Bird Presidents sketch: Teddy Crowsevelt detail

I’ve been thinking about how to better capture the sense of Theodore Roosevelt in bird form ever since I took my initial, series-inspiring stab at Crowsevelt a week and a half ago, and this was a quick attempt tonight to get closer.

Crowsevelt detail

Conclusion: it’s just goddam hard to put a moustache on an anatomically realistic bird. A beak’s not just a nose or a mouth for a crow, it’s both, and so a moustache as something that goes between the two is hard to bolt on in a way that doesn’t look ridiculous. This feels like it came off sort of handlebar, which is not how I think of Teddy’s as looking.

The suit helps a bit but is also pretty silly. Hard to say what to do there. I’m not really interested in pushing into full-on anthropomorphic caricature at the moment — just doing reasonably good-looking realistic ink drawings of birds is enough of a challenge and a reward for now and that would be a whole other thing — so I think I should just run with what I’ve got going on already and revisit this question later if I’m still interested in birdly pols after plowing through the whole POTUS canon.

The original Theo drawing, for reference:

Theodore Crowsevelt

There it looked like the moustache was a bit of debris he was carrying to his nest-in-progress. Which makes a bit more sense than a biker stache, honestly. But I feel like I’ve gotten stronger with the bird renderings since then, which is gratifying. I don’t know why I’ve drawn so little in the last few years.

Author: Josh Millard

I manage and help moderate the community website MetaFilter, where I go by "cortex"; in my spare time I get up to all sorts of creative nerdery on the internet and in Portland, Oregon.

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