Artist Biography and Updates


The artist has had an interest in aviation and space exploration history all of his life. He also has a strong passion for art and art history. It is natural for him to combine the two and produce art relating to aviation and aerospace. He  strives to not only make technically accurate paintings of the aircraft, but to make the paintings artistically and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Douglas has a degree in fine art, which helped him learn the various technical aspects of painting, but learning to paint aircraft accurately is something that only practicing for decades, as well as studying and learning directly from other aviation artists and artists in general, can really accomplish. He has an extensive and ever growing collection of digital images of aircraft (he is always going to aviation museums, airshows, etc.) for reference, an extensive aviation library, and also makes use of accurately modeled, assembled and painted plastic kits in the planning and drawing stage of creating an image, be it an oil on canvas, a watercolor, a pencil sketch, or using Corel Painter XII  and now X3 and a Wacom Cintiq pressure sensitive monitor combined with a Mac Pro computer for the newer digital paintings. They all start the same, with sketches and then careful drawing before any color is applied.

He is an artist member of the American Society of Aviation Artists (ASAA), a fine organization that is dedicated to promoting aviation art as fine art, and educating the public and encouraging young artists about the subject.

Douglas is also a member of the Society of Illustrators, Los Angeles, and through that organization has been part of the Untied States Air Force Art Program.

The artist has developed a close working relationship with the fine people at the Flight Test Historical Foundation and is honored to get to meet and know many great pilots and engineers associated with that organization.

Douglas has won many awards for his aviation paintings, from local, national and some international competitions. 

 A good place to meet the artist is the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave California, just north of Edwards AFB, off Highway 14, every third Saturday of the month for their excellent fly-in called "Plane Crazy Saturdays." The artist is almost always there displaying prints and a few originals and is very happy to meet aviation people there. Be sure to contact beforehand to be sure he will be there, because every so often the artist cannot attend.

Feel free to send any comments and/or questions to the artist's email:

In August, 2012, Douglas was interviewed on a talk radio station in Lancaster, CA. 

To listen to the interview podcast, courtsey of, click on: 


Photograph by Rebecca Amber, courtsey of

ArmstrongTourAug14 -86

At NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in August, 2014. Photogragh by Cam Martin.


Receiving An Award at the 2014 ASAA Forum, pictured with World War 1 aviation expert and artist Micheal O’Neal.


Giving a lecture on aviation art at the Mojave Air and Spaceport, February 2015 (pictured with Cathy Hanson)


My latest paintings are: A commission for the Mojave, CA air and spaceport of a Corsair over the airport in 1944. Also just finished a painting of a Thunderbird on the ground. An oil of a F-117A,  T-38,  P-38 chasing a FW-190,  The Apollo Spacecraft over the moon, an F4F, an F6F, a T-38 Talon, a B-52D, and a Piper Comanche. Other recent paintings inlude the Los Angeles International Airport, seen from Imperial HIghway, a painting of the F-84F, a P-47D, and a painting of P-51Ds. Between paintings, I continue to do drawings as well. Other newer paintings include one that shows first time humans left the pull of the Earth’s gravity, on Apollo 8 in 1968. The painting is called “Translunar Injection.”  Another is of a Blue Angel F-18 getting ready for an airshow. Other newer paintings include the F-107A, the Mercury-Redstone rocket, launching the first American into space, a painting of the A380, a painting of a F-16, a painting of a Me262, a painting of an Apache, a Cobra, and a painting of what was the last time any space shuttle was in the air, just before landing at LAX in Los Angeles in 2012.  This painting was accepted in the ASAA Annual Art Exhibition, and won third place in the space category.  One of my newer paintings is of the X-1, on its third to last flight, well after the NACA changed the color of the test aircraft from orange to white (now in the collection of NASA). I painted two 11x14 inch oils on canvas for the Flight Test Historical Foundation. They were celebrating the 40th anniversery of the fly-off of the F-16 and the F-17. I recently completed a painting of a Gemini-Titan rocket. I also completed a commission of a light sport aircraft flying over a special spot for the pilot. You may see that painting here.  I also finished a painting of the SR-71 Blackbird.  I recently finished another painting for the Air Force Art Program, which shows a Delta Booster getting ready for launch at Cape Canaveral. You may see that painting here. I also finished a project I wanted to do for some time,  but had to wait to get the desired light before photographing the area. It is of the wonderful display called "Century Circle" just outside Edwards Air Force Base. You may see the painting here. I took a few dozen photos just after sunrise on a very cold January morning, but the long shadows help the image, I think. 

I finished a series of digitally created paintings that feature some Warbirds of World War 2, which you can see in the Military 1914-1945 page. Here is a direct link to a collection of all these. They are a little different for me, but I enjoy trying something new. These paintings have nothing but the aircraft on the ground and its shadow, with the background completely deleted. Comments welcomed, of course….

One recent painting is a large oil painting for the Air Force Art Program…an interior cockpit scene of a C-17 transport jet out of March Air Reserve Base in Southern California that I was privileged to get to ride on, which frankly felt more like a roller coaster than any passenger jet I've been on. This painting was challenging, but I am happy with the results.

 Concurrently, I finished two more 11 x14 inch canvas paintings: a F-89 Scorpion oil and a F-86 Sabre watercolor (yes, a watercolor) on Fredrix watercolor canvas, which is a fairly new method and somewhat different than painting on paper). There is also a new oil painting of a Douglas Skystreak, as well as a watercolor on paper of a F-106A. Three paintings were purchased by NASA at the Armstrong Flight Research Center…The X-3, The X-1, and the Last Flight of the Space Shuttle. 

© Douglas Castleman 2018