tall ship tattoo design

I have been playing with coasters recently. Yes, that’s the big secret behind most of the circles you will ever see on this blog. It’s probably a coaster or a plate.

I actually own a couple compass tools, but they both live (sensibly) in my studio, and (insensibly) I’m almost never actually creating art in my studio. Sometimes I do. But often I paint at the end of the day, in the evening, sometimes while watching a show or listening to a book, and the light in my studio is not great at night. It takes a special mood.

Or it takes the mood for acrylics. Because those aren’t portable. Not nearly so portable as watercolors.

Anyway. I was messing with circles, and more graphic design-like images because it is stretching for me. I greatly admire those who can make that type of art.

I feel like this piece is really close to how I wanted it to look, but it doesn’t actually look how I wanted. Things got skrewy with the flourishes. Flourishes are hard , you guys.

This makes me think of tattoos, but I think you’d have to be quite clever about placement, given the circle and flourish–or make it smaller. I don’t think I would get it as a tattoo, though.

Maybe if I were a sailor.

For all my appreciation of tall ships, I am not a sailor. I’ve only been out on teeny tiny boats on ponds, and never on a tall ships when it was, you know, actually moving. Though exploring the ships in harbor has always been a lot of fun to me.

I haven’t put this piece on Redbubble, frankly I’m a bit daunted by the thought of the digital clean up process on it 😛 Maybe someday. But you could get an art print if you wanted one, just message me.

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Sail Boats

I’ve been sailing exactly twice.

I feel like this is infinitely better than never having been sailing at all, but also sort of sad, because only twice.

Friends of ours had a boat, and invited us out a couple times to some little lake. I remember basically nothing about the surroundings, I was enthralled with the feel of floating on the lake, pushed by the breeze, and how you watched the water. They let me bask on the prow, and I learned important things like how to duck the boom.

I was probably twelve. It was pretty awesome.

That does, however sum up pretty much everything I know about sailing. Except for the things learned from movies, and we all know how reliable those are.

Purple Sail on a Teal sea-available on Redbubble and Etsy

I love the idea of sailing, though, even though I know that sailing in a big open space like the ocean would probably scare the snot out of me. I know about the horse latitudes and I’ve seen one too many Big Storm movies, being swept out to sea means you die! And if you don’t know what you’re doing, you get swept out to sea.

I’ve been practicing smaller sail boats this year—just a few, and they look radically different when I don’t have a picture of a sailboat in front of me.

When I was a teen, I went straight to more complex ships (though, still nothing like a brigandine, think Dawn Treader), and I guess they looked alright? I mean. I was mostly interested in the decorative prow (which was shaped like a horse, obviously). The novel I was working on in high school involved the Prince of the Horse-lords becoming a seafarer. He was a side character, and I think the plot significance of his ship was that he was well traveled—and I think he used it to make alliances with countries to the south. I’m realizing now that was a bit of a wasted opportunity if he didn’t use it that way, and I can’t remember for sure if that’s what he did or not. Wow. Never thought I’d forget anything about that novel.

Red Sails

I love it when tall ships are living museums and you area allowed to board and explore these shockingly small wood vessels that crazy people used to cross the Atlantic.

Black Sails–I need more creative names for these ships.

One of my friends passionately loves tall ships, and he can free sketch gorgeous ones when he’s bored in meetings. I know where to go when I need a ship for my Zare Caspian stories.

What about you? How do you feel about ships? Have you been sailing? Did you like it?

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red sails

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I painted this in an effort to…well…learn more about watercolors. I was trying to mess around with controlling the depth of pigment in broader strokes, but still deliberate ones, if that makes sense. The water came out kind of cool, but you can see that the ship leaked all over it because I didn’t wait for the ship to dry sufficiently before starting on the water.

The sails were a challenge for me to draw–so many lines and angles! I thought it would be easy, but it wasn’t. I will definitely be drawing Chinese junks again, though, because they are SO COOL to look at.