Lewis and Clark Portraits

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It’s always great to visit places you have never seen before. Thirst for discoveries seems to be present in every man’s heart. There is not a great deal of undiscovered spots on earth today. Not a lot of people are lucky to experience adventurous exploration voyages at present. I can imagine how people would be excited to discover lands that are totally unknown to any civilized nation. There is hardly a tiny little island which has not been discovered and described by earlier explorers. But some 200 years ago there were two lucky men who led the first expedition to undiscovered lands of the whole continent stretching before their eyes. These men were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

I had never heard about Lewis and Clark before I was commissioned to draw portraits of these explorers. I was amazed to discover fact about Lewis and Clark expedition. They were so lucky to be able to undertake this long voyage up the Missouri River and to be the first to get acquainted with Native American tribes and to discover new animal species and plants.

For those who know nothing about Lewis and Clark (mostly for non-Americans) here is a very short outline and a few facts about the expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. In 1803 president Thomas Jefferson managed to purchase Louisiana from France. This was a territory of 828,000 square miles (2,144,510 square km) of undiscovered land. On Jefferson’s request Congress approved $2,500 budget for the organization of an exploratory expedition to the west along the Missouri River. Thomas Jefferson chose Captain Meriwether Lewis to lead the expedition, and Lewis, in his turn, asked another Army officer, William Clark to be his helper and partner during the trip. The mission of the expedition was to discover new territories of purchased Louisiana, to establish diplomatic relations with Native American tribes living in the area and to find the possibility to reach the Pacific Ocean by water. Lewis and Clark's expedition began on May 21, 1804 and it took two years for explorers to get to the Ocean and to return to the place where the voyage had started (St. Louis, Missouri) on September 23, 1806. During the risky expedition the team of 33 men lost only one member who died of appendicitis. Lewis and Clark discovered a great deal of natural resources, documented more than 100 animals and 170 plants. Furthermore they managed to create a lot of extremely useful maps which later were indispensable while settling the Old West and further expanding the territory of the USA. The expedition established peaceful relations with most of American Indians living along the Missouri River and gathered knowledge about them.

Lewis and Clark were brave and extremely smart men and diplomats. It’s no wonder that Buffalo and Company wanted me to create their portraits for the famous men t-shirts series in order to immortalize the memory of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark for people who honor real men’s courage, style of life and other classic masculine values.

Here are my portraits of Lewis and Clark. You are also welcome to watch the drawing progress video below. In the video I used classic Native American music along with classic European compositions which, very probably, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and President Jefferson himself loved to listen to.

Portraits of Lewis and Clark


Meriwether Lewis portrait
Meriwether Lewis

William Clark
William Clark

Lewis and Clark
Lewis and Clark


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Portrait of Thomas Jefferson
John Muir portrait
Portrait of Ernest Shackleton

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Ernest Shackleton Portrait

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Have you ever experienced severe frosts? If you have, you must know that playing with cold is as dangerous as playing with fire. You probably remember how unpleasantly frost bites your nose and painfully pierces your skin with its invisible claws. These sharp hurting pricks do not feel good at all to most of us and they are not something people want to experience over and over. Now imagine how cold it can be in the Antarctic and the Arctic regions where temperature can be as low as record −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) in Antarctica (the mean annual temperature of the interior being −57°C (−70°F)) and as the Arctic lowest temperature of −68 °C (−90 °F) (average winter temperatures being −40 °C (−40 °F)). It is not a brainer that only a few most brave men can rush into merciless low temperatures attempting to discover and explore the world of eternal snows. Ernest Shackleton was one of those courageous men who challenged severe Antarctic and Arctic frosts.

In fact, Ernest Shackleton was one of the first who undertook a very risky expedition to conquer the South Pole. Although he had not reached the Pole, Shackleton was the first man to attain the latitude of 88°23′S, which was the record at that time, and to make some essential explorations of Antarctic territories. Ernest Shackleton returned several times to Antarctica and explored arctic territories during his life in spite of all the difficulties he experienced in the course of his expeditions. What is the most amazing for me is that a trip to the Antarctic with the equipment of early 1900s was almost as challenging as a voyage to the moon today. Ernest Shackleton was aware of all risks he would face in the realm of deathly frost but it never stopped him from daring to conger the most severe place on our planet. Even his heart disease could not prevent Shackleton from striving to reach unfriendly territories of the Earth’s poles.

The portrait of Ernest Shackleton, a man of outstanding endurance and courage, was drawn by me for the famous men t-shirts series produced by Buffalo and Company.


Portrait of Ernest Shackleton


Ernest Shackleton portrait
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton


Related posts:
John Muir portrait
Lewis and Clark Portraits

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George Washington Portrait

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

George Washington was the first president of the United States and even this fact alone tells a lot about his personality. He had to have outstanding qualities of a leader to be elected as a president in times when almost every man who could be a presidential aspirant had been hardened in wars, long travels, dangerous expeditions and difficult living conditions of new unexplored territories. George Washington was a farmer, a soldier, an explorer and a politician, which means that he was a hard-working, brave and smart person. Washington was a born leader and during his time of presidency he had enough power and respect to make the United States another kingdom with himself as a king, which seems to be natural as Washington was from Europe where most of the countries were ruled by a monarch. However, Washington had chosen another way of governing the country thereby developing the forms and rituals of government that are common in today’s USA and which form the foundation of essential democratic values.

George Washington is another great example of a person who combines courage, leadership qualities and intellectual vigor. No doubt that he must be included into the constellation of great men who were chosen by Buffalo and Company for the heritage t-shirts series.

Portrait of George Washington


George Washington portrait
George Washington



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Moose Bull Drawing

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another great animal drawn by me for the American wildlife t-shirts series is a moose. The moose is the largest extant species in the deer family which makes a special animal. The moose bull is an especially cool looking beast due to its great imposing antlers. I do believe that moose t-shirts produced by Buffalo and Company will be popular among those who honor wildlife of North America.

Bull moose drawing


bull moose alces alces
A moose bull



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Drawing a Grizzly Bear for the American Wildlife T-Shirts Series

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A grizzly bear is another wild animal I have drawn for the American wildlife t-shirts series produced by Buffalo and Company. The grizzly (aka North American brown bear) is a beautiful and powerful animal highly respected by Native Americans for many centuries, and I hope grizzlies are effectively protected by environmentalists of the United States and Canada today as well. I also hope that Americans wearing grizzly t-shirts will always be reminded of how proud they should be of having such great animals on their land.

Grizzly bear drawing


grizzly bear on rock
Grizzly bear


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Drawing Pheasants for the American Wildlife T-Shirts Series

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Along with the famous men t-shirt series for Buffalo and Company I continue working on the American wildlife t-shirts series for them. Today I would like to introduce you one of the most beautiful birds found in North America – a ringneck pheasant.

ring necked pheasants
Pheasants

Ringneck pheasants drawing



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Portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thomas Jefferson was the third and one of the greatest presidents of the United States. During his presidency the USA purchased Louisiana and started exploration of unknown territories (Wild West), with Lewis and Clark Expedition being the first major expedition to the American Old West. Jefferson also laid down the foundation of today’s democracy and freedom the United States are so proud of. Thomas Jefferson was an extraordinary man whose wisdom, cleverness and talents won him the respect of people of the USA and other nations. Therefore Buffalo and Company could not help having a portrait of Thomas Jefferson for its heritage t-shirts series which had been commissioned from me.

As always I show work progress video along with the portrait itself. When watching this video you can enjoy wonderful music of Arcangelo Corelli – one of Jefferson’s most favorite composers. One of interesting facts about Thomas Jefferson is that he was a passionate music lover and an amateur violinist. I really enjoy when I manage to convey the atmosphere of the époque through music in my videos.

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson portrait
Thomas Jefferson


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Lewis and Clark Portraits
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Portrait of Winston Churchill

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sir Winston Churchill is another person who “qualifies” to be among those whose portraits Buffalo and Company has chosen for its "famous men t-shirts series".

Churchill is respected by both American and British people because he led the United Kingdom through the bitter years of the most bloody and awful war which ever occurred. Being the Prime Minister of one of the most powerful European countries - a country that had an advantageous geographical position in regard to military strategy - Churchill was one of only a few statesmen who could make a contribution to the victory against a powerful enemy. He was the one whose actions and decisions could change the destiny of the whole Europe and even the United States. I can only imagine how difficult it is to rule a country during times of war when millions of lives depend on you while any of your decisions can make you a complete loser or a hero in the eyes of future generations. Although there are quite a few people who criticize Winston Churchill for various reasons, what I personally think, being a person born in the former USSR, is that Sir Winston Churchill is worth being respected for his ability to keep his country powerful enough during the war to be able to keep a great part of Europe away from non-democratic regimes after the war. This fact alone makes him a great, brave and wise man who is worth being honored in my opinion.

Portrait of Winston Churchill


Winston Churchill portrait
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill


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Portrait of Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I have been recently commissioned to continue creating drawings for the series of famous men t-shirts by Buffalo and Company. This time it’s a portrait of Ronal Reagan – the 40th president of the United States.

If you follow my blog for comparatively long time you might know that Buffalo and Company sells clothing for real man who love traveling and hunting. Buffalo and Company pays tribute to good old masculinity and classic men’s values opposing its fashion to today’s popular tendencies of shifting from a rugged style of brave men hunters and warriors who love adventures to unmanly metrosexual styles of men's apparel.

It’s kinda funny that, being born in USSR, today I draw a portrait of Ronald Reagan – a person who was a big part in working hard to dissolve Soviet Union. Moreover, I draw the picture of Reagan for Americans who honor his deeds in fighting against communism. However, I am not mad at him, because I love living in independent Ukraine now. The concept of communism is too good to be true. USSR stood on the foundation which could not keep nations together for a long time. I am glad we are not hidden under the “Iron Curtain” from the rest of the world today. We still have some residue USSR problems but I hope that future generations of Ukrainians will manage to overcome them.

Portrait of Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan portrait
Ronald Reagan


Related posts:
George Washington portrait
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Portrait of Winston Churchill
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