Time Magazine’s Person of the Year
Story and artwork from Roger Vaughn
I am a retired actuary; spent my business life focused on analytics. I carried a sketch pad and pencils everywhere I traveled. On a trip a few years ago, I tossed the year end issue of Time magazine into my briefcase. The Ebola doctors who worked tirelessly in Africa to control the disease were collectively Time’s Person of the Year.
The cover was powerful; a photo of one of the Ebola doctors who had worked in Africa, contracted the disease and was quarantined back home in the US. I was struck by the sad and weary expression in his eyes and mouth; like he had seen things he wished he hadn’t. I did a quick sketch in a couple of hours and framed the drawing beside the magazine cover.
Every time I passed the shelf in my art studio, the picture would catch my eye because the drawing just wasn’t a good representation of the photo.
After watching videos from the Anatomy Master Class a few days ago, I removed the drawing and photo from the frame and analyzed it against the basic proportions of the face.
With the help of my ruler, I determined I had the mouth and nose too wide and corrected that. Still not right. Then, I found that the subject’s right eye (left to the viewer) was larger than the other eye and placed too far from the other eye. After that correction, I felt that I had finally captured the weariness of the subject.
After retiring, I expanded my art horizons to painting: oils and watercolors. Very challenging, but good drawings are still the foundation of paintings so I fall back on my lifetime of drawing.
I love the feedback when a drawing works and the viewers are moved by something I’ve drawn or painted. When my mother was in an assisted living community in the last stages of her life, I would take my sketch pad when visiting and draw pencil portraits of residents at her facility, then give them the drawings. They thought I was a magician. It was always a very rewarding experience and I took great satisfaction that I would have a line of volunteers for the drawings.
I don’t know much about the Drawing Academy. I saw some short videos from the Anatomy Master Class on Youtube and subscribed.
I am less concerned about winning the free course than having other artists “validate” my work. So, I hope I am not too disappointed in the response.