Close Up Detail: The Work of Stephen J.E. Davies

From an early age Stephen J.E. Davies was fascinated by aeroplanes and flight, especially when studying the Airfix artworks by Roy Cross and the paintings of Michael Turner, as well as many comic book illustrations. Inspired by these artists, he began to create work ranging from World War II German Panzer’s and aircraft to RAF Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters. As an artist, he aims to inspire the viewer to marvel at the close detail of each work, from complete subjects to close ups alike, and find enjoyment from discovering something new each time they view the work.

A: Your work is full of close detail. What is your back ground and how did your develop your technique?
SD: I try to aspire to a photographic near quality and my style of pencil work developed after my last set of eye operations when I was 14 years old. The eye operations left me with double vision which I see to this day but gave me the gift and ability to draw in fine detail. The style has developed over 30 years as well as being Art College trained at Liverpool and in Carlisle (Cumbria College of Art). My style is versatile and I am able to illustrate anything but the main body of aviation work started 8 years ago and has developed ever since.

A: What influences your work and how do you choose your subject?
SD: I have been influenced by the artworks of Roy Cross, Michael Turner, Ian and Cam Kennedy to name but a few artists and irrespective of what I am working on I am always drawn and looking for sharp, crisp images that I can work from and then I can work in the close detail.

A: You also work as a Graphic designer; do you find that this has contributed to your artistic style?
SD: I used to many years ago but not so much know especially with the development of technology, I was trained in the old ways but the design aspect is still a strong component in the layout and design of my artworks and drawings. I am at present a Facilities Manager by day and an Artist by night.

A: With incredible detail, your pictures are true representations, why do you choose to represent the subjects so faithfully?
As with all art there are many ways of portraying a subject and in my black/white drawings I have chosen to aspire to get to a photographic quality where possible and I am always striving to get to a better than a photographic likeness and I draw what I see. My aim is when my work is viewed that the onlooker always finds something different to see and if they think at first it is a photo then I have succeeded until they realise that it isn’t.

A: Where do you see your work developing in the future and where would you like to see your work displayed? SD: Being time dependent my plan is to diversify what I do in all subjects and not just in aviation but my main focus at the moment is to build on the aviation range as there aircraft I have not illustrated yet especially with the american aircraft. In the next few years I am hoping to show and exhibit more in the UK, possibly Europe and if I can in North America. I will also be submitting work at the Guild of Aviation Artists annual summer exhibition next year at the Mall Galleries in London all being well.

The work can be seen online at and also at as well at various outlets in Jersey Channel Islands at the St. Helier Broad Street Post Office, Victoria Art Gallery, Victoria Street St. Helier and Harbour Gallery in St. Aubin.

To see his listing in the Artists’ Directory in Aesthetica Magazine issue 62 pick up a copy at

1.Hawker Hurricane Mk1. Courtesy of the Artist
2. Supermarine Spitfire Mk VIII “The Grey Nurse” Courtesy of the Artist