Harley Copic - Some Favorite Originals Prints

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Many of you are familiar with Harley Copic's aviation art, while some aren't. I'm hoping to change that with this thread.


   I'll post some things that even those who are very familiar with Harley's work have not seen. It should be a real treat for all.


   I'll start off with this one because it is for sale. It's not finished yet, so consider it a work in progress, with more to be done on the airfield and background. I believe the aircraft & sky are largely complete. If interested, you can contact Harley directly at: hcopic @ buckeye-access.com.



   'Udet' FW-109A-8 'Black 8' Take Off


   48 in X 30 in


   Oil on Canvas






   I've seen this one in person, and it is huge, vibrant, and makes you feel like you've just heard the clunk of the gear retracting over the roar of the BMW radial as you power your FW-190 off the field next to 'Black 8'. Any Luftwaffe collector would love it. This little .jpg can't do it justice.


   Turns out artists aren't much different from collectors. They suffer from lack of wall space too. Harley pretty much paints for himself these days. He only takes on subjects he likes. His walls are filled with his favorites. At this point, he's out of space for this huge painting, and is looking to sell it.


   Harley's other passion is 1960's Muscle Cars. He's got a vintage Camaro, Chevelle, and his latest project is a Ford Fairlane. Restoring old cars is an expensive hobby, so Harley will occasionally crank out a painting to fund an engine that needs rebuilt or a paint job.


27/05/2011 13:15:50
This one is called "Playing in the Alps". It's a huge oil on canvas. It's one of Harley's favorites, and has pride of place in his home.


   I first saw this painting at the aviation art show in Battle Creek Michigan a few years back. That's when I discovered Harley was still painting airplanes, even though I had not seen a print from him in over ten years. Harley no longer releases prints. He only does original paintings these days.






   Here are a couple of my snapshots from the show. When you walked into the show, this was the first painting you passed. I'm pretty sure they put it in that place to grab your attention and draw you in. It will certainly do that. The lighting on it was very nice. I only had a little point-and-shoot camera, and it was difficult to get sharp pictures with the low lighting conditions, but these came out OK. They can't really compare to seeing the actual painting, though. It sure was a sight to behold in person.






28/05/2011 12:36:31
does he accept commissions at this time? I have always admired his work.


28/05/2011 18:00:29


   Yes - contact Harley directly if you're interested in a commission. He's currently working on a couple of paintings for himself, and he does have a couple of commissions in his backlog, but I'll bet he could fit more in if you're not on a really tight deadline.


   Harley likes to work on several things at the same time. He'll set one aside to let the latest work dry, and pick up the next one. Some artists paint one at a time, but Harley actually prefers to work several at the same time.


28/05/2011 18:13:54
Here is another work in progress. Harley's painting this one for himself. It will be a companion piece to the 325th FG Mustang in "Playing in the Alps". This is the 31st FG Mustang "American Beauty" flown by John Voll with 21 victories. This one is sure turning out nice!



29/05/2011 16:00:34
I'll just stick with the Mustangs for now. Here's an older painting of George Preddy's Cripes A' Mighty 3rd:






   Another beauty! This painting was featured on one of the old issues of Aviation Art magazine. Aviation Art, Volume 3, Number 1 Summer 1995:



30/05/2011 15:46:22
Some really nice artwork Fuzzy; thanks for posting!
30/05/2011 23:05:46
A recent painting of Don Blakeslee's P-51D:



31/05/2011 17:58:26
Fred Glover's 4th FG Mustang:



01/06/2011 11:26:17
Fred Glover's 4th FG Mustang:




    Oh gawd,that is the dog whotsits ,one of the best i have seen :)

    What size is it please ?
02/06/2011 10:05:53


   Glad you like it. I saw it in person, and it is 35" X 42" oil on masonite


   I want to put Blacksheep's wonderful Harley Copic original Mustang in here.


   "Reggie's Reply" by Harley Copic, depicting 4th FG ace John Godfrey






   And one more. Here's Harley's painting of Don Gentile's Shangri-La. I saw this a couple of years ago at the aviation art show in Battle Creek Michigan. This pic was taken with a flash and could be better, but it's the best I've got.


