Wednesday, November 12, 2008
My fascination with airplanes
Above is a page from a sketchbook when I was fourteen years old, a pencil drawing of a Curtiss P-40 in action. I loved drawing airplanes and was also an avid model builder.
Another piece from 1942, an ink line crosshatch drawing of a P-40 of the American Volunteer Group known as the Flying Tigers who flew with the Chinese Air Force. Little did I know at the time that I would later specialize in this type of art. World War II was raging and these aircraft were always in the news.
An ink and watercolor illustration of an North American SNJ-2 I did in 1942.
I loved the way the Flying Tigers decorated their P-40 aircraft. This is one of my first attempts at working on Scratchboard, a specially coated illustration board on which you can do an ink drawing and then use a special tool to scrape in textures and lines. This unique illustration board is still available today.
My first published art was in the May 1943 issue of Wings Comics which held a monthly contest to which readers could submit their aircraft drawings and designs.
Here are some aircraft ink drawings that were a series of prints for Avitat, a division of Imperial Oil-Esso. The prints were given to their clients as part of an advertising promotion. The art director was Bob Pearson at Cockfield Brown in Toronto, the year was 1971. Back in 1962, when I worked with a group of freelancers in Detroit, Bob was our apprentice, years later he moved to Toronto. Bob visited me recently and brought back the original art used for these prints!
These drawings were done on Whatman hot-pressed illustration board, a great surface for ink line work. The tough surface of this board can withstand the electric eraser in case you have correct any mistakes, a much better method than using white paint.
I recently adapted the above drawings to my series of comic book cover parodies which are done on the computer. I scanned the images, then added the type and color using Photoshop Elements 2.0