Location: United Kingdom
Hi, my name is Dave Harris and I am an artist living in Cardiff in the UK. I specialise in detailed pencil portraits from photos on a commission basis. With regards to my own artwork, I am now pursuing a new challenge in the military art field incorporating various military campaigns throughout World War Two, from the Battle of Britain airfields to the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. I hope you enjoy my work can be found on my website www.daveharrisart.co.uk where there is prints of my work available to purchase.
Below you will find my new series of World War 2 pictures focusing on each year of the war. Amongst the pictures seen here are the momentous battle between Montgomery’s Desert Rats and Rommel’s Afrika Korps, the famous Dambusters squadron of RAF Bomber Command, and Easy Company of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army.
In my younger days, the armed services were a constant influence, with my father in the Royal Air Force his whole working life, regular visits to RAF bases were the norm, as we spent many years going to air shows and social events. It was probably no surprise that this childhood background, an almost fanatical love of World War 2 movies and a passion for art would result in my own series of World War 2 art.
My latest pencil drawing, is this new World War 2 picture, “Night of Nights”, paying homage to the Band of Brothers television series. In “Night of Nights”, I have depicted how I imagined the interior of Lieutenant Dick Winters’ barracks on Upottery airfield may have looked prior to Easy Company’s departure for the Normandy coast in the early hours of D-Day during World War 2.
This picture captures the view out of the window onto the runway, where a Douglas C-47 ‘skytrain’ troop carrying aircraft stands amid the fading afternoon light of early summer 1944.
The items and personal effects in the pencil drawing relate to the U.S. army of the era, from the iconic Lucky Strike cigarettes and Zippo lighter, aircraft recognition poster and playing cards (to aid the soldiers familiarity with enemy aircraft) , to the standard issue dog-tags, K-rations, M1–Garand carbine rifle, boots and helmets.
Day of Days - In this piece I’ve tried to capture the drama of the Normandy D-Day landings and the historic wartime Premier Winston Churchill.
“Omaha Approach” - On the morning of 6th June 1944, D-Day, soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division approached the Normandy coast inside their landing craft and leapt into the choppy waters off Omaha Beach. As German small-arms fire raked the surface of the water, the division suffered 30% casualties in the first hour of the assault.
Acrylic & Mixed Media
In this new World War 2 picture, I have captured the opposing forces of the British 8th Army’s famous division the “Desert Rats” and Germany’s Afrika Korps and each forces’ commanding officer, General Bernard Montgomery and Field Marshall Erwin Rommel.
I have also incorporated each army’s military vehicles, such as the Grant and Tiger tanks and the planes that assisted each side, the British Hawker Hurricane of the RAF and the Messerschmitt Bf 109G of the German Luftwaffe.
I have aimed to show a sense of British characteristics of tea drinking and stopping for a smoke. With the Germans I have shown their vehicles in motion and the British standing their ground, so as to portray how the British stalled the Axis advance in the battle of El Alamein.
I also wanted to portray the unique terrain of the harsh desert battlefield and show the subsequent uniforms of the soldiers as they fought beneath the searing heat of the North African desert.
In this new World War 2 picture above, I have depicted how I imagined the interior of Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s personal barracks may have looked prior to the famous ‘Dambusters’ mission in May 1943.
I have attempted to capture the scene from the window onto the runway, where stands Guy Gibson’s Lancaster bomber (AJ-G) along with the ‘bouncing bomb’ being readied by its groundcrew amid the early evening light of spring.
The items in the interior aim to relate to the RAF of the time, depicting actual RAF issue equipment from pilots wings insignia, canteen, aircraft recognition poster and playing cards to help identify enemy aircraft, tins of tea and powdered milk to other typically British items and personal effects, down to Guy Gibson’s very own faithful black Labrador. I’ve tried to pay particular attention to detail in every aspect of the drawing.