Something Different – Step by Step • November 26, 2014

This drawing is unusual for me. The last time I drew a choo choo was waaaaaay back in the early 1980’s, when as a commercial illustrator, I did a picture for an article on railroad mergers. I had to knock that one out over night. This one took a whole lot longer, but was much more fun!


One cool fact before we look at the photos: steam locomotives are classified by their wheel configuration. This one is a 2-6-0: 2 front wheels, 6 driver wheels (the big ones), and none under the cab = 0.


Last note: please forgive the bendy distortion (you can really see it in the track). I work on thin paper, which gets quite wavy before a drawing is flattened again once it’s finished.


A Paterson 2-6-0 Locomotive #3, 18″ x 24″

Except for the first rivets (the rows are that crooked in real life) and the walkway going forward (seen on edge), this is how the drawing looked after I slapped down the basics at the tail end of a day spent on site. That was one heck of a good hour and change!Rogers#3BLOG


Added: lots more rivets, cab detail, pipes and the locomotive’s number (well, the part we can see).



Here comes the beginning of the front end detail, and hand railings so the engineers won’t fall off when they’re on the walkway.



More front end detail has been added, but the part I’d already done seemed too distracting, so I lightened it up a bit. Then I darkened the engine and added still more fittings. It’s starting to look like quite the sooty contraption now!



Here it is finished, with detail all over the place. Yet there’s actually a good deal less than you think you see. In fact, I’m pleased with how this drawing shifts character within itself. Some areas retain the spontaneous marks thrown down in the initial sketch, others are deliberately vague and yet hang right in there next to detail that has almost become mechanical rendering. I was REALLY tired of doing rivets by the end.



Bonus Drawing: A Paterson 2-6-0 Locomotive #2, 18″ x 24″

This is the strange drawing I spent most of that day working on before starting the one we just looked at. I’m not sure why I’m so taken with it. Maybe it’s the locomotive’s  ghost-like quality, and the gritty atmosphere.