Update 6/21/2018: I’m delighted to report that this piece was accepted into the 2D Fine Art (Amateur) contest at the 2018 Ohio State Fair! Of the ~2,000 entries, 122 were selected for participation, and I’m deeply honored to be one of them. You can see it July 25-August 5 2018 at the Cox Fine Arts Center, on the south side of the fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio. (The closest entrance is Gate 9 on 11th Avenue.)
I began this piece shortly before Aleppo was surrounded by government forces in the Syrian civil war, and it quickly became obvious that raising awareness of the brutality of the conflict’s impact on non-combatants would be a worthwhile subject. I used a still from a video to draw one of the many children who’ve been covered in dirt and blood by the barrel bombs and relentless pounding by Russian jets. Their ashen, blank expressions are truly heartbreaking.
From a purely artistic perspective, I’m very happy with the overwhelming majority of this one. The child and the cockpit came out extremely well, and the abstract sections are almost uniformly gratifying to me in their precision and depth. There are a couple of weak spots I’d do over if I could, notably the salamander and the forest giant, but overall I’d say this is one of my best works so far. I feel like I’m making progress improving my attention to detail, and it’s starting to pay off in the clarity and ‘pop’ of the final product.