Enter the Stanley knife blade

Article text
Previous figures removed - new crew men in place
As I suspected, the figures don't link well with the aircraft and spoil the flow of action. So I reach for the oil painters correction tool - the Stanley knife blade! When painting in Acrylics correction is an easy matter, simply paint over the error with white paint. Once dry one can redraw or paint over the area without fear of the original image bleeding through over time. With Oils I always scrape down to the underpainting when major changes are necessary, as in this case. I sketch in the new figures roughly to see if they fit more comfortably. I still need a figure beyond them to act as a stop point for the eye. Likewise the two figures behind the Gannet and the Flight Deck Officer. They all serve to mark the boundaries of the action.
What I do
I created this area to describe the work I enjoy and how I go about it. My first shot at this was trying to illustrate the process of making an aviation painting destined to be submitted to the Guild of Aviation Artists Summer 2012 exhibition. I now include a similar "day by day" account of the creation of a wildlife painting. So instead of propellers and people the problem now is fur and rocks!

I've had a couple of cracks at wildlife before as you have seen on this site and at www.painters-online.co.uk where I have posted similar images. This time I was inspired to try the Leopard after attending a workshop given by Chris Jones at the Nature in Art Museum in Gloucester. Chris is an internationally known artist and a very good teacher. Although the course was "Painting fur and feathers in acrylics", I've taken some of his advice and used it to provide a framework for this oil painting.