Saturday, 18 July 2015

WW2 German Camouflage examples and US Marines.

As they say......'a picture is worth a 1000 words'.

Some examples of WW2 German camouflage (reproduction uniforms). Photo's taken at a local military history weekend.

Managed to get a lot of very useful reference photos. The event even had a group representing WW2 US Marines, but I forgot to ask them if they had any 'Duck Hunter' camo overalls or uniforms. They were wearing duck hunter helmet covers.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Military badge/patch and military Illustration combination

I've been working on more badge/patch/illustration combinations, and so far have completed 4.

They are:
WW2 US 101st Airborne Division
WW2 US 82nd Airborne Division
WW2 US 3rd Armoured Division
WW2 US 3rd Army

So far, I have used replica patches, and the illustrations of been prints based on previous illustrations that I have completed.

My next steps to do this with some metal cap badges that I have. The cap badges are real, therefore the intention is to combine them with an original painting. This will then make the badge/image combination much more unique.

The painting will be quite small, soI need to decide if I want to do them in acrylic paints, or use ink and water colour. Will need to experiment to see which gives the better results.

Below are the completed combinations. The frames are 24x24 cm deep box picture frames, which are ideal for this project.

If you are interested in buying one of these combinations, or would like to commission me to create you one, these are ideal if you have a family member in the armed forces. Please contact me at

Monday, 15 June 2015

US WW2 101st Airborne replica badge and illustration

Scanned the pencil drawing from the previous blog post, and then coloured it digitally. Some people do ink and water colour, I do pencil and digital colour.

Purchased a replica US WW2 101st Airborne badge, and set it in an 8x8 inch deep box picture frame (removed glass to take the photo!).

Been keeping a look out for cap badges and patches at car boot sales, antique markets etc. Picked up a few, so planning on doing the same with one of them.

Bit of a story with one of them. Thought I was smug at picking up a pre 1952 Para cap badge for a £5. After doing a bit of googling, I now know the difference between a genuine WW2 para cap badge, and a replica one. But even at £5, a good buy.

As per last patch/illustration combo, the patch is attached to the card via velcro. Velcro is seen to the patch.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Drawing exercise that went quite well!

It is based on a photo I took of a member of a local Living History Group. I changed his face, mostly his nose and mouth, as I didn't want an exact portrait.What I liked about the original image, was the contrast between the light and dark areas.
I also used a paper much rougher in texture than I normally do. However, this worked in my favour, as it helped to add texture to his skin, and more importantly his uniform.
He represents a trooper of the US 101st Airborne Division 1944.
Actaully quite happy with the result, as it was only supposed to be a quick drawing.
Will use the scan of the graphite drawing, as a base to colour it digitally.
Pencil is such a great medium for creating art work and illustrations.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

RAF and RAuxAF Badges

As a military illustrator and someone who is interested in military history, it is only natural that I would have one or 2 military items.

One of the easiest military things to collect is military badge and military patches.

I'll be showing you my small collection over the next few weeks, and as the collection expands, new items will also be introduced.

In time, I would like to display each badge/patch with a suitable illustration (as I did with the previous post ).

But to get things started, I would like to show a patch, some rank epaulets and a name badge.

The patch belonged to my dad, who was in the Royal Air Force for 26 years! This patch is from when he was stationed at RAF Br├╝ggen in Germany between 1972 and 1974. He was a driver and operated with 431  Maintenance Unit Motor Transport (431 MU).

The rank epaulets and name are from my time as a member of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, based at RAF Lyneham. Our role was ground defence of the base, and my role was as an NBC Specialist (ok, the mug that goes outside after an air raid to see what chemical weapons had been dropped, a nuclear weapon would have been a bit obvious!). As you can see, I got to the rank of Senior Aircraft Man (SAC).  Lots of time spend in an NBC suit during station exercises, ok when cold, but very hot in the summer.

Due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and then the IRA moving away from violence, the unit was disbanded.

These items have a great sentimental value, so would not be up for sale or trade.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Military 'things' painted on canvas bags

This idea comes from my school days, many years ago. We all used v=canvas haversacks as our school bag, and some of the more artistic pupils painted copies of album covers on the flaps of their bags.

So now that small canvas messenger bags seem to be quite popular now, I thought I'd have a go at painting some with some interesting designed, based on military 'things'.

As the canvas of the bags is actually very course, and I don't want to make the paint on the flap too think (it would probably crack after a time), I decided to keep the images quite simple and flat.

My first example is the 3 US Airborne Divisions that saw action in Europe during WW2. The 17th, 82nd and 101st.

The flap is first painted with white gesso, then acrylic paints are used to create the image, in this case the Division badges. Once I'm happy with the painted images, the flap is then given a couple of coats of satin varnish.

Already working on 2 more bags, one of which is a commission for a client, the 2nd is another example of what can be done.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Maybe this should be 'Military Uniforms'

Thinking maybe the BLOG should expand in to all aspects of military uniforms?

Been thinking long and hard how to sell my art/illustrations, and I've been coming up with a few ideas.

This is one of them. Incorporating an illustration with an item of military. In this case and illustration of a WW2 US Tank crew, with a replica US 3rd Armoured Division patch.

The patch has velcro lightly sewn on the back, and then this is attached to velcro glued to the mount card. This enables the patch to be removed without causing any damage to it.

I'm happy to provide something similar to this. If you are interested in this item (UK only), then the price is £24 excluding P&P. The illustration is printed on archival paper using archival inks. Frame size is approx 9.5 x 9.5 inches (its a deep box frame so badge is willowy from the glass). Please note that the badge is a replica