Archive for March, 2012

MacArthur

Posted: March 14, 2012 in Pencil Sketches, Portraits

Recently I saw a presentation at my work regarding Midway island.  Known in the past as to where a vital battle took place in the Pacific war of World War II.  Today it is a bird sanctuary to that of the very large albatross.  The documentary focused its attention on what is known as the “garbage island” in the Pacific.  Due to masses amounts of garbage being dumped in tho ocean each year the albatross have begun feeding on the plastic found.  100’s of albatross die each year due to plastic intake.  The videographers making this film have taken pictures of dead birds on the ground who’s insides are literally full of plastic; not the kind of plastic you might be expecting either.  Plastic in the way of lighters, toothbrush handles, Lego and baby toys.  It was pretty shocking.  You might be asking yourself what this has to do with MacArthur.

After this documentary I had a desire to brush up on my history of the Pacific war.  Being more in the mind of the rest of the world, my interests about WWII lead more towards Europe and Hitlers advances.  Thanks to Netfilx brushing up on pretty well anything has been made super easy.  I found a 23 episode documentary called The Crusade in the Pacific and I highly recommend it.  This documentary consisted of newsreel footage and footage taken right from the field of soldiers who were responsible for documenting all that happened.  I was quite taken with the whole thing.

This documentary talked a lot about General Douglas MacArthur.

Taken from WikiGeneral of the Army Douglas MacArthur (26 January 1880 – 5 April 1964) was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign. Arthur MacArthur, Jr., and Douglas MacArthur were the first father and son to each be awarded the medal. He was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the U.S. Army, and the only man ever to become a field marshal in the Philippine Army.

He officially accepted Japan’s surrender on 2 September 1945, and oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951.

Upon seeing General Douglas MacArthur in the documentary with his magnificent pipe I knew I had to draw him, so today I did just that:

It took me quite a while to get his face just right.  I found I kept squishing his face upwards, which just looked plain wrong.  After watching MacArthur (the real MacArthur not some actor) through The Crusade in the Pacific I felt quite a connection to him and his work in fighting the war and eventually and personally accepting Japan’s surrender.  Being such a long documentary as well you almost feel as though you walked through  bit of their journey with them.

Being that it is quite an old picture the texture of his face appears rougher than it probably is.  In saying this, I enjoyed drawing the contrast of the rough surface of his face against his aviators, hat and shirt.  Here is a closer look:

To get the rough surface I used the side of an 8B and 4B pencil on top of a smudged and shaded surface.  His glasses, hat and shirt are all rubbed down quite a bit with a paper smudge.  I’m pretty happy with the results of both.

Now that I have brushed up on my history of this war I am looking to watch the mini series The Pacific and will look forward to ‘Hollywood’s’ interpretation of the stories lived.

If you are interested in the documentary regarding the albatross birds and the work of the “Midway Journey” documentary, please visit their Facebook page.  I highly recommend reading up on their word and looking for a launch date of their film:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Midway-Journey/117981432917

If this link doesn’t work, please search Midway Journey in Facebook.

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