Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Those Magnificent Men

I joined our sketching group on our second trip to the Museum of Military History on Saturday - our first being four years ago, amazing we've been meeting that long, with two original members and a few newer ones along the way.

I wanted to sketch the Spitfire that last time was in the middle of the display area, my Dad  having been a Spitfire pilot in WWII. I couldn't find it and presumed it had been taken somewhere for an exhibition or for maintenance, so started sketching this plane from the 1st World War, a Scout Experimental 5a (SE5a) of the Royal Flying Corps. Sitting there squinting at its details in the dimly lit hall, you can't help but feel the ghosts of the young men that were brave enough to go up in these then revolutionary and flimsy looking flying machines. The straps that held them in, the tiny wires they'd adjusted wing angles with - as my focus moved to the background and I added the propeller of the plane behind it, it dawned on me that that was the Spitfire huddled in the corner... ah well, I was enjoying the play of light on the ribs and bones of the older plane. I ditched the water(aquash)brush  that I've been using, and its scrubby colour - great to mix up some juicy washes with a real brush. I feel the need to find a way to enjoy sketching again - it's been getting a bit mechanical lately (ironic to try it on machinery!)

I wanted to make a quick second sketch before leaving, so with a loaded brush just put down the main shapes of the BMW 'Afrika Corps' motorbike without getting too bogged down in the detail. These were used by the Germans in North Africa c1942, this one rebuilt from spare parts donated by collectors and from spares shops.

These are some of the other sketches done - you can see them all here on facebook and get a better idea of the whole museum.

It occurs to me that I sometimes pick old songs and movies as titles for my blog posts, that some younger visitors may never have heard of before - this one's from a movie that came out when I was ten, and thought was the funniest thing I'd ever seen.


Pedro said...

Beautiful. A whole universe to draw.

Nathanael Jensen said...

Nice Sketches, and Good story! I am enjoying your blog.

Unknown said...

Beautiful paintings!I like how you've composed the plane.

Cathy Gatland said...

Thank you Pedro, Nathan and Sue!

http://carolking.wordpress.com said...

gorgeous! the plane and motorcycle are spectacular. the tanks, truck and uniforms in your sketchbook are too!

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Carol - I only did these two, the other sketches on facebook were done by Joburg Sketchers John Philip, Leonora Venter and Ann Ludwig!