Another Shadowless reference drawing, of French submarine Gustave Zédé and canal boat Belle Lurette, both vessels that will feature heavily in the first volume.
In real life Gustave Zédé was one of the earliest commissioned naval submarines, launched in June 1893. Unlike more modern submarines, she was exclusively electric, running off batteries and without any onboard means to recharge them, which gave her a range of only around 220 nautical miles (410km) at a speed of either 9 knots (17 km/h) surfaced of 6.5 knots (12 km/h) submerged.
Also unlike more modern submarines, she was made almost entirely out of bronze rather than steel to resist "aqueous corrosion" (electrochemical corrosion of steel due to seawater being a superb electrolyte), which also allowed a magnetic compass to operate inside.
At 45 meters long and 264 tons surfaced (274 t submerged), Gustave Zédé was also much larger than any other contemporary submarines (in fact the earlier Gymnote, from which it was derived, was only 17m long and weighed 30 tons surfaced), and also quite well armed, equipped with a 360mm internal torpedo tube and two external torpedo launchers. In real life she did two successful submerged torpedo practice attacks on the battleship Magenta in 1899 in the presence of the French Minister of the Navy and invited journalists, which spurred the further development of the submarine as a weapon of war.
Since she was an experimental design, she went through a lot of iterations as they tried different equipment, but I have drawn the submarine as she appeared around 1900.
Belle Lurette, (which is a French phrase meaning "for a long time", a reference to the fact floating around the canals of France does take quite a lot of time) is a special type of canal boat called a "chaland de Rance", a boat endemic to the north of Brittany and which is able to sail on both the sea in the Rance estuary and the "Canal d'Ille et Rance" and by it's connection to the Vilaine river in Rennes is able to traverse Brittany north to south from Saint Malo all the way to the Bay of Biscay.
Because she has to negotiate the locks of the various inland waterways, her dimensions are fixed to 26.5m in length, 4.5 meters on the beam, a draft of 1.6m and a total height of 2.5m in order to pass under bridges. For this the masts also fold down along the top of the hold covers.
In terms of propulsion, each mast carries a single lug sail (itself the traditional type of sail used by Breton fishermen on their boats) while on the rivers and canals she is towed along by either animals or, since the start of the war and the fact most horses have been confiscated for use by the army, by her own crew.
Tu est super continue !
It's really not that disastrous though, since that is about the level of fouling you get on a boat after 12 months in the water (having spent most of my childhood hanging around the Constanta marina, I can vouch that is accurate). The idea was that it really doesn't matter for the canal boat because she's really slow anyway so they never bothered to clean her, whereas the submarine, with her limited range and speed, would spend most of her time in port, thus allowing for fouling to occur.
Of course, growing up in a coastal town I spent a lot of time gawking at the boats (and occasionally diving under them, but that's another story) so I have a rather vivid image of what the underside of one looks like in terms of growth, water colour, illumination, etc. so I've tried really hard to capture that. I'm really glad to know I've succeed.
WOW!! Yes, I just foraged quickly through your gallery. Holey moley! You do, and have, some terrific work and gobs of talent. I have to assume you do this as a profession? (sorry if it is posted somewhere in your bio) Though I have a day job (Quality Engineer), I am a writer/author in the night time hours (between work and family). I write Epic Fantasy (sword and sorcery) and currently Military Sci-Fi. I have a 3-part series coming out this year about a massive Heavy Transport Vehicle and her crew. Lots of action... and domesticated zombies you can feed from your hand. (Note: it is way more a tale about the transport and crew than the whole zombie thing...they're just in the background LOL)
Anyway, keep up the fantastic work.
Do you do commissions?
As a profession I'm an architect and spend my free time between drawing stuff and the Romanian Army Reserve (I love the military life, but they don't pay enough to make it my profession, not to mention the fact we're at peace right now - the 300 soldiers in Afghanistan hardly count and they're being pulled out this year anyway).
Sounds like you have quite a story you've got there!
Since you're not the only person who asked me about comissions recently, I finally caved in. You can PM if you want to know more, but I must warn you I'll be quite busy until the end of April (my second book is coming out in May and I already have another, pretty big commissions going on) and my rates aren't exactly cheap ($100 for a fully rendered drawing including bg, $75 for something like this with a partial bg, negotiable for sketches, etc.)