Saturday, August 23, 2014

Trimming the Color Separations on Keokuk Junction FP9 1752

Here I am trimming the separations on Keokuk Junction FP9 1752.  It is important to trim each color separation with a fine-tip pen before using the brush pen to fill.
F-units such as the Keokuk Junction locomotive often have stripes and many color separations.  Trimming the edges of each separation allows you to fill each area with confidence.
Confidence with the brush tip reduces the amount of brush strokes.  When each separation is clearly marked, it is much easier to paint accurately.  Enjoy drawing trains. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

It Is Always Great To Draw A Caboose

Cabooses make great practice drawings.  They take about half the time of a locomotive and are a great way to work on logos, lettering and keeping your lines straight.
Cabooses and freight cars are often very colorful.  This gives you a chance to work on trimming around color breaks, such as on yellow hand rails and around windows.
Cabooses are rich in history as well.  They are also just as recognizable as engines.  Often at shows, I have had people specifically ask for my drawings of cabooses.
So get yourself a red pen, and draw yourself a caboose or two.  They are truly a great piece of railroad equipment to get in hours of practice.  I find myself drawing many cabooses both for practice and for fun.  Enjoy drawing trains.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Outlining the Lettering on Conrail SD40-2 6373

When outlining the lettering on a locomotive drawing, it is important to be patient.  Lettering around curves, such as on Conrail SD40-2 #6373 does not have a smooth, straight line.  This can be a challenge.
Patience while lettering is key, as you have invested many hours into the pencil lines of your locomotive drawing.  Many observers, however, will look at logos and read slogans on the finished locomotives.  This is why it is important to practice lettering again and again.
I suggest practicing lettering over and over on a spare card.  Lettering must be done with confidence, and if the only chance you get to letter is on your finished locomotive, often you may be frustrated.  You simply will not get the hours of lettering practice you need if you save lettering only for the finished work.  Enjoy drawing trains.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Coloring The Blue On Grand Trunk Western Locomotive 1776

When coloring a large area such as the blue on Grand Trunk Western 1776, it is important to set aside a block of uninterrupted time.  A locomotive such as Grand Trunk Western 1776 has many angles to color around and many nooks and crannies to fill with blue, so it is important that you are able to concentrate.
Concentration is important, as you must keep the blue even and keep brush strokes to a minimum, yet be ever watchful that you do not go over the edges and get blue into areas such as the Grand Trunk Western logo or into the eagle.  Patience and practice are key.
The first coat of blue will be uneven in many places.  A second and often third coat of ink are often essential to even out the blue.
Having fun with your drawing is the most important part.  The more you practice, the more even the blue will get with each next drawing, and the straighter the lines will become.  Enjoy drawing trains.

Coloring a Wheeling and Lake Erie SD40-2

One of the questions I often get is, "I like to draw trains, however, I have not been able to find a way to color them on paper."
I draw my locomotives on hot press illustration board.  Hot press illustration allows several layers of ink to dry well.  Hot press illustration board also allows several chances for erasures should you make a mistake while drawing.
Here we see my Wheeling and Lake Erie SD40-2 drawing as I have colored the orange and have begun to trim the black.  It is important to make tight edges along the lighter colors before filling in darker colors.  With ink, once black is colored over orange, it is permanent.
Even with darker colors such as black, it is important to do at least two coats.  You will find the ink dries evenly, has less brush strokes, and gives the luster of a locomotive.  Enjoy drawing trains.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Composing a Locomotive Drawing

When drawing the basic outline of the shell of a Grand Trunk Western GP38AC, you can see that a locomotive starts out as a frame with a series of boxes on top of it.  At this stage, it is important to compose your locomotive.
Instead of simply drawing the radiator doors and then the engine room doors, it is important to measure the areas where they go.  This further division of the locomotive ensures that you will give each set of doors and the blower duct an accurate amount of room.
Measuring a locomotive's size and shape is the most critical part of the drawing.  Each detail down to the horn and plow can be placed accurately, but the eye catches the size and shape of the locomotive first.
Once each area is measured, divide each section of doors.  Remember, some doors can be wider than others, so consult your reference materials often.
Continue taking a look at several reference photos of locomotives from the railroad you are drawing.  Often, over the years, locomotives of the same railroad begin to have detail differences.
Before placing items such as horns, air conditioners and dynamic brakes, decide if these details are accurate for the railroad you are drawing in a given era.  Often, when it comes time to letter and ink the locomotive, it can be frustrating to find that engines in the paint scheme you have chosen do not match the details you have drawn.
It is always exciting to see a few lines turn into a finished locomotive.  Remember, measurement is key.  Enjoy drawing trains. 

Each Locomotive Drawing And Its Personality

Here I am drawing an Atlantic Coast Line FP7.  When drawing the pencil lines, it is important to keep lines straight and keep angles tight.  Areas such as grills often have lines that are close together.  It is important to keep these lines evenly spaced, as the eye catches variances.
When drawing a locomotive by hand, each locomotive will obtain a bit of your own personality.  This happens as the drawing evolves, a work of lines placed precisely.
Each drawing evolves with a personality of its own.  Often this happens before lettering and ink are applied.  Many locomotives have varying equipment and can be identified with their railroad almost from the beginning.
What you chose to draw is part of the fun.  Each locomotive will take you to a place on the map and often will take you to a place in time.  Enjoy drawing trains.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy-Everywhere West

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy linked the cities, agriculture and mining of the Midwest and Rocky Mountain States.  Its brightly painted locomotives proudly advertised its Zephyr trains which linked cities such as Denver, Chicago, St. Louis, Ft. Worth and San Francisco.  Chicago, Burlington & Quincy played a key connection to railroads such as Great Northern and Northern Pacific, connecting their eastern terminus of St. Paul to Chicago.
This 11"x17" poster is available on eBay at