   "Shangri-La" by Harley Copic, depicting 4th FG ace Don Gentile



02/06/2011 11:57:09
Here's the last Mustang original I've got. It's a Korean War F-51D.


   This one was donated by Harley to the USAF art program. Harley's been donating paintings to the USAF for many years. It's an extensive collection. I'll be posting images of some of those paintings later on. Unfortunately, the images hosted by the USAF are often low resolution, so it's hard to fully appreciate some of the works.


   I think this painting is about 4 feet wide. Oil on masonite.



03/06/2011 01:22:22
Harley is one of the very best!
03/06/2011 03:32:18
Here is my favorite Harley Copic painting.


   It features Robert S. Johnson's "Penrod and Sam".


   It's in Harley's personal collection. This is the best Jug image I have ever seen. It's a joy to see in person. One of Harley's specialties is the realism he brings to a metal aircraft. There may be some artists who can match him when it comes to making a metal airframe look real, but no one exceeds him.



04/06/2011 19:49:27
He certainly is the master of the metal finish. He's not bad at clouds either.


   I haven't seen his work before so thanks for posting it up. He has a very realistic style which I like.


   The Korean war F51 doesn't seem to sit well in the painting (seems to glow a bit) but the rest are stunning work.
04/06/2011 23:48:47


   One of Harley's earlier attempts at such a scene is this small Typhoon painting:









   The Typhoon is one of Harley's favorite aircraft, and this is one of Harley's favorite paintings. It's hanging in his personal collection.


   I actually have a painting from Harley that is a lot like the Typhoon painting. It's Henry Brown's P-51D in a bank. The viewpoint is looking down from above at the dark ground and scattered clouds below. It looks fantastic in person under the right lighting. However, I have never taken a photo of it that doesn't look like crap (I have no photography knowledge to speak of). I'm not going to post another photo of it until I get one that looks good (it will probably be a long wait). For some reason, photographing that particular painting is really difficult.


   Harley painted the Korean War Mustang right after he painted my Henry Brown painting. He liked the way mine turned out so much, he used it as a model for the Korean painting.


   I had a chance to see Harley's Korean War Mustang painting in person. It's hanging at the USAF Museum in their Korean War art exhibit. It's pretty amazing to see up close.


   I took some photos of it. The lighting level is low, which is great for viewing, but difficult for photography.


   My photos could be much better. This is another difficult painting to photograph. The aircraft really jumps out in the photos. It's more subdued in person. The background is lost in the photos. In person, there is considerable detail in the foliage below.


   I just had a point and shoot. Some of the fine detail is lost due to the long shutter opening time due to the low light. I did my best to hold the camera still, but that's virtually impossible.


   Sorry, you just have to see this one in person!
































05/06/2011 13:28:03
Love that Typhoon. Not only is he a master of painting metal he is also a master of painting rust!! those rockets look so real.

   I've always loved my print called Rat Catchers, I believe Harley again Harley has kept the original, Fuzzy any chance you have an image of that?
05/06/2011 17:14:46


   I think you're right - Harley has kept the original of his Pierre Clostermann Tempest "Rat Catchers". I'll see if he has a photo of it.


05/06/2011 17:51:04


   One of Harley's earlier attempts at such a scene is this small Typhoon painting:


   Thats very nice.





   Harley painted the Korean War Mustang right after he painted my Henry Brown painting. He liked the way mine turned out so much, he used it as a model for the Korean painting.


   I have not seen the Korean painting in person. It's unlikely any of us will ever see it, as it's now in the USAF art collection. I don't think that's a good photo. All I can say is, I think it's one of those paintings you need to see in person to appreciate.



   Its a good point always risky to pass judgement on a small image on the web, you really need to see it in person to appreciate.
06/06/2011 08:11:29
Another Typhoon original. Harley is a big fan of the Typhoon and Tempest.






   A later picture of the Typhoon painting in its frame:



08/06/2011 12:55:56