Wednesday, 22 August 2012

AHOY! Shipmates!

I'm about a week off finishing 'The Cloisters' (see previous posting). I have never put so much ink onto one piece of paper, it certainly is the most complex drawing I have ever attempted. I'm still not sure it's going to come out right, but I'm beginning to feel pleased with it...which is a rare event!

You may remember that at the very essence of me lies the Shipwright (boat/ship maker). The only way I can build boats  these days is on paper. This is my luxury, when I draw purely technically, just for me - I've never shown this sort of thing before. Pat and Giselle reckoned there would be a great interest in this type of picture and so, after 'The Cloisters' my next project will be 'Bellona'.

I have a number of books in the series entitled, "The Anatomy of the Ship"




Each book is dedicated to a particular ship, listing every part of its construction, rigging, sails etc.. 

It then gives the history of the vessel in great detail.

By taking this detail I am able to construct the ship, exactly to scale.


It is a massive challenge to translate, and begins by giving drawings of the ship cut up in slices ...


...  it is sliced in cross sections through its length, width and depth ...


... from which I build this exact picture in an isometric view. It's a very big picture about 30 inches high and 24 inches wide (700mm x 600mm).

So, after the cloisters ... 

I must go down to the sea again,
to the lonely sea and the sky,
and all I ask, is a tall ship
and a star to steer her by
                                                                   John Mansfield

24 comments:

  1. Hi John, I am absolutely stunned by the difficulties and by the beauty of the painting that you're devoting. Now I can already imagine the wonder of this ship when it will be finished. Ciao!!

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    1. Ciao Tito, thank you - good to dee you back

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  2. My goodness John! I am in awe of your abilities! Is there anything you can't do? :0)

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  3. Tee hee...I'm in complete agreement with Sandra above! This is looking super gorgeous, John! I can't wait to see the Cloisters and to see this beauty completed!

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    1. Thanks Sherry - it takes forever with these big drawings

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  4. Oh my word - this all seems far too mathematical for me to get my head around - how you even begin seomthing like this is beyond me but it's amazing - you must have so much patience and a very steady hand!

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    1. It's like everything else, Nicola. Once you get the basics you build on 'em.

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  5. I can't believe you created this! Amazing - you have a wonderful talent!

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  6. Wait a minute. So you are using the schematics in the book to draw the ship....from above????? Whoa! Well, it is looking amazing! Holy Cow!

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    1. Well the schematics give ranges of basic shapes and sizes ... how I use them is optional

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  7. Cross sections are everything in construction; they are the stuff of joinery. You're talking my language now. I love your drawings as you love doing them. It's like touching each piece of wood that goes into the ship. A pencil line is a cut. What fun. Just don't draw with your nose and remember to stretch those neck, shoulder and back muscles.

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    1. You got it totally ... why am I not surprised?

      And you understand the aches and pains :0)

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  8. Pat and Giselle are spot on John ... I think they'll be a great interest. If someone had told me I'd be on the edge of my seat waiting to see an isometric drawing come together, I'd have laughed at them, but that's exactly where I am ... on the edge of my seat. Hurry up and finish the Cloisters!!! ;-)

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    1. Could be ages before launching the boat ... Cloisters about one week!

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  9. I've said it before, John but you are so incredibly talented. I would LOVE to sit down with you and see you work! I'm looking forward to seeing this finished piece!!!

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    1. I have never watched anyone draw in pen & ink ...or been watched. I'm sure we would chatter and chatter and have great fun, Hilda

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  10. Incredibly detailed - I lOVE it! Those 18th c. ships were truly works of art. I can hardly wait to see your version of the Bellona. :)

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    1. Thanks Kathryn, I love these ships too. It could be some time before I launch Bellona though

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  11. You have an amazing ability to do left and right brain seemingly at the same time with equal focus. Your work is incredible to me because it is beyond my comprehension how you mix the technical with the artistic sensitivity.

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  12. Caro John,SEMPRE PIU' IN ALTO(motto italiano)...getting higher and higher, I wish you exciting art work on Bellona,as the cloister! when we feel we can do something difficult and we can do it, after much work... What Happiness! Even for us,viewers and admirers of
    your precious masterpieces.

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  13. beautiful vessel and iso dwg john !

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  14. Oh my gosh! You are a magician, John - there is just no other explanation!

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