Sunday, February 22, 2009

Coast Guard Project

I'm a member of the Coast Guard Art Program ,COGAP, and each year submit work for consideration for the Coast Guard art collection. Jurying is done in New York at the Salmgundi Art Club. Last year I had a pen & ink drawing juried into the collection and 2 weeks ago I was notified that my painting, "Vertical Insertion", was juried into this years collection. The painting is off a Coast Guard team being pulled back into a helicopter during traning exercises in Texas.
The painting was done from a reference photo taken by a Coast Guard member. I liked the photo because of the gorgeous background sky and clouds. The main subject, the helicopter and men hanging on the cable were something I had never done in a painting so I figured it was time to give something like that a try.

I started with a good sketch of the scene I had cropped out of the photo since the entire picture taken by the Coast Guard member wasn't needed.

After I was happy with the sketch I then blocked in my colors for the sky and clouds and then began to blend all of that with a fan brush until it looked the way I wanted. I painted around the helcopter and men on the line below. Sorry for the glare on these early photos...too busy painting to worry about lighting.I then began to paint in my darks and the grey areas of the helicopter. My oranges would be blended into these colors in areas.

After that I began to paint in the rest of the helicopter paying attention to my edges. The Coast Guard wants work the resembles their equipment accurately but there is room to not have hard edges and I could have gone softer there if I chose. The back wheels looked a little low so I will paint over them and move them higher later.
Here you can see those wheels painted out and waiting for the new wheels to be painted in. You can see the area left unpainted for the men on the cable...I left them last so I could adjust their position with where they should be under the winch since most of my outlined drawing of them was painted over by the sky blending. After the helicopter was done they were added last and this is the finished result.....

The blurred motion look to the blades was created by painting in some of my dark mix and waiting for that paint to set up to a tacky state. Then I used a dry brush to feather the paint into what you see here. This scene was in late afteroon light...almost twilight which gave that sky such wonderful colors.

Once notified by the Coast Guard of the painting being accepted into the collection I then varnished the painting and when dry sent it off to Virginia. It will be framed by them and displayed at the Collection Reception at the Salmagundi Art Club later this year...June I think. I'm welcome to fly to New York for the Reception but I still can't afford to do that. They will present those of us who had work juried into the collection with a really cool looking certificate and photo of the painting in this huge book-type binder along with a letter of thanks. It's really an honor to be included into the collection. The work is donated to the Coast Guard and will be available for display at various Coast Guard installations or other government locations. It's all pretty cool!


Alexandre Jay said...

Superb work and a subject I've personally not seen you tackle before :)

Ron Guthrie said...

Thanks Alexandre...I actually do like to draw things such as planes and helicopters but just have never painted one....was pretty fun to do.