The Cowboy from Steve's Sketchbook

Round ‘Em Up!

A rope-twirling, honest, dependable Cowboy is the latest character in the People of Burnsland series from Steve’s Sketchbook. We need more like him.

The People of Burnsland series from Steve’s Sketchbook continues with the Cowboy twirling his rope.

Every place needs a good cowboy. And this one is as good as they come. He knows horses, he knows cattle, and he knows how to get them to do what needs to be done, too. All while using his ultra-polite cowboy manners, just like Roy and Gene would do. But this guy is no movie cowboy, he is the real deal.

Shapes often mean things, and this Cowboy’s shape is no accident. He is thin and straight as an arrow. That goes along with his personality, which is also straight as an arrow. You immediately know what you get with him, he means what he says, and we won’t lead you down the wrong path. Kind, courteous, well-meaning, helpful. We need more people like that in our world.

About the Cowboy

Once I started drawing this Cowboy, I realized that he reminded me of another cowboy that we used to see. His name was Richard, and he was known for taking his horse to a street corner and waving at cars as they would go by.

I would see him at other places, too. Some of them were to be expected, such as horse shows and horse barns. He even let Laura ride his horse one time. He told Laura, “You don’t even have to touch the reins. She knows what to do.” Then he whispered in the horse’s ear, “Just walk down there a little bit and turn around and come back.” And that is exactly what the horse did.

But then I would see him at some unexpected places, too, such as the store or the minor medical clinic. We had a nice conversation one time while waiting to see doctors. He did not know me at all, but that did not stop him from talking. He was a kind, friendly man, just like you would expect a good cowboy to be.

About the Artwork

I liked the visual here of a really skinny guy in a really big hat. So yes, his hat is way oversized on purpose because I thought it would be funny. But then his hat brim keeps him dry in a rain shower, so maybe he is the one who is laughing at us.

I also liked the background for this one, which is rather charcoal-like, except with color instead of gray charcoal tones. To me, the background looks kind of old-fashioned, which is what you would expect with a Cowboy like this one.

As with all of my recent artwork, this one was created using the Procreate app on an iPad with an Apple Pencil. And with all of my recent artwork, I started with a really rough sketch, followed by the more final sketch on top of that, before inking and coloring. Here is a combination of the rough and final sketches:

Cowboy rough sketch from the People of Burnsland series

Bible Verse

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. - Psalm 20:7


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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.