full Project


I've fixed the blue floral immensely. I simply erased the excess wax and went over in Roseart pencil. Everyone seems to like prismacolor, but the thick ones are not for me. Has anyone tried the verithin kind? They are harder.


There were some minor fixes on the red Pinks to remove whitespots.


One of the scrolls, in a different style from the rest.

So now I'm satisfied, lol.

05-12-2006, 06:41 AM
Great finish on this! Thanks for posting the detail shots. I like the variety of flowers you decided to use.

Everyone seems to like prismacolor, but the thick ones are not for me. Has anyone tried the verithin kind? They are harder.

Yep, the verithins are harder, have a smaller color range, hold a point really really well, and are excellent for getting into tight spaces. The downside is that they don't layer together as well as the regular prismas, so you can't always get as deep or brilliant of a color as you wanted. I adore my prismas... but they aren't for everyone. You might want to try Faber-castle polychromos, they're oil based (instead of wax), and a smidge bit dryer feeling than the prismas. Still layer like a dream, though. OR you could try Derwent Signatures. Pretty dry feeling. Both types are available in open stock, so you could pick up just a few to see what works without investing big $$ on a set.

Before you abandon the prismas, play with them on different types of paper. the cold-press watercolor paper isn't the best support for them.

Let us know how your teacher likes it!


05-12-2006, 03:22 PM
Thank you for the nice comments. Tess-- I will experiment further with them, once I am possesed of some finer paper. And yes, I did spy the open stock display at the store. So many pretty supplies to buy and not enough money. :)

The teacher did not give her opinion openly, but I got two A+, so she must have liked it. (The other A was for "research & content", I'll have you know!)

05-12-2006, 04:49 PM
The teacher did not give her opinion openly, but I got two A+, so she must have liked it. (The other A was for "research & content", I'll have you know!)

Yay you! Way to make a momma happy. :D

So what's next?

05-12-2006, 07:55 PM
I'm working hard on your tutorial, and will post my work plus tard if I don't get sleepy. After that... probably a leaf-work project w/ colored pencil.

05-12-2006, 10:57 PM
Great job on the project. I'd give you an A+! Thanks for the detail shots. You have an amazing amount of detail that you can't see from the overall shot. Keep up the good work. - Chris

05-20-2006, 03:49 PM
Good job on this! I really enjoyed watching your process. I hope you had fun with it too.