All posts tagged: ERJ-175
American Eagle Embraer 175 illustration
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It’s been just over a year since I last illustrated an aircraft with the new American Airlines livery, and the main reason for not attempting any more is because of how complex the tail art is. This is definitely not an easy color scheme to replicate – and to make matters worse, it’s just a little bit different on each aircraft it’s applied to. Yep, that means that I can only reuse little of versions I’ve already created so creating it from scratch every time is an unfortunate reality! I really shouldn’t fuss and complain about it though, because I know there was a designer or two tasked with figuring out how to apply these colors to aircraft of all shapes and sizes and that couldn’t have been easy at all. I’m only replicating what they labored over for so long, so I have to give huge props to the American Airlines marketing and design team for figuring out what was surely a decently hairy design problem.

The sense of satisfaction I feel when finishing applying this livery to one of my airliner templates is huge – I’ve mentioned before that this is one of my favorite airline liveries in existence today, and I love the way it comes alive when I apply the finishing highlights and gloss to the rendering. The metallic silver fuselage looks great rendered over a dark background, creating the kind of contrast I like so much. In other words, I’m a huge fan of bling (whether I like to admit it or not). This little ERJ-175 looks great in these colors!

If you’re curious, the partial logo in the background was a “happy accident”. My original thought was to place a transparent American Airlines logo into the center of the illustration somehow, using slight gradients and shadow to give it some depth. I ended up importing the logo into my PSD file, moved it around a bit, and quickly noticed how the top portion of the logo matched the angle of the vertical stabilizers of the aircraft. That looked pretty cool – so I left it alone and called it done. Simple is better sometimes, right?

Just so you know, I’ve got one more illustration of an American Airlines aircraft coming up soon. I’m putting the finishing touches on it now, and if you ask me I think it turned out better than this one. I did something a little bit different with the background color and texture for that one – something I thought was too bold at first but then it grew on me the more that I looked at it. So stay tuned for it – I expect to post it here just after the start of the new year. Happy Holidays!

err-175 new winglet
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Creating airliner templates isn’t easy – especially when it comes to getting all the little details correct. It was only a few days ago that I posted my completed set of ERJ-175 illustrations, and like always, it felt really good to have that project wrapped up and posted to this blog. It was especially true in this particular case because I had been needing (very badly) a version of this with the United Express livery for several weeks now. Having a finished template from which to work from was a huge relief and I wasted no time in getting to work on it.

But then…disaster. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration (lol) but at least it felt that way when I discovered that there are actually two versions of winglets available on the ERJ-175, and the United Express planes have the one I didn’t know about (and didn’t include on my original template). Dang it! Just when I thought I was done, I had to go back to the drawing board and create another version of the wing with this new winglet. That might not seem like that big of a deal, but it required a major structural change to my original illustrations. This particular winglet is a completely different shape than the other one, which affected the structure of the wing slightly – so there were a lot of things I had to rebuild and/or adjust in order to get it to fit correctly. Considering that I just went though the “ahhh, it’s finally done!” phase of this template, you can probably understand how irritating it was to have to go back and reconstruct a major portion of it.

erj-175 new winglet line drawing

A technical side profile line drawing of a Embraer 175 regional jet with the new style winglet over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

As much as it sounds like I’m complaining, the truth is that I’m glad that I took the time to create another version with this new style winglet. It only makes my airliner template collection more complete. And hey – I learned something new about the ERJ-175! These larger winglets make this particular airplane look very different from certain views – especially front and rear. They are wider and less angled than the original winglets, and that shallow angle helps to extend the overall wingspan a bit and make the airplane look larger than it really is. On top of that, Embraer claims a 6% increase in fuel efficiency over the original versions. Better looks + better economy seems like a winner to me.

embraer 175 template all white side view
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Creating derivative templates of a single aircraft type has always been a somewhat funny (and frustrating) experience for me. Whenever I finish a template of an all new aircraft type, I begin to feel complacent – thinking that the hard work is now finished, and creating the other variants of it will be really easy. Sadly, it rarely works that way. There’s no worse feeling for a time-crunched illustrator such as myself after realizing that the “simple” illustration I was going to knock out in a couple hours is more likely to take an entire week. My CRJ-700 templates were a perfect example of this – before starting on them I thought all I had to do was stretch my CRJ-200 illustrations a bit, add a few more details, and voila! Nope. Didn’t happen that way. The -200 and -700 are pretty much completely different airplanes that share little in common with one another and it ended up being an unexpectedly major project.

I’ve since learned to do more research on derivative aircraft types long before deciding to go ahead with an illustration. I actually planned to create this ERJ-175 along with my ERJ-190 template back in June, but the research I did beforehand led me to the conclusion that it was far too large of a project to do all at once (I’ve got way too much “real” billable work that has higher priority over this kind of stuff). Therefore, I’ve known all along that the ERJ-175 would essentially need to be drawn from scratch and I wouldn’t be able to leverage most of my existing ERJ-190 parts. Disappointing, yes, but at least I knew what I was up against long before starting this project.

erj-175 line drawing template side view

A technical side profile line drawing of a Embraer 175 regional jet over a white background with and without the landing gear deployed

Anyway, I needed an illustration of a United Express ERJ-175 for one of my other projects so this template couldn’t wait any longer. To be completely honest, I’m really surprised how different it is compared to it’s larger brother (the 190). The only thing that remained unchanged was the fuselage sectioning – everything else had to be modified in some shape or form, with the wing being the largest difference. It’s completely different, and to me, looks really small for the size of the rest of the airplane. But I have to trust that the Embraer engineers know what they are doing!

One final thing that I’d like to mention is that I drew this illustration in a scale that doesn’t quite match my ERJ-190 drawing. All of my aircraft illustrations are 5000x3000px, and I prefer to use as much as the page as possible. Therefore, I had to scale this up a bit to fit the page, and the result of that is being not to scale with my 190 illustration. So yes – you will need to adjust the scale of this one if you plan to be accurate and use both templates side by side.