View Full Version : A sailing ship

03-19-2015, 01:48 PM
Something different for me . I promised a friend from NZ a painting depicting their ancestors departing Greenock for NZ in 1842 .
Still early stages with this - bits of detail have been painted in and out and some will reappear shortly . Not sure whether this will turn out to be the final version or just a trial run to get into sailing ship mode.
I've still to add people on ship and shore and tackle some detail of the distant town . At the moment this image is not selling itself to me but I will persevere .
Acrylic on canvas 20" x 16" ish .
Thoughts welcome . Jim suggested a steam tug but I've thought about it and cant' see anywhere I could add one withoput cluttering the canvas . The dock area will have lots of ship masts / sails and I amy add another vessel by the Custom House . I'm aware of the wrong perspective on the bright side of the Custom House and will sort .

03-19-2015, 03:28 PM
Not being able to comment on the sailing rig, I would say otherwise that you are off to a good start. Maybe a touch heavy on the bow wave for the state of the water that is there and its location.

03-19-2015, 05:41 PM
See thread '4 Neil

03-19-2015, 07:51 PM
Thanks Jim - much appreciated . I should have mentioned that I wish to keep the Custom House prominent as well as the main vessel . That kind of limits what I can do with the right hand side water . The possibility of an early type steam tug or I believe there was a steam ferry around there is tempting . I have various paintings and drawings of The Jane Gifford so I'm fairly confident of the sail arrangement I have shown. She appears to have larger square sails stacked three up rather than several narrow top sails . I'm going on the notion that she has been towed out and has begun to make her way downstream . I appreciate that it might not be technically correct to have as much sail set as I show but aesthetically I prefer this to a more bare masted look . One option would be to show the tug heading back to the dock on the right hand side . Also tempted to put in some small craft.

03-20-2015, 05:58 AM
Hi Neil, you are right about the sails. The ship you are showing was a good bit earlier than the ones I have shown. I was trying to show a feeling of the ship moving very slowly, as it would be that close to land.
My commision was to be early 20th century, probably towards the end of hay days of the big "windjammers". Getting underway is usualy a bustling scene, usualy a couple of small boats for rope handling, pilot boat possibly. Tugs if in the right era. Before Tugs, it was all done with Warps( ropes) and castans.

03-20-2015, 07:17 AM
Thanks Jim - my theory is that at high tide the Clyde is very wide around those parts so she might be safe enough to get underway.
Doing the research it was interesting to see how early steam appeared on the river .Off the top of the head I think a steam ferry was introduced around 1819. I've also seen paintings of this era of sail alongside very early steam - still figuring out what I could do without over egging the content . I'll certainly added some small craft as the Clyde would have been bustling with them back then I reckon.

I'll tone down the bow wave to slow it down a lot though .

03-20-2015, 01:49 PM
Looking good to me, Neil.

03-20-2015, 04:01 PM
Thanks Gray - not my field of knowledge - but I'm learning fast!

03-21-2015, 05:50 PM
Here's an update . At last I begin to feel it might work!
Lots still to do to the main ship - rigging ,men etc and need to populate the quayside .
Poor phot but it gives the general idea of how it will look .
Acrylic on canvas 20" x 16" ish.

03-21-2015, 05:58 PM
That looks really dated.....style and colour wise.....it looks like it was done around 200 years ago

It would not look out of place in a Naval Military museum

03-21-2015, 06:46 PM
Thanks Len I guess that's the effect I was after .
Learned a lot about many things doing the research for this one .
Even down to the type of ensign prescribed for H M Customs as seen on the revenue cutter and the Custom House . Never knew there were so many do and don't's about sticking a flag up!

03-22-2015, 07:11 PM

Just about done with this one - I'll let it sit for a while and tinker here and there but this is essentially it. . I think I'll add some distant seagulls - can't imagine there wouldn't have been any in attendance .

Pete Hill
03-22-2015, 08:56 PM
Nice job, Neil. The deliberately old-fashioned rendering works well. Tall ships are tricky things to do and you have to correctly know the layout of the all the rigging otherwise sailing enthusiasts will spot the faults immediately but you seem to have done a good job. Well done.

03-23-2015, 08:59 AM
Thanks Pete ,
I'm hoping the recipients won't be too well up on historic ship rigging . I've done the best I can but I'm sure some of the more knowledgeable would pick bits out of it.
I will probably refine the small details of the rigging a bit further . I don't think the pulley blocks attaching the sails are as good as they should be . Glad to see you on here . I can't get anywhere with E- hangar these days so here for me is the place to be for aviation art.

Pete Hill
03-23-2015, 09:28 AM
I'm glad to be here too. I used to be a frequent contributor to e-Hangar but the site is not as welcoming or as active as it used to be and I also got tired of the frequent technical problems on the site.
Besides, this forum seems friendlier and it doesn't take itself as seriously.

03-25-2015, 01:18 PM
You certainly captured the old classic look with this one, Neil.

03-25-2015, 07:57 PM
Thanks Gray.