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"Clear Prop..."

Whilst catching-up with my friends from the Somerset Aeroplane Company, aero engineer Paul Childs showed me a video from back in 2007 when he successfully started the engine of their Percival P.56 Piston Provost T1 G-BZRF after it had been stood for over 30 years.

The aircraft is now very close to being returned to flight and looks absolutely stunning, but to me the rough-and-ready aircraft depicted in the video had a lot of charm and I can only imagine what a moment it must have been for the chaps having brought this old aircraft back to life.

I had finished painting a commission just days earlier and was awaiting some specs and photo references to arrive for my next commission. So having a few spare evenings, I thought it might be fun to splash a little watercolour paint onto some paper and capture this engine start-up scene and present to Paul Childs as a momento.



Now my acrylic paintings are highly detailed and I sometimes agonise for weeks on them, but here I wanted to discipline myself to keep the painting style fresh and loose, hoping too to capture a little of the energy in the engine start. Watercolour painting certainly lends itself to these qualities - the translucent paint and bleed can be quite unforgiving of detail, but its a very enjoyable and immediate style of painting which I really must dedicate more time to.




After a short time I had rendered a passable depiction of the scene and was able to present to Paul at our next meeting in the fantastic WW2 Nissan Hut at Middlezoy Aerodrome.



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