"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.