I enjoy learning about history, especially about the Second World War. One of my favorite photographs of the American push for victory was taken during the Pacific campaign. The photo below is of a Marine flame thrower operator on Iwo Jima, February 1945.
The flame thrower was utilized first in World War I and was used up until 1978 when the United States found more effective methods. It was a brutal and deadly weapon that got the job done. Not only was it dangerous to the enemy, but the user was walking the fine line. Despite common misconceptions, the flamethrower was not usually likely to explode if pierced, but the fuel used was difficult to control which caused unintentional consequences. They were also a primary target for the enemy because of it’s devastating power. It was a risky job, but was executed valiantly regardless.
Using the first photo, I created a unique illustration. I used felt pens and crayon to create an accurate “copy”, but with a twist.
The rough nature of the lines creates movement, along with capturing the pose pretty accurately. I had to reference the correct colors for the uniform and weapon as well. A splash of color to outline the entire figure makes him glow in a vibrant red, like the color of the flames. I will be doing more of these more realistic illustrations.