Soldiers Training

In Cartooning, Communication, facilitation skills, sharpen the saw, Tips re: Professional Development on December 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm
"Soldiers Training Today" by John Lesko, Dec 4, 2012

“Soldiers Training Today” by John Lesko, Dec 4, 2012

"Soldiers Training" by WH Johnson, circa 1942

“Soldiers Training” by W.H. Johnson, circa 1942

Before there was a “9-11-2001” there was a day that will live in infamy, “12-7-1941” or “Pearl Harbor Day.”  Both these dates represent when our nation suffered & survived from surprise attacks and then rebounded to soldier on and combat an enemy.  Inspired by the painting by W.H. Johnson, here is my sketch of “Soldiers Training Today.”

Whereas, Johnson depicts a unit of riflemen in a segregated army, I chose to create a smaller force depicting a multiracial mix of infantry.  Where Johnson’s force is dressed in olive drab, today’s force wears a uniform that blends more easily with the desert sand. Yes, I chose also to have everyone march under one flag and under the leadership of a commander who is of mixed race.

Who knows what tomorrow’s Army will look like? Who knows how they will be equipped and trained? Who knows if we will be ready for the next surprise attack?

How are YOU preparing for your next surprise?

How are YOU equipping yourself?

Have you “joined a unit” to gain support for your next campaign or project?

Who is your leader-mentor-coach-drill instructor-teacher?


NOTE: The “Draw & Discover” program hosted by the Smithsonian meets weekly and offers free classes to all who are interested and can attend. Art supplies are available and folks are encouraged to bring a sketchbook. Each session starts with a challenge and students have 90 minutes to then complete their drawings.  The last 30 minutes of each session is used to share and discuss your work with others.

This week’s challenge … Find a sculpture or painting in the Luce Center to sketch that has a seemingly obvious local color.  Use the complement of that color to tone down the color and to create variation.  Don’t forget about tone. Try to match the colors but pay attention to extreme dark and lights to create a more complete drawing.

My intentions … Find a work of primitive art and look to interpret the work and experiment with color.  I chose this piece not only for the historic message about preparing for a surprise but also because of the purple mountains and yellow sand.  I used complementary colors to accent the faces and hands of the soldiers above; selecting a sand-colored paper and working with colored pencils to hone my graphic skills.

Back story … My daughter suggested awhile ago that I might benefit from some art instruction. Having sent her to the Savannah College of Art and Design, I knew that I couldn’t afford to go back to school myself but rather had to find a teacher / coach who was local and — well — cheap. Which begs yet another question — what are YOU doing to enhance your skills and/or add another tool to your tool chest?

  1. impressive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2012 18:33:51 +0000 To:

  2. love it! What a great idea!
    Learning from the masters in this way is a good way to get compositions skills, which I sorely need to do. Keep posting!

  3. Pretty cool artwork John!

    On a military related note: You will be jealous of a side trip Kristi and I made to the General Patton Museum east of Palm Springs where the WWII desert training was conducted for the armored units heading to north Africa. Great museum…lots of tanks….See, I knew you would be jealous. (Even a military nurse exhibit for Kristi)


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