I’ve been getting a lot of requests for a Bombardier DHC-8 Q400 illustration over the past six months, so I know there are a lot of you out there who have been patiently waiting for this one. And I do mean patient – heck, I proudly announced the start of this illustration on my Facebook page nearly two months ago, and it was only tonight that I finally wrapped this thing up. I’ve had a lot of other projects to work on since then (and I took some vacation time as well), so there just wasn’t much time to focus on this little guy. But it’s complete, and I appreciate the patience of everyone out there who needed this one!
The Q400 is actually one of my favorite airplanes – at least from an aesthetic point of view. It’s a very lean looking aircraft that looks downright stealthy and sleek from certain angles, and the high wing gives it a fairly unique look compared to most the other twin-engine airplanes roaming the airports these days. It’s also pretty neat from the inside, provided that you have a window seat. That high wing means that there isn’t anything to block your view of the scenery below, and watching the main gear smack the runway in a plume of smoke when landing is always a treat. It’s also an awesome reminder of how strong they build aircraft these days. These things take a beating, that’s for sure.
From a technical illustration point of view, this ended up being one of the easiest templates I’ve ever created. There is a ton of really great Q400 reference material out on the internet, and I didn’t have any difficulty finding detailed photos or illustrations of all the little details. The only downside to that is knowing when to say when – having too much detail in these illustrations never works out (because things get messy at smaller scales), so deciding what detail to put in and what to leave out was the biggest issue.
Another thing that made this illustration easier than the others was the fact that it’s a prop (as opposed to a jet). That means a simpler engine and wing, which is always the most time-consuming thing to replicate in these drawings. It’s nice to have an easy one every now and then!