Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sculpting is Fun When Things Begin to Come Together

The "782 Gear" is beginning to be formed and attached to the figure of the WWI Marine. I'm getting the basic shapes and proportion for the canteen and cover, the cartridge belt and pouches, as well as the haversack and meat can pouch... soon I'll put the e-tool on. then, it's just putting all the little hints of detail such as buttons and snaps, straps and slings...

Friday, October 04, 2013


Sketch of the Day #36
Vietnam Marine-- an M60 machine gunner.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Belleau, Helmand and the Mojave-- Sketches about Marines

Sketch of a Marine at Belleau Wood.

Sketch of Afghan Farmers in Helmand Province Afghanistan.

Sketch of Marine M2 gunners in training during "Javelin Thrust."

Great Show at the Corcoran Gallery

I had the privelege of being able to go see the current exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery in D.C. last Tuesday with some colleagues: "WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath."
It's a powerful show, and I recommend you see it, if you're able to. NOTE: IT'S ENDING THIS WEEKEND, SEPTEMBER 29th! SEE IT WHILE YOU CAN!

It is also a great overview of how we see war (and in some ways how we don't see it-- there were some very graphic images I'd never seen before, of casualties, military and civilian, which were probably originally withheld from the public). Click Here for the website about the exhibit.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Daily Sketches

Another several WWI sketches from this week, wherein I'm trying to practice the fine art of drawing relatively quickly from reference, rendering as loosely as possible while maintaining a certain level of realism. I also did a couple sketches of Marines from the Vietnam era:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sketch of the Day

This is Daily Sketch #23 (from yesterday, 17 September 2013), a Belleau Wood Marine sighting in...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sgt Reckless

This portrait drawing is of the famous Marine horse, "Sgt Reckless" from the Korean War era.
She was a beloved war horse, a pack animal for the 5th Marines who saw action with them in Korea.

Here is the oil portrait of Sgt Reckless, in process-- the underpainting stage now complete.   

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sketches of the Day

Daily Sketches numbers 21 and 22.

#21: "Heavy Laden," a Marine of 2nd Bn 8th Marines waits to board the helos to begin Operation River Liberty, July 2009.

#22: a World War I Marine, yelling at the enemy, ready to show "the Hun" what they're about to face!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Today's Scribble

This sketch is of a Marine putting on his pack and adjusting his gear--looking more like a pack animal than an infantryman! It was early in the morning, just before his unit, Echo Company, 2/8, boarded the helos and began Operation River Liberty in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, July 2009.

I was struck by how weighed down the Marine infantry were, and wondered how on earth these men could move with what looked like their entire issue of gear on their backs, including probably something called,  "field sink, kitchen!"

Friday, September 06, 2013

Sketch for today

I drew this today from a photo I'd taken while out on a patrol through an Afghan town (Garmsir, I believe). The man, who seemed like a very important part of the community, was dressed impeccably in a radiant white dishdasha, and had an entourage with him. When he spoke to the Marine patrol leader, people gathered around to hear.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Daily Sketches

I've begun the discipline of making sure I draw a little each day, no matter what other larger, more extended project I'm working on. This not only sharpens the eye and the touch, but also ensures that at the end of the day, I've got at least one completed thing to show.

Here's Today's Daily Sketch:

 Other recent daily sketches:

Of Binocs, Bottles, and Flypaper...

Marines on post.


Eternal Vigilance at constant odds with Gruelling Monotony.

These Marines were on post at FOB Delhi, Afghanistan in 2009. I got to visit them, sketch their post and take photos of them as they stood guard over the perimeter. This is the latest small oil I've done from that encounter.

"Standing Post"  was the first oil sketch I did of that guard post, which I posted and discussed in a blog entry on August 14, 2009.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Over There continued...

Work continues on the Marine from WWI.

I'm trying to relax him in the right places and tense him in the right places, and it's really difficult, needless to say. There are such subtleties in folds and the underlying structure of a figure in the uniform, that it's hard to get it to look "living." But it's "good training" as the Marines like to say.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Over There

Yesterday I worked on a sculpture of a WWI Marine, using some of the reference photos I'd taken of Marines in period dress on Tuesday.
I had a 1/4-size figure of a 1912 Marine already in process, and I decided to move him forward six years and equip him for France, 1918.  He's still a bit 'wooden' in the way the wrinkles and posture go, but he's developing nicely. Today I will begin crafting his pack, gas mask and all the other cartridge belt gear.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


The Rifleman sculpture is continuing along, and I'm once again adding gear to him, after performing the "surgery" on the torso and body armor.