This is where the design of Eileen’s repaint and lettering began. I took a few photos of her back cabin in Varney’s Lock and then overlaid copies of the prints with tracing paper to sketch out lots of different ideas.

As you can see, the design for the two smaller panels hardly changed, with the boat’s name EILEEN and the Alfred Hickman Fleet No.105 on one panels and the BCN registration number 18686 on the other. It’s really only the long thin central panel that caused the headaches, with some designs overcrowding the panel with HOLT & FILTNESS, and others including this sketch including CANAL CARRYING etc. That said, this was a fun stage, with evenings around the kitchen table testing ideas and styles without a splash of paint being thrown in anger.


And on the boat, during the painting process, Jez laid out many of my reference materials, and drew mock-up lettering to check against the panels. This preliminary stage, though time-consuming, proved invaluable in getting the final proportions of the lettering right.


As Jez went home at weekends, and I could only go up to the boat at the weekend, for much of the three weeks of painting we communicated by notes and sketches, by chatting on the phone and by sending photos back and forth… it’s the modern process of boating painting I guess?


Meanwhile, beyond the preparatory drawings work continued apace on the boat itself. With the gloss coats of Grass Green and Bright Red applied to the fore-end.


Family Visiting Day: this was the exciting day, as already mentioned HERE, when we all went up to see the lettered cabin sides for the first time. Unanimous approval, everyone thinking that the boat looked great.


The family stand and admire Jez’s clean, sharp and well proportioned lettering…


The view towards the stern…


The view towards the bow…


Oh, and I just thought I’d add this photo of Thomas Clayton of Oldbury’s boat ‘Spey’ in their simplified post-war austerity style of lettering. Although not a design I’d looked at when deciding on the lettering for Eileen, there’s a satisfying ‘family resemblance’. The image was sourced from: http://canalsidecamera.weebly.com/other-carriers.html


Here’s another view of ‘Spey’ with the austerity lettering. The images was sourced from: http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/register/2044/spey

2 thoughts on “The Process of Painting: The Re-paint Diary 8.

  1. Good one Nick, there’s a real story in there. Love the font too. The red and green are a daring touch proving the old-wives tale ‘red and green should never be seen’ delightfully wrong. That really is a stand-out scheme.

    All the best, John


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