Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Scribbles and Rushes

I realized earlier today as I looked at some sketchbooks from Mojave Viper in August, that I hadn't posted all the sketches I had done (or at least all of the presentable sketches--you know how it is...)

While at Mohave Viper, I was able to sketch frequently from life, even when things were moving fast, and here are some of the products of those times:photo of me sketching as the machine gunners did their thing

These sketches happened during a mock assault on a "enemy" positions, in which the weapons platoon took up positions overlooking the assault area, and laid down fire on the enemy strong points across the valley, as the infantry assaulted.

After sprinting up the hill in full gear and body armor in 100 degree heat, I can tell you that drawing becomes a bit difficult! (witness the scribbley line quality...) .

The value in these drawings is that you get good practice in quick contour drawing, telling only what's necessary for the image. Note also that down in the corner I listed the date and time the events were sketched.
Here is a life sketch of the crew of gun #3 of Weapons Company, 2/25, as they do their thing bringing the hurt to a target out in the desert. I had to sketch through several "hangs" of the mortar round as they fired and adjusted fire, so what you see in the finished product is a composite of several moments of firing, depicting the moment as the mortarman hangs the round before dropping it and sending it downrange:These two sketches depict radio men as they talk to forward observers and the fire control center to adjust fire on the target:Marines I sketched as they were watching being briefed on the upcoming assault course:

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sweatin' and Sketching with the 25th Marines at Mojave Viper

Marines provide "overwatch" at Range 400

Machine gun crew firing on "Machine Gun Hill" at Range 400, MCAGCC

During the Assault Training at the DAC Course

The FST coordinates mortar fire at Range 400, MCAGCC

More machine gunners in action

81 mm mortar crew in action
Greetings again, Marine Corps (and Marine Corps Art) lovers!

CWO2 Fay and I recently got back from covering the Mojave Viper training of 2nd Bn, 25th Marines, at 29 Palms, CA. These Marines come from all around the Northeast of the US: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachussetts, Maine, (and even some from the Midwestern state of Ohio).
I produced mainly black and white drawings and ink washes during my outings, due to the nature of the situation and the heat (watercolor is difficult due to the fact that the paint dries rapidly in the heat, and drawing is made more difficult due to the sweat dripping off your hands and face as you sketch!).

We went out to several evolutions of the Mojave Viper training, humping the gear and sweating with the Marines, as they prepared to deploy to Iraq in the near future.
One day I thought I was going to die or go crazy, as we had to sit inside an AAV for four hours, waiting for the combined arms of air support and artillery to do their part in neutralizing the "town" we were going to assault. If you want to lose weight, or get over any clausterphobia you might have, I strongly suggest this type of training! After sweating and almost going insane with boredom, we reached our drop off point and rushed out, getting online and assaulting the objective-- a small village made of cement block buildings.

This is another way I recommend to get fit and thin. Fireteam rushes in full gear, in 106 degree heat, under live fire conditions is an experience all Americans should have.

I learned that it is true that not anybody can be Marine Corps Infantry! Thank God for these kind of young people, who can be this physically and mentally tough. They took it in stride, enjoyed the live-fire training, and honed their skills as Marines (and we combat artists got to hone our skills in highlighting them).