Watts My Line
The Life & Work of Editorial Artist, Lawrie Watts
By David Dixon
Two generations have been influenced by Lawrie Watts' cutaway drawings of motorcycles, motorcars, aircraft, Donald Campbell's Bluebird, Richard Noble's Thrust, Richard
Branson's epic hot air balloons and even farm machinery.
Long before CAD, the legendary Lawrie was drawing complex machinery in amazing 3D detail. His meticulous, distinctive style draws us into the picture, telling a story even though his brief had been merely to draw the thing. Lawrie is not just an artist, he's a designer too. His Royal Enfield-powered Dreamliner looked just right and was way ahead of its time.
This book provides a fascinating insight into Lawrie's problem-solving through drawing. Anyone interested in how things work will enjoy this voyage through the life, ideas and work of the perceptive and inventive Mr Lawrence Watts.
This book provides a fascinating profile of Lawrie Watts - a gentleman of the industry whose work most of us will be very familiar with - even if his name isn't. But you mustn't let that put you off. If you have any interest in machinery and how things work, then you will love this book.
Lawrie Watts is known primarily for being the highly skilled artist who produced 3-D cutaway diagrams of amazingly complex machinery, but yet making them so simple to understand and visualise. You will know his work, if only from the exploded views of vehicles on the cover of Haynes Manuals, but his skill and insight extended far beyond this. He was also also an extremely talented designer and engineer and several of the book's chapters are dedicated to his exploits in these areas.
The author, David Dixon, was a long time friend of Lawrie and presents his story in a very informative and entertaining way. David has also been involved in the motorcycle industry for many years as a competitor, journalist, sponsor and spokesman.
The book has a very wide appeal as it is not exclusively limited to motorcycles, but extends to include Lawrie's ventures into many other interesting engineering fields. I recommend that you take the time to read this book - both my father (who has no real interest in motorcycles) and myself found it captivating from cover to cover.