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Harley Copic - Some Favorite Originals Prints
fuzzy
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November 20, 2011 - 12:01 am
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This is a poster put out by the USAF many years ago. This is one of Harley’s many paintings in the Air Force art collection. I have not seen the original, but based on Harley’s other paintings, I’d say this painting was cropped to highlight the aircraft for the poster.

He’s done a few F-86 paintings. I don’t think any were released as limited edition prints, though.

They are normally not signed. I had mine signed by F-86 Aces Chick Cleveland and Boots Blesse at the 2010 AFAA reunion.

Harley Copic “Glory in the Sun”

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November 23, 2011 - 12:19 am
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Another one of Harley’s Air Force Art Collection images that was put out by the USAF as a poster. Unfortunately, I don’t have a detailed photo of one. Here’s one from the eHangar directory.

Harley Copic “Sabre Dance”

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November 29, 2011 - 6:15 pm
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Another Sabre from Harley. He painted this one long ago. I believe he was contemplating a ???Sabre Aces??? series of open edition prints to go along with his ???Mustang Aces??? & ???Luftwaffe Aces??? series. Sadly, the “Sabre Aces” series never came to pass. A missed opportunity.

This was the original done all those years ago.

Harley rescued this painting from storage a while back. He was not really pleased with the angle of the banking Sabre and its effect on the composition. As an experiment, he photoshopped it out.

He liked that a little better, but thought it still needed something up high. Finally, he added some high contrails, suggesting an encounter that may come. The contrails are a little difficult to see in the photo. They are more prominent in person.

Here is the finished painting, which is currently part of Harley??™s personal collection.

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November 30, 2011 - 2:34 am
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That is a great image of an F-86!

Alex

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December 2, 2011 - 1:40 am
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Moving past the Korean War, here’s an old print of a T-38. I pulled this image off the web.

Harley Copic “T-38”

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December 17, 2011 - 2:06 am
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Another of Harley’s old open edition prints I pulled off the web.

Harley Copic “RF-101 Voodoo”

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December 18, 2011 - 12:48 am
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Another old open edition print pulled off the web.

Harley Copic “F-4 Phantom”

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December 21, 2011 - 1:27 pm
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While we’re on the topic of Vietnam jets, here’s my favorite print of them all. Actually, it’s probably my favorite jet print period.

Harley Copic “Thunder Over The Red River”

These are normally not pilot signed, but over the years I’ve added Chuck Yeager (flew it as a test pilot), Bud Anderson (F-105 wing commander during Vietnam), Leo Thorsness (won the Medal of Honor piloting an F-105 during Vietnam).

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December 26, 2011 - 4:47 pm
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A recent smaller original oil painting:

Harley Copic “F-4D of the 8th TFW”

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February 2, 2012 - 9:26 pm
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A recent original painting of an F-16C from Harley. Harley’s son is a crew chief on this Ohio Air National Guard aircraft.

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February 8, 2012 - 12:00 am
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Another original painting of Ohio Air National Guard F-16’s. These are from Toledo. They are pictured over Iraq.

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February 8, 2012 - 9:48 am
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Great painting! Almost looks like a photo. Thanks for posting it fuzzy.

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February 8, 2012 - 12:20 pm
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Guss,

It could be from a photo. Either a photo or a physical model. Harley’s been in the USAF art program since the 1970’s. He’s had quite a few back seat rides and takes a lot of photos on those flights. He takes a lot of photos on the ground too.

He’s done a number of Iraq based paintings lately. The USAF has brought Harley into theater a couple of times during the conflict to document their operations.

Sometimes, when he gets a photo he’s really happy with, he bases a painting on it. Harley also works frequently with physical models. He doesn’t do any digital modeling.

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February 9, 2012 - 2:18 pm
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Another Iraq F-16 painting – a small one at around 12 X 16:

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February 9, 2012 - 4:58 pm
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Very different, and very nice fuzzy. The more I see of his work, the more I like it. Keep them coming.

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February 9, 2012 - 9:53 pm
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A couple more small, but unusual, paintings:

Butt Can

Two Maters

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February 10, 2012 - 12:33 pm
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One last modern day Iraq painting – a Predator UAV. Pretty cool, you don’t see UAV aviation art:

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February 10, 2012 - 12:34 pm
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Back to the warbirds!

Harley just finished this 12 X 16 oil Jolly Rogers Corsair:

This one has joined an eHangar member’s collection! Unfortunately, it’s not mine. 😥

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February 10, 2012 - 12:58 pm
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Again, wow! Even though it’s clear these are paintings, that “photo sense” is amazing. Looking forward to seeing more fuzzy.

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February 10, 2012 - 2:35 pm
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The Iraq paintings are probably from photos. I know Harley said he used a model for the Corsair painting, so that one was not based on a photo.

Harley’s always packed a lot of realism into his paintings. Go back and take a look at the print “Yeager” or the print “Thunder Over The Red River” and see the detail in them. They still have an overall painterly quality to them, but the razor sharp rendering of national insignia, code letters, kill markings, and stenciling is truly amazing. For example:

And that’s just my poor photo. You should see the print itself. I can only imagine what the original looks like!

Harley is older now, and he freely admits he’s not physically capable of doing that kind of painstaking detailing anymore. So his current paintings have a little bit more of that painterly feel to them. They’ve still got an amazing degree of precision to them, though.

One of the reasons for that impression of looking at “the real thing” is that Harley really sweats the details. He paints a lot of USAAF & USAF aircraft. The USAF Museum in Dayton is about a 2.5 hour drive for him. Harley will make a trip down there with his digital SLR in hand to fully document an aircraft he’s painting.

I once helped Harley with a P-47 project. One example of the level of detail he goes into was the time he spent researching the drop tanks. He had me send him every photo and drawing I could find of the 108 gallon tanks, the mechanisms, the plumbing of the fuel lines, that little spring loaded device that lays flush against the pylon when not in use, and extends backward to keep the rear end of the tank stable when it’s on… I didn’t even know half that stuff was down there, but Harley did! I’m sure he was down at the USAF Museum checking out those tanks in person as well!

In the past, Harley had a full time job and painted on the side. Now he’s retired and paints mainly for his own enjoyment. He was never employed by an aviation art publisher, or needed to support himself through aviation art alone. That has given him the freedom to bring his paintings along at his own pace. He can spend as much time as he wants researching drop tanks, or making trips down to the museum to capture that last detail.

Also, as mentioned previously, Harley has been up close and personal with USAF fighter ops for 40+ years. He’s seen it all – from the flight line, to the maintenance hangars, to the cockpit. I know the USAF has taken him to war zones like Vietnam & Iraq to document their operations. Furthermore, his sons have both been maintainers on aircraft the Ohio ANG has flown over the years, so he’s had inside access to those operations as well.

Harley’s a unique guy. I don’t think there are many aviation artists like him.

fuzzy

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