Illustrated Historical Figures — Drawing Famous People

It is always a pleasure to illustrate famous historical figures. Usually, I look into the story behind the person, to help me in expressing the personality behind the pose. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed working on a number of these iconic luminaries…

Illustrated Historical Figures from the Wild West

Illustrated Historical Figures | Buffalo Bill

Illustrated Historical Figures | Buffalo Bill

For some reason, The Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story on the Wild West celebrity, (a young) Buffalo Bill. This illustration earned a rare full-column placement in the paper.

Illustrated Historical Women

Illustrated Historical Figures | Edna St. Vincent Millay

Illustrated Historical Figures | Edna St. Vincent Millay

At about the same time (1980’s), I was doing work for Reader’s Digest. I contributed a good number of illustrations to their philatelic “First Day of Issue” series. If I recall correctly, this is the very first image I created for them: Edna St. Vincent Millay, a poet I admire who I first discovered in High School. It was challenging deciding how best to crop this image. In this shot, she’s enjoying a sail. It’s always exhilarating to work from a fine photograph!

Illustrated Historical Figures |  Woman with Cane

Illustrated Historical Figures | Woman with Cane

I drew this illustration for the same series. While I am well-satisfied with this drawing, I don’t know who the subject is. Can anyone please identify this august figure? I spent time trying to search for her identity, but came up empty-handed, Alas. A little help, please!

Recently, I created a series of 20 or so portrait illustrations for an installation in Texas. These images were to be printed onto banners at three-feet high. The series highlighted Great Americans.

Illustrated Historical Figures |  Susan Anthony

Illustrated Historical Figures | Susan Anthony

Susan B. Anthony portrayed here. The photo I was working from gave a very stern, even aggressive, impression. I think I captured her spirit, whilst softening her aspect just a bit. Here is the original photo for this illustration:

Susan Anthony ( Sources Image )

Susan Anthony ( Sources Image )

Illustrated Historical Figures of the Arts & Sciences

I teamed up with Neiman-Marcus a few years ago. They offered framed hedcut portraits by me in their catalog. To get us started, they needed an example of what the offering would look like. So we chose an image of Albert Einstein for me to draw. Here it is…

Illustrated Historical Figures | Albert Einstein

Illustrated Historical Figures | Albert Einstein

Lastly, a hedcut portrait I did while at the WSJ. Now, he’s a literary personage who’s perennially in the news…

Illustrated Historical Figures | William Shakespeare

Illustrated Historical Figures | William Shakespeare

 

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