Welcome to the website of Essex based artist Neil Higgs

This shoes the various stages "Ready to Respond" went through towards completion, it gives you the reader a glimpse into how it was done!

Stage 1: The 3D models
This stage involved creating 3D computer generated models of the helicopters, cars and the ideas for the background. This was done on a 3D modelling application on the computer with 3-view drawings of each along with dimensions for all. The models had the basic detail of them including schemes on the EHAAT assets. The "kit" of scale models created were the AW169, MD902, Skoda, Volvo, North Weald tower + surrounding area and Audley End House + surrounding areas.
From there, the various scenes that I chose were worked on with varying light sources (this would have been done with plastic models and drawings before the advent of 3D modelling on computers)

The two pictures below show the models created for the artwork.
Stage 2: Concept
The next stage was to put the models together and build up scenes / ideas, this included picked light sources and positions. The two short listed ideas were to include at least the two helicopters, but in the end  two of the four rapid response vehicles (RRV`s). To do this it meant that Audley End would be out of the question for two reasons:
1. The RRV`s would be small specks on the canvas
2. The background would perhaps overpower the foreground
So, in the end
I had decided that I wanted North Weald as the background as I live close to the airfield and the AW169 + two rapid response vehicles (RRV`s) are based their.
See below the final concept artwork...
Stage 3: Start the painting
After picking the concept that would be used, the first stage is to look at painting the background into the scene, the skyscape I wanted to depict was a blue sky with a cloudscape, the tree line would be layered and the buildings would be lit from the right 1 to 2am side.
The sky would have all sorts of colours within it to build it up, with prussian, pthalo & cobalt blue, crimson, paynes grey, raw umber, burnt sienna, yellow ochre and white, the base coat is a mix of cobalt blue and white.
The layered tree line (farthest trees) are a mix of prussian blue and white and the grass and nearer tree line are in sap green and yellow ochre mixes.
See below this step...
Step 4: the initial completion of the background
With the skyscape in, the next stage is to add the North Weald control tower and out building. With careful attention to the light source, the tower was added with different mixes of raw umber, van dyke brown, paynes grey, yellow ochre and white. Once the initial tower shape is in, the detail is added and the outbuiling added with the fence line.
See the photo below of this stage...
Step 5: Assets
So, with the initial background in (I will come back to them at a later date and tweak them to match the main subjects), the next step is to add the helicopters and cars. The base coat for the lot is bright red and crimson and cad yellow & yellow ochre. The sweep under and shape is done with blues, grey and white mixes added to the base coats.
Once dry, the detail can start to be added to each of the main subjects...
The next photo shows the adding of the core shapes and the photo after it the detail being added by me to the AW169.
Last steps: Rotor blades, markings and logo
The final steps are the addition of the markings on all main subjects, that is the logos on the cars, the number plates, the logos on the helicopters and then the rotor blades. The later I wanted to give the impression of movement, especially on the AW169, so these were practiced away from the main painting a number of times to get them right.
The last item to go on is the "Essex & Herts Air Ambulance" and "Your local life-saving charity" with the EHAAT logo on the lower right side.
This was added two and a half months after starting the whole process...
See below the final piece...

To place a bid go to the following form HERE, send an email via below (with name, contact number and bid) or via phone (07711 199533)

Email: bid@soaringscenes.co.uk


Copyright   Neil Higgs (Email: enquiry@soaringscenes.co.uk)