Guest Blog: Lucy Bellwood

Monday, October 24, 2016

I'm Lucy Bellwood a tall ship sailor, cartoonist, and illustrator from Portland, Oregon. My connection to the Oliver Hazard Perry? I had the pleasure of being a Voyage Cartoonist during this summer's second sail-training program! In the strange career I've carved out for myself, I currently travel from place to place making comics about unusual experiences- many of them nautically-themed-- so you can imagine how thrilled I was to come aboard and explore all that the Perry had to offer. 


As a sailor myself, my interest in shipboard life goes somewhat beyond the fly-on-the-wall status accorded to many voyage documentarians. I spent a blissful week getting to reacquaint myself with the rhythms of crew life after an extended stint ashore working on my creative practice, and I couldn't have asked for a better batch of sailors than the folks aboard the Oliver Hazard Perry. (I also hope they were happy to have a steady hand to assist with whiteboard drawings for teaching demos.)


Teaching students about the history of scurvy, leading gesture drawing workshops, drawing portraits of trainees, and assisting in the rig were all stellar highlights from a week of sunshine and good memories.


While I distill those experiences into an illustrated account, I thought I'd share some process photos with you all so you can see what goes into creating a final comic- especially one centered around such an adventurous week.


I'm currently laying into the last two steps of the creative process: inking and coloring.


Here you can see some of the partly -finished pages, drawn in-between bursts of activity on board. I try to do as much work in the moment as I can, since being aboard affords me the opportunity to draw straight from life and take notes as I go.


The next step will be inking the last few memories (and everyone's bittersweet departure), then beginning to paint the entire story with watercolors. I'll be sure to check back in once that's underway so I can show you all how it works.


To purchase Lucy Bellwood's finished comic on Oliver Hazard Perry, CLICK HERE!