Friday, December 09, 2005

Charles W. Morgan pt. 4

Here's some drawings from belowdecks on the Morgan.

These drawings were pencilled on location. Then I'd go over to the photo-archives at Mystic Seaport, and add any people or props from period sources. I'd ink the drawings at night on a card table in my Grandparent's cottage.I call this guy "Ahab Lincoln," and he's pretty fanciful. It's unlikely that a whaling captain would have a peg leg, and probably even more unlikely that he'd have a harpoon in his cabin. This is, by far, the most luxurious space on the ship, and it's about the size of a twin bed.
This is the officer's table. The big thing running through the picture is a mast. As you can see, they ate off of china and crystal, which, for some reason, strikes me as funny. The table has runners down it's length, so that the plates couldn't slide around but so much when the ship was rocking.

I wish these drawings did a better job of conveying just how small these spaces are. I drew these while crammed into tiny little corners to 1) get the composition I wanted and 2) stay out of the way on any tours coming through. To get a sense of the scale, print one of these drawings out, hold it about six inches in front of your face, and then back up against a wall. To complete the experience, get about a dozen kids wearing novelty pirate hats hopped up on ice cream and let them scream in your ear the whole time (it is, of course, a basic truth of childhood that ALL large wooden ships are pirate ships, and that if you keep pestering your father, he'll eventually show you where the cannons are).

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