As proud as I was of the Emmitt Smith stipple drawing that appeared in the previous post, it would actually be one of my last works for a very long time- at least the last one that I decided to save. With college taking up most of my time, and the subsequent hassles of everyday, post-college life setting in, I found that I didn't have much time for art, which in turn resulted in a serious loss of interest for creating new art. Granted, I would sketch a small piece here and there out of boredom, but nothing more than a quick line drawing with very little detail.
All of that changed in 2010, when I got a much-needed fire lit under me by my wife (also a fellow artist). After convincing me that I have a talent that shouldn't be sitting idle, I decided to try my hand at another stipple drawing. After not having done such a drawing for the past 13 years or so, I could have taken it slow and started with something with little detail. However, being a person who has always enjoyed a challenge, I decided to go all out- at least in my own eyes.
One of the most vivid sports memories for me has always been the famous Nolan Ryan-Robin Ventura confrontation, which occurred when Ventura, a batter for the Chicago White Sox, took exception to being hit by one of Ryan's pitches and, in turn, charged the mound. The image of the 46-year-old Ryan putting the 27-year-old Ventura in a headlock and punching him repeatedly is no doubt one of the lasting images of the game over the past 20 years.
I wanted to recreate this moment, and I did so on a 16" x 20" piece of Bristol drawing paper, using only pen and ink stippling. While I worked on this drawing intermittently over the course of the next couple of years (I was still a 'casual' artist at this point and fit in my artwork as my schedule saw fit), I estimate that it would have taken me around a week and a half to finish has I worked on it straight through, in the time intervals in which I did it.
Here is the finished product (click to enlarge):
More than any other drawing I had done up to this point, this piece was a labor of love, both for my love of baseball and my fandom of the Texas Rangers. It also motivated me to want to continue with art, and it was the piece that ultimately led me to want to pursue a new passion- baseball-themed artist sketch cards.
In my next entry, I'll talk about my introduction to the sketch card world (thanks to my wife), and how I immediately got thrust into contributing artwork for a sketch card set.