Lapstrake Dinghy - 5"x7" gouache on paper
Every once in a while, you're bound to come across something that fascinates you. For me it was a beautiful lapstrake (or clinker built) dinghy tied to a sailboat that was on the mooring next to us in Bucks Harbor. I love this beautiful and well protected spot on the western end of Eggemoggin Reach in Penobscot Bay, in Maine.
I took lots of pictures, because in a situation like this, you never know how long the light will be good. Or when someone will come along and hop into the dinghy and row away. Or the sailboat will simply drop the mooring and head out. I tried to be discrete, and hopefully the owners didn’t see me lusting after their dinghy. But I totally was.
Two drawings with felt tip pens in 4 values
When we got home, I made some drawings from the different viewpoints that I found in my photos. These were freehand, first with pencil and then over that with felt tip pens and ink. Such an enjoyable way to spend an evening! I even made a drawing using various cross-hatching techniques on fancy blue paper from Ruscombe Paper Mill. Thanks to Rob Adams both for the cross-hatch lesson and introducing me to this lovely paper.
More drawings, including pen and ink on blue paper ~ 5"x7"
Then I began to paint. The gouache painting came first. It was kind of a “let’s try this out, it will be fun” exercise. I decided to paint the sailboat to which the dinghy was tied a nice blue. Yesterday, I found this painting when looking through some canvas panels. I thought I’d lost it in our move, and was very happy to find it again. Gouache is an interesting medium. It feels a lot like oil paint during the painting process, despite being water based. But it does need glass when put into a frame.
Lapstrake Dinghy - 9"x12" oil on linen panel with knife
Next was a larger oil, painted with a knife. I used one of my other photos for reference this time, and left out the sailboat altogether. I was eager to try the reflection with a knife. I like the texture of the knife and the ease of changing color. All I have to do is wipe it off, no brushes to wash. I don’t use an easel when painting with a knife, but lay the painting flat in a jig, either on my lap or on a table. This allows me to turn the painting around so the knife can spread in whichever direction I need.
Lapstrake Dinghy - 5"x7" watercolor on paper
Next was a watercolor version, where I left out the rudder for a more simplified version. I also changed the color of the sailboat again. The bright yellow added a warmth to the panting that I liked. Watercolor is a great medium for something quick, and for an easy cleanup. I also love the way it looks, and using the white of the paper rather than white paint.
Clinker Built - 6"x8" oil on canvas panel
Last fall, I painted Clinker Built, the same view of the dinghy, but in oils with a brush. Once again I used a yellow for the sailboat. I’m not sure that it even matters what the sailboat shape is, or that non-boaters recognize it. But I do think the blocks of yellow really show off the classic lapstrake dinghy.
The Blue Sailboat's Dinghy - 16"x20" oil on linen panel
Finally, this spring, I decided to go big, 16"x20", four times the area of the previous version. The dinghy got a blue boat again and her rudder cam back. She continues to fascinate me!
Bobbi - Painter. Sketcher. Teacher. Boat and Dog Lover.