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Jonners

Blackburn Dart floatplane pencil drawing

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Right at the top, I'll acknowledge that Blackburn afficionadoes will recognise this drawing as a straight copy of a frequently-reproduced Blackburn photo; it was done as a practice piece just to keep my hand in, so I claim no originality whatsoever!

G-EBKF was a dual-control floatplane adaptation of the service Blackburn Dart and was used by The Blackburn Flying School, situated alongside the Blackburn factory at Brough on the river Humber, as an advanced seaplane trainer. The floats incorporated 'fold-up' wheels to facilitate ground/ramp handling. There is an interesting period article on the aircraft here: http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1925/1925%20-%200271.html

Most of the original Blackburn factory buildings at Brough are still extant, although they have unsurprisingly been altered and incorporated into the modern BAe Systems facility. The site of the original slipway into the river is also still apparent, but only just, and the slipway itself is long gone.

Comments and criticisms welcomed.

Jon

DartSeaplane_zpse9f4639a.jpg

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I love it !!! you not only have talent but taste !!!

i would kill, plunder and pillage for a nice 1/48 kit series of Blackburn's early types

Cheers mate

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That is amazing Jonners,.....one of the best pencil drawings that I`ve seen and the subject is great too,...really atmospheric, I can almost fell the spray and smell the dope!

Cheers

Tony.

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Just found this - that is really excellent work!

What paper did you use?

keith

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Blimey guys, it's not THAT good, really!!

Keith, I think this was done on 135gsm paper from a WHSmith 'sketch pad'; I think it was the A4 version with a repro pencil sketch of a pair of giraffes on the cover. Nothing fancy, but it's quite smooth, bright white paper whereas sometimes I've used a slightly rougher and creamier-white paper, such as for the 202 Sqn 'type history' drawing elsewhere on this forum which was done on A2 paper.

Jon

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...You've got me thinking now: perhaps I ought to consider another odd-looking vintage subject! Hmmm...

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Blimey guys, it's not THAT good, really!!

Keith, I think this was done on 135gsm paper from a WHSmith 'sketch pad'; I think it was the A4 version with a repro pencil sketch of a pair of giraffes on the cover. Nothing fancy, but it's quite smooth, bright white paper whereas sometimes I've used a slightly rougher and creamier-white paper, such as for the 202 Sqn 'type history' drawing elsewhere on this forum which was done on A2 paper.

Jon

Thanks Jon.

I've recently dug out my pencils again & I like smooth surfaces, been struggling a bit with Bristol Board though as it's fairly unforgiving - your drawing looked so smooth I wondered if it's what you used. Think I'll give one of the many cartridge pads I have lying around a go next time (I seem to be as bad buying those as additions to the plastic stash!)

And I think your drawing IS that good, really! To my eyes the perspective looks spot on, the shading is beautifully delicate & the subject matter is pretty special! I like your sky too! I agree that you definitely need to consider another similar subject (Blackburn Blackburn....hint!)

Off to see if I can find your 202 sqn drawing....

ATB

Keith

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Blimey guys, it's not THAT good, really!!

Er, no it is that good actually. Thanks for posting.

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For the sky, if it's of interest, I use a technique that I picked up from the Internet. It's tedious and time-consuming, but I've been quite pleased with the results so far.

Firstly I use a 2H pencil to 'colour in' the whole area of the paper that I want to be 'blue sky' by using fine parallel strokes. The orientation of this shading doesn't matter, but it's very important not to put indentations into the paper (a good reason for using smooth paper rather than the softer textured type). Once this is done, and ignoring how much of a mess you think you've just made of your latest masterpiece, change the orientation by 90 degrees and cover the whole of the 'blue sky' area again.

Once you've done this, change the orientation yet again, this time by 45 degrees, get up, walk around, steel yourself for more tedium and cover the sky area for a third time with parallel shading. If this orientation description sounds confusing, then here's another way of putting it: first shading using parallel strokes going from bottom left to top right, second shading with strokes from top left to bottom right, then third shading using either horizontal or vertical strokes.

By now you'll be bored senseless and thinking what a mess you've made, but here comes the magic part. Take some decent toilet tissue (I find that kitchen roll can be too abrasive) and polish the shading that has just driven you to the brink of despair. The more you polish, the more the lines will disappear until, eventually, you have a nich smooth grey background. You can then use a good erasor to create clouds - with pencil-shaded shadows if appropriate - and even apply more shading/polishing if you want to darken the upper part of the 'sky'.

Finally, using a good straightedge and an eraser trimmed to a decent sharpness, erase the edges of your polished section to define the edge of the image.

It's very easy (and recommended) to practice this technique in small sections before committing to it for the first time on a drawing; I prefer to complete the main image first before shading/polishing around it, so definitely don't want to make a complete Horlicks of it right at the end!

Jon

Edited by Jonners

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Thanks Jon, that is definitely of interest. It's actually similar as to how I do most of my shading, but that's usually on much smaller areas & I haven't used the multiple orientations bit - I shall definitely be trying a sky that way, yours look very effective. I use paper 'stumps' or blenders (bought a cheap set from The Range & they were rubbish, then got a set of Derwent ones, apparently made from rice paper & they are excellent), but again I like that idea of toilet paper for bigger areas, I think it would probably be more effective - & easier! The use of a straightedge & eraser to define the edge also sounds good, I generally don't have a proper 'border', but again I like the more finished look of your Blackburn drawing than mine tend to be.

So thanks again, plenty to think about when I can sit down & start doing some aircraft drawings again. I hadn't drawn anything for about 15 years, but the arrival of our first granddaughter in the summer got me inspired again, but so far it's only portraits of her I've had chance to do (& at least her mum likes them!)

Best

Keith

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Jonners!!!, guess you will have to accept that it IS that good, in fact its artistically extremely well done. I don't know the subject so I cant comment on its accuracy but I know what I like and that would look great on any ones wall, honestly... Well done

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Thanks again for the generous comments, folks. They are much appreciated, even though they make me feel like a bit of a fraud as my output is so low! Life's diversions, not enough hours in the day, kidding myself with feeble excuses etc...

I do have another picture in my head with Keith's suggestion of the Blackburn Blackburn as the main subject, so when I eventually find the right photo to use as a reference I will make a start...once I manage to shoe-horn it in between the other hobbies, household jobs, ferrying kids about, busy new job, house sale, etc (sound familiar?).

Jon

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I do have another picture in my head with Keith's suggestion of the Blackburn Blackburn as the main subject,

Excellent, can't wait to see it..... (no pressure mind!!)

I don't know about your feeble excuses, I'm retired so have far less of those everyday 'reasons' now, but I still haven't managed to get any drawing done since the one of my grandaughter I mentioned back in January....!! Must pull finger out...!!

Keith

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