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Friday, March 11, 2011

Sketches from Van Nuys Collection #4..."The Piper Cub"

Yellow. Is there ever any other color for this plane besides the military olive drab. I believe Elenore Roosevelt flew in a yellow L3 to prove that black men were capable of successfully learning how to fly. It was William Piper's dream to make the airplane as much a part of America as the Model T. The "Cub" was lightweight, easy to maintain and affordable with what looked like a large lawn mower engine in the metal cowling. It became a favorite of those who learned to fly it in the military and, after the war, purchased it as a recreational aircraft. It also was a flying icon for many years as CAP's premiere search and rescue aircraft. 
I remember trying to draw the plane on location using just line and never picking up the pen from the paper. That attempt failed horribly. Then I tried to draw the plane just using line... with no tone or cross hatching. So, I tried again and succeeded in my third try by covering my mistakes with cross hatching. 

I am pretty good at drawing a straight line without a ruler and it is around this time that I decided once I started a line I'd continue it even if it didn't always render the shape correctly. If you look closely, you can see mistakes that I just left alone or cross-hatched over. Unlike pencil, once you commit to a line in water based or alcohol based permanent marker, it is hard as hell to erase it without damaging the paper. There are ways, but that's a Ben Bensen secret, ha!