My father, Robert Henry Walker, was an engineering designer and leading draughtsman in HMDockyard, Rosyth. He also ran his own architectural business during the 1970s from home, employing 2 or 3 draughtsmen at a time depending on the commissions he received. Drawings were made for houses, boats and yachts which he designed, but he also attracted a lot of work from Redpath Dorman Long who built oil-rigs in the North Sea. This is where I came in! I worked in the home studio with my Dad during my school holidays. I was assigned repetitive work on a huge technical drawing board using Rotring pens and rulers which clicked into place every millimetre to create cross-hatching for handrails or lift shaft designs for offshore rigs. I am sure that this impacted on my drawing style today: I still use the Rotrings (some of them date back to the 1070s) and I still work line upon patient line to build an image.
When my Dad passed away in 2017 and I began the move back into my old family home I turned out his study. I found plans, drawings, notebooks, templates, and HUNDREDS of pencils and pens, plus some lovely architectural drawing film. I knew at the time I wanted to make some posthumous collaborative work using the tools of Dad's trade. In latter years, he would look at my artwork and ask: "why do you draw like this?" - and I would reply it was all his doing, for apprenticing me to draw all that cross-hatching!
The photo above is of pages scanned from my current sketchbook, which is an old duplicate notebook of my Dad's. It has printed on the jacket: "Supplied for the Public Service, HMSO Code 28-600 Duplicate Manifold Book". The Duplicate Manifold aspect no longer works, but I can put carbon paper in and replicate its original function if I want to. I like the colour and aged quality of the papers in the book: some are white and some beige. Right now I am mixing ideas of my own together with technical templates my Dad used in his plan drawings - it's like throwing ideas into the wind and seeing where they take me!
Thanks for visiting, see you next week!
Welcome to my blog, where I share what I have been doing during the week.
I have at last copied my nom-de-plume Binky McKee blog entries from here to their own blog, having given the illustration website an overhaul. Peace and tranquillity may resume here in the somewhat quieter nature of Heather Eliza's work, while Binky has her own rather more colourful Weekly. Please visit Binky McKee if you would like to visit!
Heather Eliza Walker
Artist in Edinburgh, Scotland
My Illustration Work:
Binky McKee Website