Sailboat Blueprints

Years ago one of my co-workers, after seeing my pre-architecture hardline drawings, asked to commission an artistic blueprint of a sailboat.  I agreed, but it was a chaotic time in my life; as I became increasingly overwhelmed, the project was lost and forgotten.  It wasn’t until recently, when I resolved to tie up my remaining loose ends before beginning grad school, that I rediscovered and finally completed the drawing.

The drawing is based off of real sailboat blueprints, and drawn at a 1:50 scale.  Its dimensions are 22″ x 30″, and is entirely hand-drawn via drafting tools.  For those who are curious, I specifically used a parallel rule, ruler, lead holder (1mm lead mechanical pencil), triangle, French curves, a drafting brush, an erasing shield, and an eraser pillow.  I cannot for the life of me find a link to the last item, so I will explain: it is a small pouch filled with tiny eraser shavings, which you squeeze to sprinkle tiny eraser bits onto your drawing.  This allows you to slide tools around on your paper, such as a triangle, without smudging the graphite.  Quite useful.

It is very, very difficult to portray a hand-drawing digitally in any flattering manner, so when I say I’m proud of the craft of this piece, you’ll have to take my word for it.  These zoomed snapshots can at least give you a sense of the level of detail.

In archi-speak, we call those gridlines “construction lines.”  They allow me to not only accurately plot individual vertices within the drawing, but they also are critical during orthographic projection, or carrying the measures from one drawing onto another.  I used this when drawing features on one drawing (say, the plan of the boat) that I had already drawn from another view (the elevation.)  By keeping these lines parallel, I didn’t need to make any duplicate measurements.

With this drawing complete, I can start the semester off with a clean slate and a fresh start.  And that, as they say, is that!

3 thoughts on “Sailboat Blueprints

  1. Awesome…so you actually draw those construction lines first? I’ve used a similar process in my drawing, sometimes using graph paper and other times drawing my own lines. Never anything as intricate as what you used.

    I’m definitely going to have to find an erasing shield!

    • I don’t draw all of the construction lines first – it would be quite a bit to keep track of – but yes, each time I add a point or line to the drawing, I draw all the construction lines I need to position it first. It’s really useful in a drafting context, where measurements from one drawing (like a plan) can then just be easily transferred to another drawing (like a section or elevation.)

      Erasing shields are really useful! You can probably find them anywhere that sells drafting tools; I got mine at Michigan Book & Supply.

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