Painting Planes Mindfullness & The Aerotographer

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 59% of adults in Britain say they are more stressed today than they were five years ago. It’s no wonder we’re looking for a way to feel calm.

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment. Colouring is a great way to introduce yourself to the concept of mindfulness. It's an extraordinary activity just watch children playing with crayons and you can see just how absorbing it is.

This is is how I have used Adobe Lightroom & Fix to colour in my favourite images. Combining my loves of aeroplanes & photography : Aerotography with the relaxation of colouring in.

Painted Duxford Spitfire MkII

This is how it's done: you need a black & White image an iPad, Adobe Fix and your finger. If like me you have big fingers don't worry Adobe Fix allows to refine the pen size down to just a few pixels wide.

Using Adobe Fix on an iPad to paint colour or desaturation to an image

With a black and white image you can choose the colour, colour density and the size of brush and erase back to the base image.

It can quickly become very absorbing as you choose and paint different colours and you can tidy up mistakes as you go along.

I tend to fill large areas of colour first with a broad brush the use the eraser function to remove paint back to an edge in the image.

Painted Hellcat Aviator

I found the research needed to accurately render the right colours really self absorbing which is what takes you away from the worries of the day.

Painted Pink Lady B17

The painted Pink Lady took several hours. It's not just about painting the obvious colours it's about the interior colours ( look at inside of the nose transparency).

Painted Contra Prop Spitfire

There are only four colours on the Painted ContraProp Spitfire the blue, yellow and the colours of the two holdalls

A Painted YAk 3

Many of the images are based on infrared images giving pale grass and contrasty Skys but conventional black & White images work just as well.

Frecce Tricalori a coloured focus to a bigger picture this is based on a black & white image

The ability to zoom in and paint the finest of details with just your finger meant the colours of the Italian flag and even the aircraft number are captured.

Image contrast range can affect colour rendition. The uniforms look to,pale and the hurricane colours are too rich.

Painted Lightning & Mustang

Less is more on a black & white image even the smallest amount of colour stands out. The ink flow on the blue nose of the Mustang was turned right down as was the saturation. Yet it still stands out strongly as do the slime lights( the term used for the low voltage formation stip lights ) which were the palest lime yellow on the F35

Many aircraft like this F16 can be mainly shades of grey there are opportunities to to paint in the many markings and warning stencils that may be the only colour visible

Painted Dessert Mitchell
Painted Mitchell's

How many Mitchell's do you see, two? Try counting the nose wheels, yes it's three!

Painted Butcher Bird

There is literally no end to the debate about Luftwaffe colour schemes the braunviolet seen here is just my interpretation on this purposefull FW190 at Duxford.

Painting a Sense of Time RAF 1937

Gladiator & Tigremoth on grass aerodrome could be 1937. Tinting black & white images has always been popular be it with coloured dyes or photoshop.

Painting Germany 1937

A Bf108 and Ju52 and you are in Germany 1937. Painting the sky was challenging varying blues and intensities took ages to do. Lufthansa colours at the time were silver & black limiting the colour pallet..

Plenty of Colour Here in this painted Beech Staggerwing
Painted Hurricane IIc Intruder

Everything is coming together just green red and yellow and the smallest bit of blue bring this Hurricane to life the grey of the camouflage was just the base black & white image.

Painted Yak 3

On a green / brown camouflage you are committed to painting the entire aircraft.

Painted Frankie

Getting the hang of doing the sky now pulling the picture together, all the time drawing the attention to just the important parts of the images.

Painted Typhhoon

This is my favourite and my computer wallpaper, sky, markings, radome and even the HUD are all picked out it capturing the grace and lines of what after all is a very unconventional aircraft

I hope you enjoyed relearning the joys of colouring in and find it a great way for grown ups to recapture some of that innocent fun of youth and taking yourself out of the stressesc of your life to find a space and time to take a breath and experience some simple enjoyment.

Created By
Stephen Meadows


All pictures and text by Stephen Meadows The phrase "Aerotography" created and defined by Stephen Meadows 2012 All pictures copyright 2017 Stephen Meadows

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