Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Air Bus


Yesterday there was a little delay before our Virgin flight could push back from the gate at San Francisco. So out came the watercolors.


The watercolor notebook and miniature pan set fit across my lap. I held the drawing tools in my left hand, but I kept dropping them. The lady behind me was nice and handed me the stuff I dropped.


This was the view out my window to the adjacent aircraft. Most of the fuselage was in shadow. Since it was a white color with high specularity it picked up a lot of reflected light: warm from below, and cool from above in almost equal brightness.

I used a dark blue colored pencil for the accents, staying well above black. I used gouache only for the highlight flares and the tops of the orange rubber posts. The whole painting took a half hour.


As everyone was getting off the plane, I showed the painting to the flight crew. Captain Mike Lawson invited me into the cockpit of the Airbus A320. Thanks, Mike!

Media: Rublev watercolor set, Caran D'Ache watercolor pencilsMoleskine Watercolor Notebook, and various sizes of flat watercolor brushes.

14 comments:

Greg Newbold said...

Amazing what you can do with a spare half hour!

Steve said...

Amazing indeed what you accomplish in a half hour, and very cool you got to meet the captain and see the cockpit. I particularly like the shadow on the runway. I was guessing you might be on a Virgin flight after seeing Richard Branson's name on the edge of the TSA guy post a while back. By coincidence, I read this post while taking a break from my first painting done with Rublev watercolors (introductory palette).

James Gurney said...

Greg, thanks!

Steve, how cool that you're using a Rublev set, too. I bought a set at the conference, and I'm just beginning to test drive it. For those who don't know, this paint maker reconstructs historic pigments. I'll do a future post about the company after I experiment a bit more.

And yes, we were on Virgin airlines. Virgin just got started in Newark, NJ, and Richard B was there the day we departed last week, and we almost met him.

PatternGhost said...

James,

Fantastic sketch and an amazing use of time!

I noticed that you have some larger pans in the watercolor palette. Are those the same colors you used in your gouache Baltimore Statute painting on youtube? If you don't mind my asking, what pigments do those represent?

James Gurney said...

PG: Good observation. I'm really excited about this is a whole new cutom set that I put together from Rublev. Check out the link at the end of the post and you can see their historic Girtin and Cotman palettes. They hand-make paints to simulate the pigments used before modern chemical mass manufacturers. I will definitely explain the individual pigments in a future post after I experiment a bit more.

PatternGhost said...

Thanks! I look forward to those future posts. Good luck with the pigments.

As an aside, you will be guaranteed my money in the event you produce dvds or books describing your watercolor and/or gouache sketching approach.

Rich said...

The Captain must have been delighted:-D

Matthew McNeil said...

Awesome, But I'm more amazed at how you were able to do it. I have yet to Sit in a Plane that was big enough to Sit comfortably let alone paint. Looking forward to more.

Sherry Schmidt said...

What a wonderful piece and story!

vlad74 said...

Wonderful lighting James.

Móĥặmeḓ Bưffón said...

thank you for this post

الموسوعة الشاملة |  ازياء |  برامج مجانية |  صور |  تحميل البرامج

Simone said...

Nice sketch, James. You really have to have some drawing chops to pull that together quickly. Not much time to struggle with shapes. Reminds me of the numerous times at paint outs when I have sat out rainstorms painting 5x7's in the cab of my pick up!

Tom Hart said...

Oh great. Just what I need: more paints to lust after! :^)

Seriously, I'm looking forward to reading more about the Rublev line - and someday perhaps buying some. Having not researched them much yet, I wonder if you know how they're dealing with the historic pigments that, with time, became infamous for their fugitive nature (the lakes, for example).

James Gurney said...

Tom, they do have lakes and other semi-fugitive pigments, and I got the madder lake, but just to use in my sketchbook. Each of their pigments has the official ratings. I plan to do lightfastness tests on the palette of watercolors I got.

Simone, yes, I've done my share of in-car rainout paintings, too.

Thanks, everyone.