# Any fellow aviation artists out there?

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After MUCH prodding, I'm actually going to go ahead and finish my manual on "Perspective Projection by Descriptive Geometry: A Manual for the Artist" (working title).

I have studied, and applied, this method of obtaining aircraft *and* landscape details (runways/buildings, etc) in proper perspective "views" for a long time now (See my site link below for many examples). Proper knowledge of and *application* of "DG" results in correct perspective and size context for each object as it relates to the canvas dimensions and to other objects in the scene as the work is seen from a preferred viewer's distance - much the same as if the canvas were simply a clear piece of glass, and one were 'seeing' real objects through the glass . . . in other words, if the typical viewer of your painting is standing "here" (the *preferred* distance), and the object depicted is "this big" in relation to the "canvas/pane of glass", then the object, by definition, is "that far" away. Using this information, one can "project", from accurate 3-views of the object, the object in its correct perspective view for that distance.

A perfect and well-known example of this method in action is Keith Ferris' "Fortresses Under Fire", his 25' x 75' mural in the World War II gallery in the NASM. Standing at the preferred viewer's distance (determined by the confines of the WWII gallery) of 60' from the wall/canvas/clear window, you see a B-17G at the exact perspective and size as if it were an actual 1:1 scale B-17 about to crash through the wall/canvas/pane of glass - with it's nose perspex just touching the wall/canvas.

Now, 1:1 scale paintings such as this can only be done with canvases

*that* big, but I will outline how you can create, in effect, 1/12th scale "murals", where all elements relate to each other properly, perspective-wise, at 1/12th scale. As an example of the latter, Ferris first laid out a 25" x 75" working model of his mural - an exact 1/12th scale replica of the full-size mural as sort of a "proof of concept". Using the same principles, I will show that it is entirely possible for every artist to do the same thing. By the way, yes, Ferris' 1/12th scale model has a preferred viewer's distance of 60"! We cannot predict exactly where our viewers will stand when observing our work, but we can work everything out so that it looks correct from a comfortable, average and typical art gallery (or any other perdetermined/preferred) viewing distance.

There, I'm already boring you with details. I'm posting this in case any of you have struggled with the DG system, or would like to know more about it. I know from my emails that quite a few have - and more folks than I would have imagined are also painters like me. In the end, I'm actually saving time by writing the manual rather than spend all that time explaining WHY I (or somebody else?) haven't yet completed it!

I will try to make the manual //extremely// concise and to the point, with numerous examples illustrated with simple stick figure airplanes and ground elements used to get the main points across. I will assume that the reader has a good working knowledge of 2 and 3-point perspective already, and, hopefully, has pulled out a few hairs actually struggling with the DG system. To keep costs down, I'll run off copies at the local copy center and put the pages into a thin

3-ring binder so that you can take out each page and arrange them on your drafting table as necessary.

I have no idea how the final format will look, as so far the manual only exists as random ideas in my head, and in a folder full of notes I've made over the years. So, no "pre-orders" for this one.

If you may be interested in a copy of this manual when it's finished, email me and I'll let you know when it's available.

By the way, you can get college texts on DG - it's actually an old system for drafing, but be prepared - most I've seen are over 400 pages, and intended for the college classroom, with a seasoned instructor leading you through the muck!

Email: snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com

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After having trouble for years with perspective on both ships and aircraft, I have found a solution, and it even involves scale modeling :-)

I have a digital camera and a good pa>

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WmB

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I posted this message in several of my favorite forums, and some allowed a separate URL - I forgot to repaste it in the above messsage.

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Some would call that cheating, but not me. I was told by a professional illusrator that there's no such thing as cheating when it comes to paying the rent. So I do a similar thing. I take photos, print them out at the right size, flipped X axis, and then transfer the basics of the image using a trace. The way I see it, you use whatever tools necessary to produce the best quality image you can.

Only thing is, perspective often looks better if it's exagerrated, especially in action shots. And remember, when drawing pictures of land features (such as airfields) from high altitude, the curvature of the Earth distorts the perspective.

Si

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in article snipped-for-privacy@usfamily.net, Don Stauffer at snipped-for-privacy@usfamily.net wrote on 12/29/03 9:31 AM:

Ver Meer is said to have used a Camera Obscura to project an image onto a canvas. The image was inverted but very accurate.

Milton

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I guess cheating's all a matter of perspective. :^)

One could argue that a photographer cheats if he didn't build the church/plant the tree in his photo. Extreme example, but it illustrates my point, i.e. that the final product is the artistic work, and that has nothing to do with the techniques employed to create it. I was taught that it's pretty much a cardinal sin to even use a ruler to draw a straight line. Except no one could give me a sensible reason why, so I ignore them all and do whatever gives me the best results.

Si

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I think it's prevelent enough now not to be considered "cheating" - you use all the tools you have and I'd have to consider it just another tool in this case. I've heard of many airbrush artists and technical illustrators working from photos - particularly figure painters/illustrators, where using a photo would be much cheaper than paying an artist's model to sit for an entire session.

I'd agree that the "art" comes in the departures from the photo - as mentioned below.

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That's basically what I do. I haven't as yet done any aviation painting, but my company keeps on about getting me to do some promotional stuff for them of ASW scenes. Technical illustration doesn't work well from live study compared to impressionist freeform, too much time and precision involved in planning and laying out an illustration.

My last piece was a character study from the movie The Last of the Mohicans for my neighbours as a gift. I worked from printed screenshots from the DVD. Painted with transparent inks with a Paasche AB Turbo airbrush. (If anyone's interested, send me an email and I'll reply with a digital photo of it.) Not much creative input since it was a recreation of a screenshot, it was more an exercise in airbrush technique for me.

Si

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I recall that when I was sculpting artisticly, I preferred not to look at a model just for that reason - I didn't want to make a "copy" from life...I just wanted it to come out of my head. One of my cousins whom was a professional artist once remarked that my figures, while not 100% anatomically correct, had a great deal of "freedom and movement" in them

- I like to think not using a model was part of the reason.

I think if I were sculpting the human form these days I'd pay more attention to anatomy and at least use a pose book, though. I've thought of trying to pick up the craft again.

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