It was great to be back at Walter Reed. Mike Fay, Victor Juhasz, two other talented illustrators, and myself got together for a few hours to sketch wounded Soldiers and Marines recovering from their war injuries. We split into two-man teams once we arrived on the 4th floor. I was paired with the super talented Victor.
We stepped into the room of Army Specialist Eric Hunter, who had lost his right leg to an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.) while conducting a five day operation with an Afghan Commando group. Spc. Hunter drifted in and out of consciousness for pretty much our entire stay, so we had to take advantage of the time that he was awake to gather any information we could about what happened the day of the incident.
This is a pastel chalk piece that I did of Spc. Hunter on combat paper from photo reference . . .
. . . and here are the rough pen studies done from inside the hospital room.
"I was actually standing on top of the I.E.D. for several minutes before it went off. I had no idea it was underneath me."
The visit lasted two hours. Since Walter Reed gets so many visitors, they have to cut back on visiting times, including trips like this. Days after the trip, I began working on a more finished rendering of Spc. Hunter. With the aid of my rough studies and the photographs taken by me, I was able to put together this 24"x19" watercolor painting.
These sketches, along with the painting, will hang in the November exhibition at the Pepco Edison Gallery in D.C. Opening night is on November 10th. The show is expected to receive a lot of press.
To follow up on how Eric is doing, click here.