Australian SAS Art

The Australian SAS Jubilee

Title: The Australian SAS - Jubilee
Media: Oil on Canvas
Location of Original: SAS Regiment
Prints: Limited Edition of 1000.  Original Cost of Print: $120
Guest Signatories on Print: LTCOL Dan McDaniel, DSM. WO1 Bill Maher. Plus artist
Highest ‘Known’ Resale of Print: $5000 - Charity Auction - 2013.
Description: This artwork commemorates the 50th birthday of the Australian SAS. The five central figures represent the different periods in the SAS Regiment’s history, (1st - Company Days & Borneo, 2nd - Vietnam, 3rd - The Training Years & CT, 4th - Peacekeeping & Timor, 5th - Middle East).  These figures stand together as a wall protecting Australia which is coloured to represent the hard-won sandy beret. The blue ocean, behind the Southern Cross, represents the Australian flag, and behind the winged dagger represents the SASR banner. Finally, the sea of historical images pays homage to the versatility and sacrifice of the SAS soldier.


Creating the Australian SAS Jubilee Artwork

Army Draft

As a military artist, I was very excited and honoured (also a little nervous) to be asked to produce an artwork to celebrate the SAS Regiment’s 50th birthday.  Luckily, the Association assigned me two capable blokes (Adrian Blacker & Gary Kingston) who had firm ideas of how the SAS should be represented. We tossed around a few ideas and soon decided to go with a visual timeline concept (as seen above).

Adrian Blacker

Following this, Adrian (seen in the photo above) rounded up some soldiers to act as models (a better choice I could not have found using professional models) and the Historical Society graciously equipped them with period uniforms and weaponry for a photo shoot.  Hugh Donaldson drove the camera and gave me a selection of images of such high standard it was difficult to choose which ones to finally use.  From that selection I sketched numerous different layouts until we agreed on the one shown above.

The next stage was painting the layout onto canvas. With a pencil, I measured and lightly outlined the main image and then I overlayed it with brown paint (Burnt Umber) on all the images except the CT figure in which I painted black. Once that stage was dry, I swapped brushes and painted the background colours.

Using ‘Medium No.1’ to thin the oil paints I glazed over the brown outlines of the figures. The colours are very significant in this painting.  The blue background represents the sea, the Australian flag and the SASR banner. Gary Kingston came up with a ripper idea to colour Australia to represent the sandy beret. 


The background images are simply painted in blue (French Ultramarine) and highlighted with white. However, on a job like this, choosing those background images was never going to be easy.  No matter which ones you choose, someone would always feel slighted.  Thankfully, members of the committee made some of the harder decisions.  Adrian Blacker was indispensable at this point.  He generously gave his advice and time in finding that one image that sums up an entire sentiment. 


Details from the Australian SAS Jubilee Artwork

SAS Winged Dagger
Vietnam Soldier
SAS Image
SAS Counter Terrorist



I would like to recognize the people who have contributed to the creation of this artwork. The production of which is a collaboration of many minds and various talents - I am simply the monkey at the end of the brush.

Thanks to the SAS Regiment, the SAS Association and the SAS Historical Foundation. A special mention to Adrian Blacker, Bart Mavrick, Gary Kingston, Hugh Donald, Brian & Annette Kent, Marty & Bob from the Sgt's Mess and to the soldiers who modeled (you know who you are).

Print Signatories: Commanding Officer: LTCOL Dan McDaniel; Regimental Sergeant Major: WO1 Bill Maher.

These people's generosity of time contributed greatly to the print sales going to various SAS charities.
Ian Coate Logo Purchasing a Limited Edition Print
Some of my prints are for sale and some have sold out.  Drop me an email at: and let me know which print interests you and I will endeavour to link you to a supplier.
Please Note: Watch out for fake prints on ebay. Some overseas sellers are claiming they have legitimate prints for sale and are selling them under license. If you are unsure if they are legit, ask the seller if the print is personally signed by the artist. If you are still in doubt, please don't hesitate to contact me with any concerns.
A Few Words on Prints
What are Prints? Prints are high quality reproductions of original artworks.  A Limited Edition Print indicates there will only be a set number and will not be re-printed.
Print Tip: keep all prints away from direct sunlight or they will fade over time no matter the quality.
Are prints good investments? As investments prints are like shares - there is risk.  People will inevitably pay what they believe it to be worth. I have been fortunate that many of my limited editions print runs have sold out and some prints that originally sold for just over $100 have later sold at auction for over $5000. But the best rule in purchasing a print is to buy because it appeals or is meaningful to you.
For Print Collectors: under each military artwork on this page I have stated its 'Highest Known Resale’. This is the largest amount (that I have heard of) that one of my prints has been re-sold in a single sale, either privately, on ebay or at auction.  This may help you gauge the value of your print. 
You can click on an SAS artwork below to go directly to the page.
SAS Selection Course SAS Recovery

Painting in Progress Painting a Military Artwork
Behind the scenes look at the process.

This page takes a look behind the curtain in the process of producing a military artwork from conception to the finished artwork. PRESS HERE