The Free State
"Man, in a word, has no nature. What he has is - history."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


And now, for something completely different..

I have doodled ever since I could hold a pencil, usually to mixed results, but it has only been relatively recently that I have tried to draw real-life people, and only in the past year or so that I've tried drawing from pictures. Favorite subjects include Francois Mitterrand, Mobutu Sese Seko and Frantz Fanon. I am usually charmed by those with a certain mystique..

I've drawn a few over the past year and I've decided to share. Unfortunately I don't have access to any decent image-editing software on this computer (libary, they have scanners though) so I haven't been able to crop or fix the contrast of most of these pictures. (Did you know paint doesn't have a "zoom out" function?!)

I've got Frantz Fanon and James Blake Miller (aka. The "Marloboro Marine") from sometime early last autumn. Each time using a thick pencil, a bit rough..

More recently (last week), I indulged in my novel minor obsession with Mikhail Gorbachev. I was so pleased with the result that I continued that day with LBJ and George F. Kennan. For these I used a thin pen-pencil, so I don't have much color depth. The last two were quick and dirty and it shows, their left eyes are slightly off. (Although, for Kennan, it may be that he just had the one big eyeball.)

And finally...

..more Fanon! I used the same model as the first drawing, but this is the first time I had all the proportions looking about right and, most importantly, got good-looking shading. I invite you to look at the big version (see the original).



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