Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wooden Boat

The following is the drawing of wooden boats in Anggrem Harbor of Manokwari city. The boats play an important role in sea transportation connecting the coastal villages along the Cendrawasih (Geelvink bay) with the capital of West Papua province.  The average lengths of the boats are 20 to 30 meters with diesel engine as the main propelling power.
Drawing wooden boats manually as part of ship design job was an exhaustive task for me as a student of naval architecture. Now it is not difficult anymore due to the availability of cad drawing software for ship and boat design such as Delfship, Maxsurf, Rhino, Foran and etc. The time needed for manually drawing lines plan of a small boat was around three days to one week. With the help of Delfship or Maxsurf, we can design the lines plan within hours including watertight sub-division, resistance and propulsion calculation and hydrostatic assessment. Delftship can also be used to design the general arrangement of the boat. The design of linesplan and general arrangement, including the interior of the boat can be done simultaneously in Delfship, a robust cad drawing solution for naval architecture. Well, that's my opinion about drawing a boat from the engineering perspective.
Now I still draw boats manually not for ship design purposes but for artistic expression. Art drawing and cad drawing are different in process and purpose. In art drawing, an artist create beautiful drawing as final product. He or she begins sketching the boat hull, superstructure and the sea as her surrounding environment using pencil and then color it with colored pencil, watercolour or oil paints.
For naval architects, the drawing of lines plan, general arrangement and construction details are seen as tools to communicate design ideas to workers in workshops for later use in ship or boat building process. So, the drawings created by naval architects are not seen as final products but as tools to communicate ideas to those working in shipyard for the construction of the boat or ship.
If you see the above picture, you can easily say that it is an art drawing. Yes, there are boats in it but they are only artworks. The drawing cannot be used for construction. The drawing is a piece of artwork. To make the drawing, I had to visit the port of Anggrem in the Dorey bay of Manokwari city, the capital of West Papua province of the Republic of Indonesia. There, I took some photographs of the boats and used them later for writing articles in this blog and as reference for my drawing hobby. Because I studied naval architecture, I know the working principles of boats and ships but I do not want to discuss them here since the topics of boat design are very complicated. I present the above boat drawing in this post to you only to attract your attention to this wonderful watercraft or marine vehicle. I hope you can enjoy it. I will try to upload more drawings in my later posts. Thank you. by Charles Roring.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Drawing Human Figure

In my previous article about Drawing human face, I explain ways to sketch and correct the proportions of heads. Now, I am going to tell a little explanation of how to draw human.  Figure drawing is one of the most difficult subjects in art. Human being has standard proportion and we all know that. Slight mistakes in sketching face, hands or legs will easily tell that the drawing has drawbacks. I have been practicing drawing human figure for years yet I still feel that I need more practice to improve my drawing skills. I like drawing women. Women are natural beauty that we can explore from every angle of drawings using dry media such as pencil, charcoal or wet media such as oil and watercolor.
 For example, when drawing face, I prefer to start from thin line sketches that depict the face of a girl before I color the face with Derwent watercolor pencil. The quality of a drawing does not always have to be the same as the quality of a photograph. Artist has other ways to deliver the natural beauty of a girl in the form of lines of pencils on paper.
When drawing human figures in groups, first, I need to identify the vocal points of the subjects that I want to draw or paint. Then I will only make sketches of them based on basic shapes (rectangle, circle, oval). When the distance and proportion of the basic shapes have been obtained and corrected the next step will be drawing the shapes of human figures within the basic shapes that I have outlined.
You might not understand my explanation. Well, if you really are serious in studying figure drawing, I suggest that you read a book entitled: Advanced Drawing Skills - A Course in Artistic Excellence.
Inside the book, it says that when we see a subject that we want to draw, a beautiful girl lying on her bed, we must ask to ourselves, "what we see?" As drawing artist, we must see a rectangle, a cirle, a triangle or oval. That should be the answer, not a sleeping beauty. So, what we draw is the basic shapes. When the basic shapes have been traced, we can easily draw the beautiful girl sleeping on her bed with perfect proportion. Before you read the book that I mentioned above, I recommend that you read The Fundamentals of Drawing by the same author Barrington Barber.
I hope that this simple explanation will be able to encourage you to explore the fascinating world of figure drawing and explore the beauty of human figure.by Charles Roring
 Also read: Drawing Dolphins

