Increasingly I am being asked to digitally restore damaged original artwork and other documents. The beauty of this process is that after scanning, the original document can be stabilised and archived appropriately, while the newly restored image can take its place for publishing or display.
Apart from making a highly accurate stylistic match for form, line, colour and tone, one of the biggest challenges in executing a convincing digital restoration is to recreate the texture of the original. Replicating the subtle texture of a cold pressed paper or the complex spray patterns produced by an airbrush can make or break a convincing restoration.
The illustration below was originally a combination of airbrushed inks, graphite , gouache and a variety of dark secrets employed by the artist, of which I’m afraid for professional reasons, I cannot divulge.
Apart from restoration of existing artworks, I have also recently been asked to undertake changes to undamaged artworks. The example below is a repaint of the existing Pan Am Sikorsky S-38 to match the personal aircraft of Howard Hughes. It was a fairly straightforward job of changing paint scheme, updating the Sikorsky branding; changing the serial number and adding an engine cowling.
My most demanding re-work to date has got to be the Mitsubishi F-2 for Aerospace Publishing. This required a great deal of time to get right. When the job was finished, out of interest, I switched off the original scanned layer to reveal only the new artwork. I was surprised to discover that I had replaced a good 70% of the artwork overall!