Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×




Details

Submitted on
September 28, 2006
Image Size
250 KB
Resolution
484×730
Thumb

Stats

Views
1,865
Favourites
29 (who?)
Comments
71
Downloads
63
×
In Balance with This Life - by DarthFar In Balance with This Life - by DarthFar
- This Death.

100 Picture Challenge #43: Dying.

I know. You're saying, WTF? I don't see anyone dying. Just hear me out on this one, huh? ;)

First of all, I'm going to confess something: I was crazy about World War II as a kid, especially about the air battle bits. ESPECIALLY B-17 Flying Fortresses. Much of that time was spent writing WWII air force stories, playing flight sims and building model aircraft; the remaining time was spent entertaining fantasies about being the pilot of a Flying Fortress.

The other confession is that I dig war poetry and squaddie songs (ie. those war-themed songs sung by soldiers and airmen). At the top of this list is William Butler Yeats' An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, which of course provided the inspiration for this artwork. (And probably my hero-worshipping of Bob Morgan...). (The title comes from the Yeats poem, btw. ;)).

Anyway I wanted to do something in the style of those old WWII propaganda posters (complete with yellowed paper), but one with a certain irony to it. Yeah sure, there were all those posters telling you about how great it was to be in the army, to be serving your country, and ENLIST NOW! but behind the prettified, glamourous image of army life lurked the less-than-palatable fact that casualty rates were terrible. [In this context, about half the B-17s were lost in battle; the casualty rate for said crews was something like 25% (but, in some groups, could go as high as 87%).] So yes, you're going out to serve your nation... but there's also a fat chance you won't be coming home afterward.

(Of course, as I realised belatedly, my plans to paint it a la propaganda posters failed somewhat. This was because (1) I can't paint in anybody else's style but my own, and (2) I went detail-crazy. Seriously detail-crazy. A fat lot of good it did me after I rescaled the picture!).

Many, many thanks to Tycho for beta-ing, and for coming up with the words to accompany the picture. Oh, and in case anybody's wondering, the name of this particular B-17 is Dakota Harlot (name obscured by the guy's head). [chuckle] (It was the name of one of the minor planes in my old fics).

Submitted to :iconunseenartists:: [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconk-h116:
k-h116 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Student General Artist
amazing job
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012
Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconminicoopermaverick:
minicoopermaverick Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Beautiful. I always love the -51
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010
Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconminicoopermaverick:
minicoopermaverick Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Welcome
Reply
:iconsniperfrans:
SniperFrans Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2009
"...In balance with this life... this death..."

thats part of the poem by W.B. Yates. The B-17, and that poem was featured in the 1990 fil "Memphis Belle" great picture
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2009
Yup, you got the poem! :D And Memphis Belle was among my favourite films (and books) when I was growing up. You should try reading the autobiography of Robert Morgan, the real captain of the Belle if you get the chance.
Reply
:iconsniperfrans:
SniperFrans Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2009
It sounds like a good read. Whats the name of the book?

That movie was the first war movie i remember watching when i was REALLY young... before i was even able to understand any of it i was watching it constantly. It has to have the prettiest soundtrack ever given to a movie
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2009
The Man Who Flew the Memphis Belle: Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot by Robert Morgan (not Dennis Dearborn! ;)) and Ron Powers.

That was about my first war movie too, and the one that convinced me for many years that I wanted to become a bomber pilot. LOL. And I agree: George Fenton did a really good job with the soundtrack!
Reply
:iconsterne:
Sterne Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2007
GREAT WORK, HERE.I like B-17 Flying Fortress, too.
And B-29 Superfortress. I dont forget all people who
figth on board this planes, for things they loves,
and for freedom. Ah, so delicate, so powerfull, the liberty.
(I apologise for my bad English)
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2007
Thank you very much. :D I like all the great bombers (although, apparently, the B-17 pilots hated B-29s...). And no worries; your English is fine!
Reply
:icondina-n1:
Dina-n1 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
woow great work in here :clap::clap:

:wave:
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2006
Thank you very much! :D
Reply
:icondina-n1:
Dina-n1 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
u're welcome dear :hug:

:wave:
Reply
:iconsir-catherine:
Sir-Catherine Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
"Anyway I wanted to do something in the style of those old WWII propaganda posters "


You well accomplished this. Don't worry about the differences that you see when you hold your work up to the real thing; the important part is that many of us, myself included, see this work and immediatly think of the WWII era propaganda posters. That means you've suceeded.

