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A Lifeboat - Work in Progress

Photo of Flamborough Lifeboat that will be used for reference

When I stumbled across a black and white photograph of the Flamborough Lifeboat leaving Bridlington Harbour in a south easterly gale to escort local fishing cobbles back to safety in 1971, I just knew I had to draw it. I sent an email to the photographer, Paul Berriff, and sought his permissions, which he gladly gave. I wish to increase the drama in the photo by disguising that the boat is still close to land so I will use artistic licence to remove the harbour wall.

Image showing first stage of drawing

Due to the fine detail in the boat I have again elected to use a grid. Though I normally work top left to bottom right, on this occasion I've decided to deal with the boat in its entirety before tackling the sea.

Image showing second stage of drawing

The detail in the boat was a challenge and required the use of a fine pencil and an equally fine eraser.

Image showing third stage of drawing

With the boat finished I passed back over it adjusting some of the tones, darkening and lightening to create as natural a level of contrast as I could.

Image showing fourth stage of drawing

The sea was partly taken from the photo and partly invented, especially on the left of the boat where the harbour wall should be. This first pass is to position and shape the waves and to create the distant stormy horizon.

Image showing finished drawing

Now the whole thing gets passed over once more to again darken shadows and lighten the surf and reflections. Tweaks were made to the boat and men in light of now having a dark sea around them. The guy ropes from the masts were now added and I confess to using a ruler. These lines have to be very taught and the slightest wobble in a hand-drawn line would ruin that effect.