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Catch Me If You Can by CdreJohnPaulJones Catch Me If You Can by CdreJohnPaulJones
On July 5th, 1812, a few weeks after the beginning of the War of 1812, the USS Constitution, commanded by Captain Isaac Hull, departed Annapolis, Maryland, with a fresh crew. She sailed out of the Chesapeake Bay on July 12th, en route to New York. While approaching her destination during the afternoon of July 17th, lookouts spotted a large group of unknown warships that was eventually determined to be British. This squadron, under the command of Captain Philip Vere Broke, included the small ship-of-the-line Africa and the frigates Shannon (Broke's flagship), Belvidera, Guerriere and Aeolus, clearly a force much superior to the Constitution.
Through the night of the 17th and 18th of July, the British and American ships maneuvered for advantage in the continuing light breeze. At about 5:30 in the morning the wind died completely. Constitution put out her boats, which towed her ahead of the enemy while four long 24-pounder guns were moved to the taffrail to allow fire directly astern. The British also had their boats in the water, concentrating most of them to try and pull Shannon within gunfire range. At the suggestion of Lieutenant Charles Morris, Captain Hull had anchors dropped ahead for kedging, allowing the power of her capstan to pull her more rapidly.
All through the 18th and well into the following day, this effort of towing and kedging continued, with occasional use of sails when a breath of wind blew up. Though shots were exchanged the range was always too great to allow hitting, and Constitution slowly moved away from her pursuers. By late afternoon on the 19th the nearest British ship, Belvidera, was some four miles astern. A few hours later, as a squall approached, Hull promptly got up his sails and greatly increased his lead. The chase continued through that night in slight and shifting winds, with Constitution's crew keeping their sails wet to enhance their effectiveness, and by daylight the enemy was so far astern that they soon gave up the pursuit. Realizing that the presence of the strong British squadron would keep him out of New York, Hull sailed instead for Boston, where he arrived on July 26th to begin preparations for another cruise.
This nearly three-day chase, involving some of the Royal Navy's best officers and cruising warships, was an early demonstration of the United State Navy's seamanship talents. It would soon be followed by dramatic ship-to-ship battles that provided an equally convincing display of superior tactical and gunnery abilities. These inspired the American people at a time of painful land war disasters, but also persuaded the hitherto confident Royal Navy of the urgent need for greater and more effective blockading efforts, which would keep U.S. warships and privateers in port where they could not threaten British seagoing interests.
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:iconqueenpearl:
queenpearl Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
That was the closest she ever came to being caught. A very nice rendering. 
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:iconthesumerianprince:
TheSumerianPrince Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
I like this art style.
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:iconwill1805:
will1805 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2013
Awesome picture!! Keep up the great work!
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:iconironsides11:
ironsides11 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013
Awesome work and great history lesson too :D
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:iconenterprise4life:
Enterprise4life Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The Connie is awesome. She's still my No. 1 ship.
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:iconrd-dd1843:
RD-DD1843 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
Excellent illustration of a forgotten bloodless triumph of the U.S.S. Constitution in the War of 1812. Shortly afterwards she fought and beat H.M.S. Guerriere in a one on one battle.
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:iconhawaiirebel:
HawaiiRebel Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011
sweet
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:iconbumblebeesbride:
BumblebeesBride Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2011
that is sooo amazing.
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:iconterrytheterryble:
TerryTheTerryble Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cool!! Reminds me of some of the illustrations in "Carry On, Mr. Bowditch." Good ol' American handiwork eh? I'll have to remember to check out Old Ironsides next time I'm in the Boston area, even though I'm more Quebecois than Bostonian, I do appreciate American history. Especially the oldest commissioned sailboat in the US Navy, given my family's history in the Navy,
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:icongjtproductions:
GJTProductions Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010
U.S.S. Constitution: Vexing the British admirals since 1797. :D
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Indeed!
:nod:
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:iconkvetina:
kvetina Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2010
Thank you for the long text.
I fav it :)
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:iconwillheart:
Willheart Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Old Ironsides eh? I live near Boston so I've had a tour on that ship before! :D

She's a beauty I gotta say
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Quite! If I weren't commissioning into the Navy as a Chaplain, I'd make it my goal to command her someday. But God's calling is stronger. :)
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:iconjaguaro:
Jaguaro Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's a jolly good yarn. I remember reading about that great chase as a kid. Is it originally your artwork (I assume so, but just checking). If so, could I use it for a proposed article I'm writing about naval battles of the War of 1812?

Jag
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It is original.
You may use it with proper credit where it is due.
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:iconjaguaro:
Jaguaro Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great! If they let me, I'd love to work in Old Ironsides against what was left of the HMS Java.

BTW, what shall I refer to you as (name)? If you want, you can note it to me.

Jag
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:icontregnier2795:
TRegnier2795 Featured By Owner May 3, 2009
This is plain brilliant!
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner May 3, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks! :D
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:iconsupernika:
SuperNika Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008
Your attention to detail is amazing. The correct number of gun ports. The rigging running correctly. And is that an ensign flying near the spanker?
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aye, the good old Star Spangled Banner!
Thankee... attention to detail and accuracy is very important to me. If one is to depict history in their art, I believe it should not be incorrect and misleading. I hope that people can actually learn history through my art.
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:iconadamswife:
AdamsWife Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2008
This has been featured [link]
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I must thankee for the feature! I'm honored! :bow:
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:iconadamswife:
AdamsWife Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2008
You are most welcome.
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:iconmidenian-lostie:
midenian-lostie Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
I *love* this. :D
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Glad you like it! :D
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:icon57drawinc:
57Drawinc Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2008   Traditional Artist
The ship drawing is great.
Now if you can find a way to stylize the water/sky in your own fashion....(can you imagine..?)
Great story by the way! Ah, the age of Wodden Ships and Iron Men.. (now they just 'ject 'roids!)

