"A sketchbook is a secret thing, a collection of unfinished and often times abandoned ideas never intended for public consumption—at least not in their current state. It’s a private space for honing one’s craft and workshopping, separating good ideas from those best left unexplored." -Brian Heater at The Daily Cross Hatch.

29 November 2009

Jack Tar


This is an illustration I started for Jack Tar Online Magazine. Though it may not look like it, I've fought over this thing like it was a battle. Drawing, erasing, redrawing, etc. I'm going to festoon his chest with sailorly tattoos: A frigate, a sextant, a turtle (signifying that our subject is a shellback). I was debating coloring him on the computer, but I think I'll have a go with the Dr. Marten's inks. If I ever get to that point.
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27 November 2009

From the Vaults: Inflexible Tar


I don't remember what my reference was for this sketch either. Probably from an old Osprey book. This old tar is obviously from the HMS Inflexible (great name for a ship, no?) despite his armband which reads "Flexible". "Inflexible" was also a class of ships in the 18th century.
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From the Vaults: Royal Navy, Ceylon, 1950's


This is a Royal Navy officer. I was doing an experiment with watercolors...
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From the Vaults: Captain Whiskers


This was a birthday card I painted for my Wife. I was reading "Blind Man's Bluff" at the time. Our dear departed cat was my model for this image.
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From the Vaults: Ahab and his Muse


Another Moby Dick inspired drawing.
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From the Vaults: Ahab


I was reading Moby Dick at the time I drew this. I'm still reading Moby Dick...I will probably reading Moby Dick a couple of years from now...
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From the Vaults: 19th C. Destroyerman


In lieu of new content today, I figured I'd put up some old art. This is an enlisted gunnery crewman on a 19th century warship. Can't remember the specifics about the photo reference.
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21 November 2009

Okie Boat UNREP


Another UNREP sketch done at work...unfortunately I couldn't finish...This UNREP takes place aboard the USS Oklahoma City. Great photos on the OKIEBOAT site. Looks better, smaller.
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19 November 2009

A Soldier of the Sea


Taking a little detour from the strictly maritime...Marines are soldiers of the sea, after all. This is a portrait of Corporal Richard R. Goerke in Korea. Found it on a Seabee website...and after having a chat with an old WWII Seabee Vet tonight, I think I might generate some content relevant to that unit for this blog.
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18 November 2009

Hatting Up

Here's a hard hat diver on the USS Walke (Destroyer #34) in 1914 suiting up for a dive. This whole series of photos is great...
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Sailors, New and Old

I did a bunch of sketching today at work. On the left is an image I took from a photo by the intrepid, independent journalist Michael Yon. Judging by the badge on his load bearing equipment this was a surface warfare trained sailor who was assigned to protect an oil platform in the North Arabian Gulf. (I smudged out the face because I got the proportions horribly wrong). On the right is 1950's era petty officer Joe McGrogan of the USS New DD-DDE 818, doing his best James Dean.
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15 November 2009

Aussie UnRep

Is all that Bosun's Mates do is perform refueling at sea? There don't seem to be any photos of them doing anything else. This was taken from a picture of a bunch of Australian Bosun's Mates aboard the HMAS Darwin moving their refueling bell into position. The full image would make a great painting...
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13 November 2009

Did this sketch at work. Normally I don't do any art related to carrier aviation, but I thought this 1970's bosun's mate aboard the USS FDR, with Admiral Zumwalt-approved beard was a worthy subject. He apparently is preparing for an underway replenishment.
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10 November 2009

This is a sketchbook page- note the Kevlar helmet transfixed over the destroyer in the corner- sometimes what I end up with is far from what I started doing... I did this sketch with a brush rather than a pen- I was going for something loose and more gestural than usual. This is from a recent photo of a destroyerman guiding a pallet onto his deck during an underway replenishment.
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Still experiencing major technical difficulties, both analog and digital...You'll have to make up your own dialogue for this one.

Also, check out this nifty trove of Anti-Shipping Activity Messages (scroll down) compiled by the Federation of American Scientists. It's like a secret geopolitical maritime history that most of us landlubbers are barely aware of...

And by the way, happy Marine Corps Birthday to all you Jarheads.
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