Sunday, 19 August 2018

Force Ten



Quite a long time ago I came across a photograph by Paul Berriff of a Lifeboat in rough seas and felt compelled to draw it. I contacted Paul and he was happy to give his permissions and some of you may remember the final picture... "Flamborough Lifeboat 1971". Recently I've had the urge to do another powerful pencil drawing so went back to Paul's site to see what was there. I discovered a dramatic photo of mfv Galatea, a fishing boat, battling huge waves in a raging sea. Paul again kindly granted permission for me to use it, so here it is. The original photo contains chains and railings from the boat on which Paul was standing when he took the photo but I've left those out to increase the sense of isolation of the Galatea.

Paul's original photo contains many really dark tones, almost complete black, and as any pencil user knows, such deep blacks are next to impossible to achieve. Following on from my recent "Gorilla" drawing I did consider tackling this picture in Charcoal but I think (no, I know) that would be a step to far for me. What I am now considering is adding darker tones to this drawing using charcoal just where needed. I'm concerned about how well the charcoal will 'take' on top of already shiny graphite so I need to do some serious experimenting first. If any of you have experience of charcoal over graphite I'd love to hear from you.

The original photo and more of Paul's work can be seen on his website 


6 comments:

  1. This is amazing John!! The huge waves are beautifully drawn....so good that it's scary..lol. The details on the boat is wonderful.....Congratulations on an excellent piece!!!!!

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    1. Thank you very much Hilda, you're very kind. ;-)

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  2. Beautiful! What if you used black watercolor to get the deeper hues?

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    1. An interesting suggestion Linda, but I think I'll pursue the charcoal avenue. I just need to do some testing before committing any more marks to the drawing. Thank you.

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  3. Fabulous, John! Is it really necessary to add blacks? The contrast between light and dark looks fine.

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    1. No, it's not necessary Judy and I'm happy with it as it is. However, looking at the original photo, it has more drama and I think that is down to the much darker tones. Thank you very much Judy.

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