How to Draw Boats

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CHAPTER XVII

PERSPECTIVE OF BOATS AND SHIPPING

THOUGH a man must be something of a sailor to draw a ship as she should be drawn, that is not to say that we landsmen must grant him an ex.3lusive monopoly. It is just here that perspective comes in to save us from drawing a boat that could neither float nor sail.

Taking a punt as the most primitive of boats we find her little more than a shallow box, undercut at how and stern. Nothing here to stop you making a perfect drawing by perspective rule alone. (Punts drawn in Figs. 291 and 292 and Illus. LXI.)

Guiding points for drawing her curves can be found by means of a box.—To make a toy-boat from an oblong chunk of wood you mark the stern post at the middle of one end, and the bow at the other, and connect these by a line for the keel. Then taper her sides from beam to bow, and to the width of her stern. Undercut her from water-line to keel and you have a rough boat, all but the lengthways curve of her gunwale. It is a help when drawing a boat to get to work in something of the same way, and as there is no difficulty in drawing the box at any tilt or angle, you keep by its means the essential parts of your boat correctly placed one for the other.

With such guiding lines it is best to draw her curves by eye, though they could with infinite patience be drawn by rule, which might be a necessity, if instead of a boat one had only her plans to work from, but of this presently (see Part II, Chap. XXIII). Meanwhile, by Fig. 345 we see how to find guiding points for the line of her gunwale, which curves both horizontally and vertically.

The use of a sketch plan when drawing a boat. — Fig. 346 might stand for the shape of a ship's bow. In Fig. 347 we have taken the heights (0–D), the lengths (1-4), and the width (0–B) from Fig. 346 and transferred them to our perspective drawing (Fig. 347). The diagram itself explains how these (or any other) points are moved to their correct position.

In Fig. 348 I have worked out a few more guiding points in the same way and run a line through them. If the boat is to be represented only a little to one side of you, the ends of the box will not be foreshortened. In this case you need not take the measurements on both edges of the near end, as we did in Fig. 345. We can go one step further without mechanically drawing our boat from plans. Suppose you know what the curves of her body plan would be like (in section) at (say) three-quarters of her length ; you can sketch that curve on the box end (Fig. 349), and from it get as many guiding points as you want in the partition where the curve is to be. The particular use of this dodge would be in making one curve overlap another nicely at the furthest end of the box.

Illus. LXV. Drawn by E.Duncan
LIGHTSHIP AND LIFE-BOAT.

Illus. LXVI. Drawn by E. Duncan.
SWANSEA PILOT-BOAT.

The placing of boats at correct distances. — If you have to place a number of boats or ships in certain positions on water you will find it admissible to cover its surface with foreshortened squares just as we advised for groups of figures. Each square might be the length of a boat to save trouble. Be careful to fix your distance-point judiciously before drawing the horizontal lines. The way to do all this has been thoroughly explained already.

Illus. LXVII. Drawn by Louis Paul at Falvey.
How much more dramatic and personal a ship looks close at hand than when at a distance, as in Illus. LXVIII.

Illus. LXVIII.
Another drawing by L. Paul of the same boat as she would appear further away. Notice that the masts show their actual relative heights better. Also note the position of the yards and the diminishing in the length of the bowsprit.

Effect of distance on foreshortening. — A common mistake is to introduce at a certain distance a study of a ship that was drawn from a different distance. The rapid foreshortening in a boat seen close by, compared with one seen far off, is so unmistakable that it makes the error unpardonable. Compare Illus. LXVII with Illus. LXVIII.

In " Nature's Laws and the Making of Pictures," by W. L. Wyllie, R.A., you 'will find much instruction regarding ships that I am unable to give you (see also Chap XXIII for drawing ships from her plans).

Note. — An article in "Yachting Monthly" (May; 1916) explains to those who are well versed in Perspective how a yacht can be correctly drawn from her designer's plans.

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