On the weekend I spent the day with the family on board a tall ship; it was a wonderful experience given to us by lovely parents :)

The James Craig is the only tall ship in the world (from the late 1800s) that regularly sails with passengers and her volunteer crew; and it was ever so special to be given the opportunity to join her on the ocean …

Tall ship moored in Sydney
James Craig in Port – Sydney
James Craig Sailing
James Craig with her sails hoisted outside Sydney heads

Inspiration for Pen & Ink sketches …

The drawings below are my first attempts at capturing the beauty of this ship. I hope to do many more …

pen & ink drawing James Craig
Pen & Ink sketch – ropes & pulleys on James Craig
Pen and ink drawing of James Craig railing, rivets and ropes
Pen and ink drawing of James Craig railing, rivets and ropes
Pen & ink drawing of railing and Opera House
Pen & ink drawing – Ship’s railing and the Sydney Opera House

The Drawing Process …

For these sketches I used technical drawing pens – Rotring Rapidograph (steel-nibbed ink pens), a brush ink pen, my sketchbook and vellum paper. I started the one with the railing and the Opera House while we were on the boat, and took plenty of photos to print and work on at home …

Drawing process
Sketches in progress on the drawing table

A furry Drawing Assistant

Filemon, our little kitten, is very curious and involved in everything … While I was drawing, he discovered that he could fit under my drawing table and kept popping his head up trying to climb onto the actual table… After some hilarious slipping and sliding (drawing table being on an angle), we instead had a cat and mouse game involving pens, my hands and a most excited kitten – then, he curled up and fell asleep to the sound of the pen strokes above his head …

furry drawing assistant
Filemon the feline drawing assistant

Sails, Wind & the Seven Seas …

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been in awe of sailing ships and their majestic beauty … My grandfather was an avid sailor and his father was an able seaman, who went to sea at the young age of 13.

Many inspiring (and some scary) tales, allowed my fascination of the ocean and sailing ships to grow … What’s not to love about huge canvas sails catching the wind … wooden decks and varnished railings … hundreds of ropes (that all have names) pulleys & blocks (mind your head!), along with the ship’s wheel, the bell … and thousands and thousands of rivets … truly makes a girl think :)

Thank you for visiting and take care!

Annette :)

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Diane

    I loved the photos, and the drawings are really beautiful; you have captured so much in them. I think that Filemon makes a great assistant, and it is very good that you have given him credit for all his hard work. I am looking forward to seeing more photos and more drawings.

    1. Annette

      Thank you … and thank you! :) I do hope to do more ship inspired drawings … and I shall pass on your feedback to Filemon (I know he agrees) :)

  2. Johan Derycke

    Hey Annette,

    what a beautiful post, and what a beautiful ship.
    Such ships are true pieces of art and I can imagine that it is very inspiring to be sailing along.
    Filemon looks like a nice new family member :)

  3. Jane

    Lovely work Annette – I can see why you were so inspired … what a gorgeous ship! And what a cute ship cat Filemon makes :)

    1. Annette

      Thank you Jane :) and Filemon agrees wholeheartedly with your comment about him :)

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