Jibe represents a crucial moment in the Columbia vs Defender
1899 America's Cup Trials. John's research is meticulous and is based
on contemporary accounts of events, available drawings, photographs
and inspection of available models of the yachts.
plan view of the race course detailing wind direction, vessel headings
and sail settings is prepared to ensure that when the print is seen
from an observer's viewpoint the scene is actually possible. Then a
full size sketch is traced, cropped to the final proportion and then
studies confirm important details. John's rigor is such that while painting
he discovered that Columbia's inner forestay did not in fact land on
the stemhead but at the heel of the bowsprit. This part of the painting
was completely reworked to ensure authenticity - you can see it in the
number of sail panels helps establish the scale of these huge yachts.
With a standard width sail panel large yachts need an immense number
to construct the sails. Having made counts from contemporary photographs
John then constructs a tracing to ensure that the construction of the
original sail is conveyed in the correct perspective with the appropriate
number of panels!
established the position of the sail panels the stitching must be painted
in and the tones must be blended in order to correctly convey the light,
transparency and shadow on each and every sail. Small fine stokes build
up each seam and John keeps many pots of carefully mixed paints available
to produce the right effect. Detailing one sail alone can take over
one week of painstaking work!