Great to see another person who worships history, in any aspect. :)
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2006
Thank you very much, for your words of support, and the fave. :D
Reply
:icontemporaldormancy:
temporalDormancy Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful, man.
The drawing, the colors, the message, EVERYTHING -- just beautiful.
:+fav:
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2006
Thank you very much! :D
Reply
:iconwire-master:
Wire-Master Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2006
This is excellent!
I think you captured the 'feel' very well. :nod:
I'm a bit of a WWII nut, myself.
:+fav:
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2006
Thanks very much, and I'm very pleased to meet a fellow WWII enthusiast! :D
Reply
:iconwire-master:
Wire-Master Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2006
You are most welcome! :nod:
Reply
:iconstudio-noir:
studio-noir Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2006
Excellent, gotta fav it.

Does remind me of the time i "broke" my arm by falling down the stairs, "Memphis Belle" was on TV (or at least I think thats what its called).

:+fav:
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2006
Thank you very much. :D

And Memphis Belle was one of my favourite WWII movies while I was growing up (even though it deviated from the true story by a long shot).
Reply
Flagged as Spam
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2006
Thank you very much. :D
Reply
:iconocelott:
ocelott Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2006
This is truly beautiful, Far. It has an air of strength and tragedy to it. And it's far better than the saccharine propaganda posters, delving into what seems to be the real life of a real man within the war.
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2006
Thank you very much, Ocelott. :) Propaganda and indoctrination are all about not letting you see things from the other person's point of view; I'm glad I (seem to have) succeeded in injecting some element of reality into this picture.
Reply
:iconcyanida:
Cyanida Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
Love the fortress! *snuggles WWII aircrafts in general* My fav was the Messerschmitt 109 though *sigh* or the ME-262 *bats lashes*. Now you made me want to start drawing old aircrafts! LOL Love the pic, wonderful mood, great colouring. Keep it up! *steals Flying fortress*
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
Thank you very much. :D You're a WWII plane enthusiast! My interest was mainly in bombers (the B-17 and B-29 in particular, although the former outperformed the latter by a long shot), but I did like those little P-47 Thunderbolts.

It would be nice to see you draw old aircraft. ;) Heck, if I'd known you drew planes, I'd have asked for that!
Reply
:iconcyanida:
Cyanida Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
LOL Well, you can always change your mind, I'd be happy to draw an aircraft for you (as long as it isn't too modern LOL). The most modern planes I drew was the Swedish ones, J-37 Draken, then it was all old WWII planes. =) But it was long, VERY long ago LOL. Still have them somewhere around here, but I don't have a scanner anymore so... :/

Just tell me if you've changed your mind about the tourist guide, I have some ideas, but haven't gotten started since my right arm isn't cooperating atm :(
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2006
Nah, I'll stick to my request. ;) Much as I would like to see you draw airplanes, I would rather see you exercise your evil imagination with that travel brochure/guide thing.

Ouch. I hope your hand gets better soon. :( You've probably heard this from loads of people, but - don't strain it, and take care of yourself.
Reply
:iconcyanida:
Cyanida Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2006
Ty for your concern =). It comes and goes in periods, long story lol. Unfortunately it's something I'll have to live with, annoying with these non-drawing periods though :/
Reply
:iconutarefson670:
utarefson670 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
You know I hate that too, when you put so much detail and work into something and then you scale it down and it's nothing but a line on a brow or stich in his harness.
Recently I've been questioning how I paint, sometimes I see some amazing art on this site and upon close inspection you can see the strokes, it's messy and blurry and the edges aren't smooth and if your'e up real close it's a mess. ....But they absolutely works of art.
It's got me thinking,does anyone appreciate the amount of time I take sometimes on an eye for example....? (sorry mini-rant.lol) But then I see things like Kong and I think I prefer that route. :D

It does however work out in the end. All the fine detail you've put into this pays off in the end and I believe people do notice things like the little plane shadows. ;)

It's great work from you. I like the faded/sepia look and it's very suitable of course. I like the detail on the harness and the clothes and his zipper looks great. As I said it all comes together to form a excellent piece of art. ;)
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
Well, I sure as hell appreciate the effort you put into your art - especially the hair and fur bits! I guess it all boils down to this: I think the extra time you spend is worth it, even if you won't be using it commercially (and so scale it down to a reasonable size), because, even though you can't actually see each strand/stitch/scrape in the final version, you can *feel* it there. Does that make sense? It's kinda like the airman's parachute harness - at this size I can't see all the tiny details and brushstrokes, but it still feels like canvas (or whatever cloth they make it from) instead of, I dunno, strips of plastic. I think that's what the little, unseen details do - they contribute to the general shape and texture of the art without being obtrusively there. So yeah, I think you should keep at your details. :D (And the hell with CTS!).

(And ayup, I've seen the works of art you mentioned. It's very slightly disappointing, really: they look so good zoomed out - especially in big thumbnails -, but when you scrutinise them, they start to come apart a little at the seams).

