I'm posting a few of the sketches from my recent deployment to Iraq- the veritable resort area known as Al Anbar Province(!)-- specifically, the sketches I did from life, as I was seeing it...
Many artists work from photos, and that is useful (much of my oil painting is studio-done from photographs I've taken)-- but there is nothing quite like getting out, getting a life, and sketching it!
If Drawing is truly the Mother of all Arts, then Sketching is the Grandmother! All art comes ultimately from the Sketch. If you can get yourself out into the world, sit in front of an interesting subject and sketch it, your art will strengthen, sure as shootin' (no pun intended from the combat artist!)
Many times your sketches may not be perfect-- proportions are a bear! But sometimes these imperfect sketches have a life to them that's worth showing. So get out there and sketch!!
Charcoal sketch of Marine on improvised Rifle Range (elevator of USS Wasp)
Ink drawing of LtCol LeBlanc as he gave a pre-flight briefing in the Ready Room of Wasp
Pencil Sketch from the jumpseat of an Osprey, as LtCol LeBlanc taxis at Al Asad air base in Iraq
Pencil Sketch of VMM 263 Marines on the flight out to the USS Wasp
This pencil sketch of Marines being transported in Al Anbar isn't too well-done (I mentioned proportions earlier) but I find it interesting nonetheless.
Ink sketch of Ospreys on the Flight Line at Al Asad
Pencil Sketch (note the smudges from vibration of aircraft!) of crewman Cpl Cowan, waiting for takeoff at Al Asad
Ink sketch of Sgt Aguilar on a flight from Korean Village, Iraq
Ink sketch of LtCol Rock as he watches flight operations on deck of the USS Wasp