Monday, 5 January 2009

changing tack

Thanks for all your support and advice everyone, both through the comments here and on ravelry. I'm a bit overwhelmed that you're all so excited about this! I'm changing tack a little, hopefully to the vast improvement of the project, as a result of all your advice, and I hope you'll all continue to offer your critical opinions ~ I'd be most obliged.

Here is my summary of the critical comments;:
  • more than one point of perspective
  • some of the sails not the right shape
  • the hull is not the right shape

and the suggestions;

  • add shading to the sails for depth and shape
  • edge sails in a different colour to differentiate
  • extend the spars beyond the edges of the sails
  • add a break at the waist of the ship

I agree with absolutely all of these comments (they seem to be painfully glaring and I can't imagine how I missed them now) and it got me thinking that if I'm going to do this I might as well do it properly.

Thus, I have scrapped the sketch and chosen a new and better image to start with, the Geoff Hunt painting of HMS Surprise (featured on the cover of the 21st book). I found a really clear version of it on the internet and zoomed in a bit, then printed on squared paper. I hope I'm not totally trashing the copyright laws doing this!

As you can see this will be much easier to copy without losing the correct shape and perspective; there are fewer sails (and they are easier to differentiate); and there is more and clearer detail ~ especially on the hull. For instance there is already quite a lot of shading on the sails and a break at the waist.
I will probably use grey and light blue for the sails now, and as the hull, ropes and masts will be in dark blues I will add some light colour to the sea and sky around the ship so they can be seen against the black background. I know that black will give the whole image a very different look, I'm aiming to capture the ship at night in the moonlight. And of course it will be more of a graphic image than a painting anyway.
I'm using dk weight to knit this, and a basic t-shirt pattern. My tension will be 22 sts and 30 rows across a 4" square. As my stitches are smaller than the squares on my graph paper, I'm scaling the image up to twice the size, while converting it into the basic chart. The increased size also allows the curves to be a bit more gradual. I've only done the top sails so far, I'll update with the entire image soon.

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