And thank you very much for your comments. :) I did have fun doing the clothes and harness.
Reply
:iconutarefson670:
utarefson670 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
:D Thanks! Yes you are right. I'm far too obsessed with smooth lines to ever become a messy painter.

Excuse my ignorance but what is CTS? Acronyms are not my strong point. lol :slow:
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
Heh, yeah, neatness. I'm obsessive about my colours staying inside lines - at least half of my painting time is actually catching stray pixels and taking them out/filling them in. (Of course, I also have a 'buffer' layer under everything to catch what pixels I don't spot...).

CTS - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In a nutshell, the pinched nerve condition. You've felt your fingers tingling after spending too much time typing/drawing, yes?
Reply
:iconutarefson670:
utarefson670 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
:yum: If you said Carpal Tunnel Syndrome I would have known straight away.lol
Yes Iv'e felt it's effects sadly.

Once again our similarities are somewhat spooky.... how does this buffer layer work? Do you mean a layer that makes it easier to spot stray pixels? I use 3! lol. A white one, black one and either a red or blue one depending on the colours I use. :crazy:
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
:rofl: Indeed!

What I do is I have a buffer layer which i fill with an easy-to spot colour. By blinking it on and off at different levels of zoom, I catch whatever pixels I've missed. Of course, because I use a pencil to sketch, it's sometimes hard to fill in a shape perfectly (you've never seen what a pencil sketch line looks like at high res, have you? ;)), so I have an additional layer that I use to colour underneath the problem layers, to plug in the holes.

I used to get CTS from playing the piano for six-hour intervals. :O_o: It was insane.
Reply
:iconutarefson670:
utarefson670 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
6 Hours?! :faint: Were/are you a professional musician? I used to play trumpet when I was much younger so I know a bit about musical sacrifice. My lips had a different shape back then, but I quit after 3 years.

Well my process is similar, perhaps not as meticulous as yours. ;) I keep zooming out to the size I will be displaying it at, and if it looks fine to me then I'll leave it. I try to change styles often as you'll probably have noticed....and have on certain occasions been "messy" but my brain is screaming all the time when I do it. lol ;) Nooooooooo!
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
Well, at one point I wanted to be. :rofl: But no, that was for my Associate Diploma. I slaved over that. Nowadays I play the trombone. Not for six-hour stretches, though! [chuckle]

And yeah, I know what it's like to 'go against the grain'. ;) You've seen my experiments, yes? I've tried ignoring the pixels and stray lines... but it doesn't work.

I think we both have a touch of OCD. :laughing:
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconfrandarts:
Frandarts Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2006
Ah! WWII, we learnt about that loads in Primary and then a little at Highschool. I always though the Battle of Britain was the most interesting part, but they just made us learn about the evacuees. Bah.

I like the poster style, very cool. And the way he's looking up, all noble like.

I'm more of a WWI geek myself. Trenches, that's what I'm all about.
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2006
Thanks! and thanks for the :+fav:.

Battle of Britain. :D

One whole section of our senior-year history book was dedicated to WWII and the events leading up to it. A great deal of it was about the Asian front and the rise of Japan, though; they didn't even cover Normandy, if you can believe it.

My favourite WWII story is the one about Operation Mincemeat, one of the greatest military operations of all time. :D You can read about it here:

[link]
Reply
:iconfrandarts:
Frandarts Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2006
Wow! That was really interesting... and bizarre.

The name is hilarious, Operation Mincemeat... =P They did a really thorough job of building a personality for Major Martin, didn't they?

It was a really well written article too, very engrossing.
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2006
Thank you very much. :D You can see how the operation name appealed to my peculiar sense of humour.
Reply
:iconfrandarts:
Frandarts Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
Yes, I can definately see.

Wow, wars are such interesting subjects, which is sad considering how unnecessary they are... especially WWI... boy was that a mess.
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2006
WWI was viciously bloody, yeah... But there's also that touching story about the Christmas truce on the war front that shows peace (however fleeting) can be found in the strangest of places:

[link]
[link]
Reply
:iconsir-catherine:
Sir-Catherine Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
I first head of this from Garth Brooks' song 'Belleau Wood'.
Reply
:iconfrandarts:
Frandarts Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2006
I always thought that the sad part of that story is that after the truce they just went back to being enemies.

And the footbal matche with the Befordshire Regiment and the Germans... I've always wondered who was winning, or if it was a draw. The articles didn't say *pouts* they never say.
Reply
:iconasukakanzaki:
asukakanzaki Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2006
Far... I know... he's gonna DIE right!?? :cries:

Nice mood on the art, Far. :) Gives me a solemn kinda feeling. And yeah, the guy looks like he's really deep in thought. I like how you drew the clothes and the equipment, they somehow look like they've got textures on them. :D Me likes!! Gonna :+fav:!! :D
Reply
Add a Comment: