Portraits for Whiskey Maker Buffalo Trace

all images, c. Kevin Sprouls

Several years ago, I was hired by the whiskey maker Buffalo Trace www.buffalotracedistillery.com/legendary-people/blanton.html to create portraits of their founders. It was fun to take historical photos and translate them into the graphic, hedcut style that I pioneered for The Wall Street Journal. The following are a few examples of the work I turned in…

Portrait of “Pappy” Van Winkle

Although most of these illustrations were drawn from decent historical photographs, one of them had to be created from a crude sketch:

Here is the finished portrait art…

I don’t see this character on the Bufffalo Trace website, so I’m not certain of his name. This is an instance of what can be achieved with a little imagination.

Orville Schupp — note the wavey pompador hair treatment. The link above will bring you to the full portrait line-up.

William Larue Weller — I presume the whiskey brand “Old Weller” is derived from this dapper gentleman.

Albert B. Blanton  — a rather young-looking character from the last century. He rose to great prominence at the distillery and kept it going through some serious setbacks, including prohibition.

Col. Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. — the founder of the company. Looks like quite a stern character. I draw your attention to the dent in his tophat.

I really enjoyed drawing these colorful figures from the Buffalo Trace distillery. I hope you enjoyed this brief selection, too, Dear Reader. Cheers!

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