The Gnat is well-known to aviation fans as the RAF's primary trainer from 1959 to 1979, as well as the mount of the Red Arrows acrobatic team. In addition to the U.K., Gnats were flown by Finland, Yugoslavia and India, with a total of about 450 being produced. While fully deserving of the high praise the type usually gets, naming a great aircraft after an insect pest (something the legendary de Havilland Mosquito also suffers from) has always been a somewhat difficult-to-fathom aspect of British aviation history, particularly considering the great storm-based names many of their aircraft enjoy, to say nothing of "Spitfire."
Because the Gnat was flown by the much-photographed Red Arrows, there's actually quite a dearth of good color shots of the plane in standard unit markings, so this composition serves not only as a beautiful piece of artwork, but also as useful reference material. Interestingly, Koike-san doesn't paint that many "regular" blue skies as seen here, but the colors of the aircraft and the sky pair up quite nicely to create a colorful, lively work.
This original painting is acrylic on heavy art board. The board measures 54cm x 39cm, and the painted area is approximately 45.5cm x 33cm.