september 2017
Interview with aviation artist Dmitry Latich
Prepared by Katerina Vendillo
— When did you see the plane for the first time? What impression did it have on you?

The first time I saw a plane in a dream, or rather what a fighter pilot sees when he is flying. I've been having these dreams since I was a child. Sheer dive down, a downward spiral with a turnaround, almost touching the ground with the wing, hedgehop between trees... I was very surprised when it happened in real life, because that is what I saw in my dreams.
The first real encounter with a plane happened during aerobatics. It was the jet plane L-29. I'm thankful to the pilot Andrey Legkov for the confident flying, it broadened my mind.

Flight on L-29.
— Do you draw anything else other than aircrafts? Do you draw inspiration from anything else?
Aviation painting does not consist only of aircraft; there is a portrait, landscape, battle, engineering accuracy, different scenes - not only in the sky. Outside of aviation I draw inspiration from travelling. Every new country brings a change of scenery, bright emotions and fresh thoughts.
— What techniques do you use? Have you ever changed a technique from the days of your studies till the present day?
Nowadays I'm working on my own technique. Those paintings would stand the overloads, changes in pressure and humidity, and also the passage of time, and I think, they will look good even in a thousand years. Even in space.
The main technique is oil and canvas. My style is borrowed from the classic Russian painters, but I mostly have my own way. I experiment when trying to paint different objects. I try different colors and strokes until I find the most interesting way to depict something and feel satisfied. I like when a person feels an inspiration, without thinking about the technique; when a person feels engaged in the story and the painting, sees the energy and the main idea.

I've been practicing different forms of art, and many things have changed, but my main interest was always in paintings, and now I feel very comfortable.
— Who is your teacher? Is there a person or people who had an influence on your choices and your life? What advices have they given you?
I've been drawing since my childhood, so you can say that I was born with it, but the base was given to me in my art school. My mother helped me to attend my classes there. I skipped a lot of classes, but they treated me as a little genius. I learned a lot from the private lessons with the teachers from Art Universities

I was drawn to aviation all my life as well, but there is someone whose work interest me the most- our famous cameraman Artur Sarkisyan. Everyone is familiar with aerobatic teams 'Swifts' and 'Russian Knights'. You know them because of his videos on the main channels and films. Now we are working with him. Based on his work we made a series of paintings about aerobatics.

My wife supports me as well. She is also interested in aviation. Together we go to the military bases, celebrations and flights. She takes part in creating the paintings. She is my constant critic, companion, helper and a muse.

The first good advice that I remembered was from my father: "Don't hurry or you'll be on time..."
Dmitry Latich, his wife Lia and Arthur Sarkisyan.
— . Do you have a favorite plane? What makes it your favorite?
I like a number of aircraft for different characteristics. There are a lot of beautiful planes, but I want to single out a plane, to which I have a special attitude, just like for the Kalashnikov rifle, - the MiG-29. It's an aircraft with a special character; a real fighter of the sky.

Picture "Take-off". Canvas, oil.

It depicts a MiG-29 fighter on vertical take-off. It is devoted to a frame from the film "Embracing the Sky" (Mosfilm Studio, directed by Milena Fadeeva, for whom Arthur Sarkisyan carried out all aerial surveys).

— What is Svetlana Kapanina like in real life? Do pilots have their own special language?
Svetlana Kapanina is a very strong-willed person; you can see that in her glances, which say that competing with her is an extremely difficult task. In person she is a good and sensitive interlocutor.

The language of the pilots is filled with terms, slang and obsession; you can feel the love of the sky in everything. It is possible that a person who has not studied flights will ask additional questions in the conversation with the pilot.

The picture "Positive overload." Canvas, oil.

Svetlana Kapanina, seven-time world champion, recognized as the best pilot of the century, twists the most complex somersaults in the sky of the Olympic Sochi. The painting was solemnly presented to Svetlana after her performance at the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2017. The picture shows the moment when the aircraft is in an inverted state, but there is a positive overload, the sea from above, the sky from below. Svetlana turned the picture head down and said that she would hang it at home.

— Do you participate in exhibitions? Are there exhibitions for aircraft art?
I had many exhibitions in different themes. Now, when I do aviation painting, every picture is an exhibition. For example, my paintings could be seen at the largest Russian military exhibition ARMY-2017 and the following years it has become a permanent exposition.

Together with Arthur Sarkisyan we handed these paintings to the commander of "Swifts" Sergei Osyaykin, who is the representative of the Kubinka air base (the name of the famous ace I.N. Kozhedub who served there); the representative of the "Russian Knights" and the commander of "Falcons of Russia" were also present there, all these people and this place – are the legends of Russian aviation.

Yes, there are all kinds of exhibitions of aviation painting, timed to aviation event and holidays, they take place in aviation museums, Expos or personal exhibitions.
The pilots of Swifts, the Russian Knights, Arthur Sarkisyan, Dmitry Latyshev and his wife at the Kubinka airbase.
Presentation of paintings.

Picture «Cuban diamond». Canvas, oil.

It depicts aerobatics groups "Swifts" and "Russian Knights"

against the background of the blue sky, flying with a common, incredibly precise system, creating a shape similar to a faceted gem.

— Where do you paint? At home, in your workshop? What is your usual day like?
I paint in different settings, in the studio and at home, the plein air near the airplanes fills me with special energy. I travel a lot, whether it is Russia, Germany, Thailand ... the workshop is where I am.

My day can be very different; I can reflect on the new composition, it can be a day of painting, the trip, interviews with journalists or home-keeping.
I also like to spend the day at the aerodrome, it's always a holiday.

— How to convey the speed and the power of the fighter jet in the painting?
There are several ways. For example, if we look at the wheel of a moving car, we will see that the spokes of the wheel leave a trail behind them, merging into one entity. We can see the same situation with the aircraft. The eye does not have time to capture the flying airplane completely (more precisely, the perception speed of the brain is limited), so the part of the aircraft will be smeared and transparent, it can be depicted. Or vice versa, by focusing the vision on the airplane, the background will be smeared. Also there are vortices and thermal traces behind the engine nozzle. You can show the instruments in the cockpit and the position of the pilot: on positive overload, he squeezes into the chair, on the negative one - hangs on the straps.

Power is an afterburner, a vertical, vortex traces on overloads, a work with weapons, fueled with an incredible grace.
— What inspires you in aviation, and what, on the contrary, annoys you?
Outside of military aviation, I will also note the civil aviation. It has many dimensions and beauty of quiet movements or sport facets of possibilities – it's a peaceful harmony. The beauty of the helicopter is unusual - a highly technological aircraft with fantastic capabilities, the design of which is thought through to the smallest details.
With the commander of the "Swifts" guards lieutenant colonel Sergei Osaykin.
— What would you change in modern society if you could?
I would like to emphasize high values in society because advertising on a political scale is sometimes cruel. It is possible to receive as much advantage, introducing new products through positive thoughts, without destroying family values, patriotism and respect for each other.
— Why do people strive for the sky?
Fear of heights is one of the deepest instincts, but an even greater instinct is to overcome it.

People dream of flying like a bird, moving fast, height, beauty. Later it grew into sport and the confrontation between the armed forces. There is a lot of beauty and technology in the sky. Pictures, songs, dreams, battles. The sky has become an integral part of our lives.
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