Savannah's Harbor

Considering Savannah has one of our country's busiest ports, you would think that I would have some sketches of the harbor after having lived here for four years. But I don't have many.

What I do have is a neighbor who is a tugboat pilot who offered to take me out with him this past spring. I was excited for this opportunity! Unfortunately, I was advised to take a camera and shoot photos, but not to sketch because having a non-crew member on-deck while maneuvering the freighters was too risky. So what I have to post here, at least initially, are photos. (A watercolor I did based on my photos follows.)

One of the things that impresses me to no end about the freighters is their sizes! They're immense! Floating cities! When our tugboat pulled up beside a freighter to nudge it into port, it grew dark beneath the freighter's hull!

When I got back to my studio after the outing, I did a watercolor painting in which I attempted to capture the scale relationships between the freighters and the tugs. This is a small piece — about 8 x 6" — so it doesn't feel entirely successful when it comes to achieving my formal goals. On the other hand, I did work this piece in a subtractive watercolor process (unusual for me), having first sized my paper, then applied a mid-tone wash of a mixture of burnt sienna, Payne's grey and ultramarine, before lifting out and adding details.