Proud Bird: April 18, 2010

I bought my flight jacket from Eastman Leather Co. in England. They used the original blueprints and patterns of all WWII Flight jackets. As was Kenny's Jacket, I purchased a limited edition A-2, made of Horse hide.

I ordered reproductions of the patches to be sewn on the jacket as well. When the jacket arrived it was beautiful, however, as was the original, it was lacking the 'Batlin' Bet' nose art on the back.

I was allowed to make copies of one of the photos of Kenny, that were in Hal Frost's photo album, this helped me to configure the drawing as accurately as possible.

I had my reference material to draw from; and now to apply the painting to the jacket.

In this photo, it appears Kenny has just finished painting the nose art. What colors did he use? I had to contact various surviving members of the 96th Fighter Squadron to learn the nose, and spinners were painted red, and each of the vertical stabilizers were painted yellow. It was pretty much a guessing game as to the colors Kenny used so I had to rely on my awareness of value, and intuition, to make the call on the color of her dress, top, and sun behind her.

The caricature though was still a challenge to make out; what was he trying to say? What was going on with her eyes? I needed more information.