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Propeller design looks simple yet a complicated task

Learning to design propeller can be a boring subject for any engineering students. Propeller does not experience revolution in design just like computer software and other multi-media gadgets. Ship propeller, although located below the sea surface and unseen by people, in fact, plays very important role in propelling the ship throughout all of her service life. Propeller usually consists of between three to six blades that rotate around the propeller shaft. These blades suck water and push them back. As a result the displaced water creates reaction that push the ship forward. This is a simple Newton' action-reaction law. The law sounds simple but the design of the propeller is more complicated than that.
During the stages of propeller design, a designer or naval architect must understand resistance and propulsion theories of a ship, the performance of propellers working in open water and behind the hull as well as a lot of  formulas and charts related to standard propeller series.
As someone who studies marine screw propeller and ship propulsion, I can say this is one of the most complicated subjects which I have ever read when studying in naval architecture.
Computer has greatly revolutionized various fields of engineering yet the water flow behind a ship's hull, through, and around the propeller is far more complicated to be simulated on the computer screen. Every propeller has its own performance characteristic when rotating behind a ship's hull. Today, it is only higher efficiency that propeller designer has to achieve. Vibration has to be minimized to ensure that passengers can enjoy their sea voyage well. by Charles Roring

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tropical Wooden Houses

Tropical wooden houses in Minahasa have been around for hundreds of years. Most of the Minahasan people live in houses that are constructed from wood. Cempaka, Merbau,  and Natoh (Latin: Micelia celebica) are the main types of wood used in the house construction due to their hardness and durability in resisting wet climate of the tropical weather. In addition, they are more resistant to termite attack. Most of the earthquake resistant wooden houses of Minahasa are single and two floors constructions. Besides they are more suitable to hot and high moisture climate, wooden houses are chosen for aesthetic reasons. All of the rooms in a traditional wood house of Minahasa have ventilation holes. Jalousie glass windows are the preferred choice because they allow sunlight to penetrate the rooms even when they are closed. They enable the air to flow freely in and out of the house. Most of the ventilation in bedrooms are covered with mosquito nets. 
 Minahasa is a regency in the province of North Sulawesi of the Republic of Indonesia that is surrounded by several active volcanoes such as Mount Lokon, and Mount Soputan. In addition, it is located within the ring of fire of the Pacific Ocean where tectonic earthquake frequently occurs.
If we explore wooden house thoroughly, we will see that ladders are installed one at the front of the house which enables guests to come up directly to the second floor (where the living room is located) and the other at the back of the house connecting the second floor with the kitchen (which is located at the ground floor). The ground floor is usually allocated for the storage of agricultural produce (such as clove, rice, peanuts, and coffee), parking area for cars, and kitchen. Typical Minahasan wood houses have large yard area where the owners (whose profession as farmers) dry their agricultural commodity under the sun. Minahasan people like to grow clove and coconut trees in front of their houses. They also grow various flowers at the front yard as decoration that beautify the outside appearance of the house. The second floor is usually allocated for bedrooms and living room. These ladders stiffen and strengthen the construction of the wooden house against horizontal movements caused by tectonic and volcanic earthquakes. Read: Earthquake Resistant Wood House.
In the past the roof of the wooden houses are made of palm leaves. Because of frequent fire incident, today's wood houses have roof made of metal sheets which in Indonesia are called daun seng. Ordinary thin corrugated metal roof is actually not suitable for house construction in Minahasa whose atmosphere is often filled by sulphur emitted by the volcanoes but the local people there do not have other option. Actually the manufacturers of the metal roof need to produce metal roof sheets that are more resistant to corrosion caused by high sulphur content in air. 
Today the Minahasan wooden houses are being exported in the form of knock-down package that can be ordered directly from the internet and shipped in containers. House builders will be sent to help the buyer of the house construct the package.
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