Day #073 – John Taylor Gatto Drawing

Today I copied this reference picture which is a photo of the brilliant John Taylor Gatto.

He was named New York State teacher of the year in 1991 (not a small accomplishment–New York State has a population of almost 2o million) and yet quit the job citing his reason in an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal: “I no longer want to hurt kids to make a living”… He believes that the school system we have in the western world is not in place to help children learn but rather to prevent them from learning. Coming from somebody who knows more about teaching children than 99.999% of people on the planet he’s worth listening to with an open mind. I’ve shared the first video in a brilliant series of intimate discussions below the drawing. They are thoroughly recommended.

I’m quite happy with how the drawing came out. I think the likeness to the source picture is pretty good. I experimented with overlaying the drawing on the photo in Photoshop when I was done to see how accurate I was and I was pretty pleased that the relationship between the ear mouth and right eye was very close to perfect in terms of positioning. Where it went off a little was the left edge of the face. I had it go out slightly too far. The left eye was also a little too high. On the drawing they appear level with one another but in the photo that’s not quite the case. I think some of the shading on the jacket was a little rushed also, although not too bad either. Overall, I feel I’m getting better at accurately copying portraits. I also feel like my control of the pencil is getting better. I rarely shade too hard anymore which was a frequent issue in some of my earlier stuff.

Pencil Drawing of the Education radical John Taylor Gatto

Here’s the video:

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