"Those that do not learn from History, ...(You know the rest)
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Stylize in my own fashion? Does the water look like someone else's?
Besides, the wind is just now starting to blow up with the squall... so there's not much character to be seen in the sea... the focus of the piece is Old Ironsides.

And yes... tis quite an exciting event! You wonder why someone hasn't made a summer blockbuster about the "Six Frigates". Ian W. Toll has even written a book on them that I think would serve as an excellent template for a screenplay.
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:icon57drawinc:
57Drawinc Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2008   Traditional Artist
heheh! No, no one else's but, I have been in a squall at sea (albeit on a larger, powered ship) look into photos or other works. It definitely looks like something.

Hmmm, why no "Blockbuster"?....one word might explain it today. Sound bite.

Still a nice piece IMHO.
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well i thank you sir!
Glad you like it! :D
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:iconwaterrising:
WaterRising Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008
I am so glad you chose to include the history behind this wonderful drawing. It's fascinating! :)
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I always try to find an amazing and exciting story to inspire each piece of art I create.
Glad you like it! :D
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:iconwaterrising:
WaterRising Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2008
An admirable habit. :)
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:) Thankee!
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:iconriverking:
RIVERKING Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008
IT'S TOO BAD SHE COULDN'T BE EQUIPPED WITH "SWEEPS;" BUT I RECKON THAT WOULD BE STUPID AND IMPRACTICLE.
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think sweeps would have required more manual labor and would have eventually lost its advantage, as the crew would have grown tired. But kedging worked! It was easy and didn't require as much work. ;)

Now if it was a galley or a smaller vessel like the ones used by the Barbary pirates... sweeps would have been very useful! :D
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:iconriverking:
RIVERKING Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008
HHHM, "KEDGING;" SO THAT'S WHAT IT'S CALLED. I SHALL REMEMBER THAT.
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very good way to haul @$$... take your anchors out in boats, drop them ahead, and use the capstan to yank the ship up to them.
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:iconriverking:
RIVERKING Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008
NO WAY! REALLY??! I FIGURED THAT WOULD TAKE MORE TIME THAN IT'S WORTH.
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:icondeadangel003:
DeadAngel003 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
there's a word for people like you. it's spelled NERD.
cool pic, tho'.
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:lol: I guess I am one of those...

... but be nice to us, we'll be your bosses later in life. ;)

And I thankee sir! Glad you like this one! :bow:
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:icondeadangel003:
DeadAngel003 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
yes, you are one of them.
maybe you WILL be my boss later.
but i'm gonna enjoy it while i can.

yeah the title grabbed my attention, and i was like, "WHOA!"
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ha ha ha! Yep! That really pissed off the British Admiralty.

"M'Lord... the Constitution has run the blockade... again."
"Damnit Sir! You had an entire squadron at your disposal!"
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:icondeadangel003:
DeadAngel003 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
hah, yeah.
"What the hell where you DOING with that fleet?!"
"Well, sir.."
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:lol:
Ha ha ha!
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:icondeadangel003:
DeadAngel003 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
"What happened was, Private Smith was being an idiot as always. All of a sudden..."
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"Well Sir... the good Commodore had found the stores of rum in the hold... again..."
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:iconjanboruta:
JanBoruta Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2008  Professional General Artist
Wooo, really nice! Like everybody before, I'm in awe because of all the detail present (I'm glad that the downloadable image is large enough) :D The boats give good sense of scale. You use pencils or ink/pen? Some places look like there was use of the latter medium. And another question - what filter do you apply to your drawings after scanning? In many of your previous works this was clearly seen ;) It gives a nice, 'old-printy' look though.

And I've got a strange feeling, you say that there was no wind or it was really weak, but still, the sails on the Constitution are all quite tight. Or is there a gust of wind actually? ;) But this is my typical rant festival, because your piece deserves faving :D
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I used ink pens for the entire image. If you hold them just right, you can get some good shading in there that rivals a pencil's!

My earlier images were done in pencil, but I've found that using pens makes for a cleaner scan. I also wash the image through the "Gimp 2.0" to clean it up and such. Then I add a "parchment" layer and make it transparent so the original image is visible behind it (which cleans it up some more).

I tried to give the image a dark look, like the squall is just beginning to blow up and the Constitution is finally catching her break. If you look very closely at the bows, there's a boat (there are three out front in a line abreast and one behind them) that's drifting back in preperation to be hoisted back aboard... but it didn't scan too well and looks like a dark blob.
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:iconjanboruta:
JanBoruta Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2008  Professional General Artist
Pens, so we now may carry on with some rivalisation =P Great effect here then!

And I add the parchment texture in a smiliar way to yours, although I set the layer with the drawing to "multiply" instead of applying it to the texture. But in your earlier works I could see that you used some filter, like photocopy filter or another one, as the contours and details were obviosly manipulated like here: [link] or here: [link] :)
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