Friday Portrait, September 19

Before I show you today’s subject, I think it’s important to set the stage just a bit. As I ambled into class today, I was contemplating some things I’ve been reading lately, specifically the idea of Man as imago Dei. Before I start to sketch anyone, I usually try to look for the person behind the person, the animating Spark, and I was contemplating how to accomplish that today. With such light fancies wandering through my brain, I beheld our sitter:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Curly.

So of course, I laughed a bit, but I assure you it was sheer delight, even though clown paintings generally creep me out. Because he truly does reflect some of the principles I was reading about yesterday. Here is a man who takes his duties very seriously. In an age of increasing casualism, he dons a regalia that is every bit as meaningful as a priest’s vestments or a warrior’s armor. And he’s a Shriner, so there’s no weird Shakes the Clown mentality going on here (I know what you’re thinking, Babe!). His purpose, his Office if you will, is to make people – specifically very sick children, in fact – happy, if only for a little while, in spite of his own troubles (he told me, during a break, that he figured this was a good way to spend a Friday morning when you’re waiting to hear back from the oncologist). Anyway, Curly was a great subject this morning, and I hope and pray his news is better than he expects.

On to the drawings.

To start each drawing today, I tried to first get the man, then do the makeup. I think it worked out pretty well.


A quick figure study. The fingers are wonky again, I know.


On this one, you can see where I erased my initial outlines in a couple spots. I finally remembered to actually measure, thank goodness. It really does make a difference.

and the final for this one:


I still had an hour left, so I switched positions and did one more.

Again, I remembered to measure (hence the cross in the middle).

The final drawing:

I took this last photo as I was packing up. It’s never a bad thing when you look in the mirror and see a strong resemblance (they’re washed out, I know, but you get the idea).


This entry was posted in haiku, images, pastel, portrait, sketch and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Friday Portrait, September 19

  1. DH says:

    Shakes the Clown
    The Citizen Kane of drunken clown movies
    So many memories…..

  2. dloye says:

    Wow, you’re really doing great work! I think there is some of God’s image showing even under the clown makeup. Do I see some of the weariness of worry in his face, or do I just imagine it from reading the text. I’m not one much for clowns, but you’ve taken pains to humanize…really one of my favorites. You’re selling?

  3. julie says:

    I think you’re right about the worry. He tried to smile most of the time, and the fake lashes covered his eyes pretty well, but he had a real stoicism about him. He was extremely still the whole time; it could just be that he’s mastered stillness, or it could be that he was trying hard to hold himself together.

    If you’re really interested, I’d be happy to sell. Otherwise, it’s just going to sit in a stack on my shelf. Send me an email at juliecork-at-wordpress-dot-com.

  4. Lame Duck says:

    Very nice work Julie!

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