Not too long ago, I posted a portrait (included again below) on another thread about my attempt at caricature (link), and described the background/project that led to the drawing with the text quoted below. (BTW: The figure is nude, because I still suck a drawing drapery, and I have to start with the figure anyway. Eventually, when I’m up to it, I’ll put him in his cowboy garb). Here, I’ve now included all of the studies I did for that project:
“I started drawing studies for a project I’d had in mind for several years now: an illustration of a pulp-hero, cowboy: the Rose Bandit.
This is my neighbor Matt’s self-appointed name, ’cause he’d often gone around the neighborhood, “stealing” roses off bushes that lay near the sidewalk on his way to or from somewhere. These he would then present to each of the women here in our apartment complex. Secondly: he is a big fan of Westerns, and has a pretty nice “cowboy” get up, when he wants to dress up. I’d always wanted to do an illustration of him as this cowboy/pulp hero called “The Rose Bandit” (dressed all in black, but with fancy trim and rose-themed embroidery. I always pictured him in a camera-at-low-angle stance, holding a rifle with one hand at his side, and the appropriate, turn-of-the-century lettering and scroll-work of “The Rose Bandit” behind his head.
Up until now, I never felt I had the chops to bring it off, and still don’t see that I do in the way I’d envisioned it, but that’s another story. I sketched out the position a couple of times, alternating drawing just the head a few times. I felt like I was repeating myself after about six sketches, and took a break. Later, having reviewed all those drawings, and never having been satisfied with the “portraits” of the Rose Bandit/Matt, I started another one in earnest. Note that ALL of these were without reference, and me just trying to get kinda close to Matt’s look in a generic way, who is tall, wiry and gaunt in the face.
This last portrait I drew began to strike me just how much it could be taken for Christ, and the more I looked at it that way, to more I decided that I had to at least scan it before I put the cowboy hat on him. And as I was contemplating this, I remembered that the “Rose” is a symbol of Christ, so then started coloring it in the computer with a mind to leave it so that it could be taken for Christ, but not insisting that it be so.”
- ‘Cowboy Bandit’ sought for burglarizing studio offices (abclocal.go.com)