Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Illustration Friday - Tall

I can't believe it's only Tuesday and I already have finished the Illustration Friday weekly topic which I chose for this month. What came to my mind was a poem I long ago memorized: "Sea-Fever" by John Masefield, poet laureate of England from 1930 until his death in 1967   
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
 So off I set to find some photos of tall ships.  This one I used above is from Bruce Clayton on Flickr.
The night sky with its moon and star is a morguefile photo by mensatic.  I also incorporated two textures from Flickr's Best Textures group: Old photo texture bw by Essence of a Dream and Texture #18 by Shelly Freedman. Much of the credit for my timely completion of this little opus is due to my fabulous new Photoshop plug-in, Topaz Simplify which is specifically designed for digital art and painting.  Check out the Topaz Software group on Flickr to see what others are creating with the entire range of Topaz plug-ins.

While I really liked what I had done with the above composition, it wasn't what I had started out with in my mind's eye.  So, feeling on a creative roll, I concocted another version which was closer to my original vision.


The ship here is from **Mary** on Flickr.  All the other components – the night sky and the two textures – are the same.  And use of Topaz Simplify filters also.  Lots of layers and blend modes that I won't bore you with, but if you are interested, please email me and I'll be happy to tell you more about the inner workings of these compositions.  I say this because I often study digital images that I admire to try to suss out their secrets, and I appreciate every little bit of info that I can use to improve my own work. 


  1. That's a wonderful poem and I love the illustratinos you created to accompany it.

  2. Loved the poem, love the ships! And you make it sound so simple. . .