Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson

These are two of my favorite subjects. Specifically, I am interested in finding a way to capture a likeness of Emily Dickinson. The legendary daguerrotype of her bleaches her face a little bit and makes it difficult to pull out all the features I want. These two sketches were the result of several watercolor experiments that I was not happy with, so I’ve kept them in B & W. I actually gave up on Whitman’s portrait at one point because of his jacket and started scrawling all over it. A few moments later I realized the scrubbing was creating texture and I started appreciating the sketch again. I am disappointed with the sloppy job I did with Emily’s hand because the picture is otherwise one that I like a lot.



In March of 2019 I started sketching free hand on 4 x 6 postcards. I often draw them in bed. Playing with postcards helps me to draw fast and loose and achieve some cartoony likenesses. It has also allowed me to play with ink and crosshatching, which is a dangerous business. Above you can see a crooked-faced Edgar Allan Poe, a tough Emily Dickinson, and R. Crumb, whose style I admire, and whose crosshatching I try to imitate.

I generally draw in series, such as American Literary History, Jazz performers, or The Mexican Revolution. Below you can see Venustiano Carranza and Emiliano Zapata. In the middle is an interpretation of a famous period photograph by the Casasola brothers of a woman with a rifle.