Sketch of the Week . 002 . Gonzo Art

Gonzo journalism is a style of writing made famous by Hunter S Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It is essentially the reporting of a true story in a satirical fashion. Rather than staying objective, the author injects personal experience and emotion and the story is published unedited.

Along with Hunter S Thompson and his expressive, exaggerated, and shocking true tales came his friend and professional partner, Ralph Steadman. Steadman is the illustrator behind many of Thompson’s works and is one of my all-time favourite artists. He embodies gonzo in his work, in that same satirical way. He typically goes in first with ink, not bothering to pencil in beforehand. To him, mistakes are simply opportunities to do something different. Not a bad way to look at life in general! He depicts the world from a very quirky and often wretched perspective, contributing a shocking and delightfully mad character to any story.

Ralph Steadman has been the inspiration for the second sketch in my Sketch of the Week series. Apart from the fact that I couldn’t wait to try out the gonzo style, I felt his influence in this second self portrait would be a perfect departure from my first self portrait.

I went in first with a big splash of black watercolour and shaped my portrait around that. At no time did I use pencil or attempt to correct any mark made.


I cant express how fun this self portrait was to complete. In my last post I explained that I often feel that I am too careful with my art and this experiment forced me away from that. In the end I think I’ve ended up with a self portrait that more accurately depicts who I am.



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