Home (contents) → Hang gliding → Painted history of hang glider design part 1 → Hang glider over Berkshire, 1975
Hang glider over Berkshire, 1975
Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 46 cm) painted by Everard Cunion in March 2022
Feel free to make a print of this painting for your own non-commercial use.
The hang glider is a standard Rogallo of 1975. I have a dim recollection that this particular one was a development wing made by Hiway of Brighton, Sussex. (If you have more or better info, please let me know.) The harness appears to be a knee hanger type made by Hiway modified to a stirrup type — possibly a prototype of their eventual production stirrup harness.
For the painting I copied a photo taken by Adrian Turner.
A second photo, used on the cover of High Flying Birds — a none too serious novel by Peter Cave — was almost certainly taken a few seconds after the first photo. Being closer and at a less acute angle, I found it useful as a reference in rendering some details.
Turner operated on the Sussex downs rather than the Berkshire hills, so I cannot be sure that this glider ever flew at Combe Gibbet, which is the setting for this action. However, it was much like similar craft of that time.
The landscape — Combe Gibbet hill in Berkshire — is based on a photo I took in 2004 while flying a paraglider there. I held both brake handles (used for steering) in my left hand and I grabbed my Ricoh FF-9 35mm film camera (secured to a harness riser) in my right hand… I only hope that the scenery had not changed significantly in the 30 years since the time of the standard Rogallo. (The paraglider had not yet been invented.) I used coloured pencils (‘watercolour pencils’, whatever that means) to enhance the detail I painted for the landscape.
I used One4All acrylic spray paints to lay down a basis for the sky: Grey for the cloud, blue for a bit of sunlit sky, and tan for the horizon under the cloud. Unlike ‘solvent’ based acrylic sprays, they are safe to use indoors. (Is water not a solvent?)
I used regular acrylic paint brushed on for the cloud highlights. I copied the cloud from a photo I found online.
I displayed the source photos on my computer monitor, which is about the same size as my canvas. In this photo I am using plastic modeler’s masking tape to obtain the thin and almost straight (slightly curved) blue leading edge. For more about how I use my computer to assist with painting accuracy, see Process in Painting the Eagle III and Method in Day at the beach.
Fabulous painting, and possibly one of your best so far. I look forward to seeing the actual painting soon.
I think you will find that the acrylic paint colors are brighter than they appear in the photo, except for the green, which is a tad less vivid. Nonetheless, my Fuji X-100 digital camera has generally done a good job of reproducing the colors.