The Colonel from Steve's Sketchbook

Stately Colonel Gladstone

The Colonel is the newest entry in Steve’s Sketchbook

A portrait of the Colonel is the newest entry in Steve’s Sketchbook. Just who is the Colonel? Read on…

The Colonel is Colonel Jeremiah Gladstone, who fought bravely in the war and then retired after a distinguished military career to become a simple sheep farmer. But he would still pull out his old uniform and wear it with pride for any fitting occasion.

Of course, Colonel Gladstone is completely fictional. I just threw some names together that I thought would fit this sketch. But wouldn’t it be fun to know more of his backstory? I thought about basing him more on another famous colonel, Theodore Roosevelt. But Colonel Roosevelt wore a slouch hat instead of a helmet, and he wore pince-nez glasses instead of a monocle. But still, there could have been a little bit of his influence in this design. After all, I have read thousands and thousands of pages about Roosevelt, because he was quite a character himself.

Also, I have always thought that “colonel” was a funny word, since it is not pronounced anything at all like it looks. If you are wondering, the older French version of the word is “coronel,” and that is where the pronunciation comes from. I was wondering, too, so I looked it up for you.

Bible Verse

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. - 2 Timothy 2:3-4

About the Artwork

I originally intended the final version of this artwork to look much different than how it ended up here. I wanted to use a rendered, lineless type of style. But once I had the final pencil sketch, I fell in love with it and could not let it go. I do like the loose sketch style anyway, so why not stick with that for this portrait?

What you see here is also the third version of coloring for this portrait. I tried to do some new things, but they just did not fit with the pencil sketch look once I decided to go with that. So after all of that experimentation, I am happy with how this turned out, even if it was not originally what I had in mind.

What you see here is also the second attempt at a background. The first one was a dark blue textured thing that just did not work. Next, I started with a blue circle, but it did not look right. So I stretched it out into more of an egg shape, and that looked much better to me, as it somewhat mirrors the overall shape of the Colonel’s head and torso, too.

Here is a look at the progression for this piece:

The Colonel artwork progression

What you don’t see here are the different trails that I followed and abandoned. I did not like those other looks anyway, so why bother including them here? But just remember that if you are not happy with something you are creating, there is nothing wrong with taking a few steps back and trying again. That is a little easier in digital artwork as long as you use lots of layers, which I do. It never hurts to be prepared for a possible change.


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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.