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“The Onion” Writers as Seen on TV

Joe Randazzo, Ink in sketchbook, 8x6"
Joe Randazzo, Editor In Chief, The Onion. Ink in sketchbook, 8x6"

I’ve been sick with a doozy of a cold/flu all week and spent much of the time randomly channel surfing. When I saw the head writers from the satiric “Onion News Network” being interviewed by Charlie Rose I was struck by how each of them had such distinct and interesting characteristics that would be fun to draw.

Will Graham, Ink in sketchbook, 8x6"
Will Graham, Writer, The Onion. Ink in sketchbook, 8x6"

I set my TiVo to record so that I could draw them when I felt better. Finally tonight I felt well enough to sketch for a few minutes and replayed the show, setting it to pause when I found a pose I liked.

Carol Kolb, Ink in sketchbook, 8x6"
Carol Kolb, Writer, The Onion. Ink in sketchbook, 8x6"

Although initially I thought they all had such long faces, I have a feeling that the show might be recorded in a different format than my standard TV displays. They couldn’t all have such tall heads, could they?

Charlie Rose, Ink in sketchbook, 8x6"
Charlie Rose, Ink in sketchbook, 8x6

I’ve posted these in the order that I drew them. I was feeling pretty rusty with the first drawing at the top, after not holding a pen or brush all week. But I challenged myself to just start drawing with ink and let the sketches go where they would.

After a horrible week feeling really awful, it was such a pleasure to have a lull in the coughing and sneezing and enough mental bandwith to actually focus and draw.

12 replies on ““The Onion” Writers as Seen on TV”

terrific Jana, love your scribbly lines. I’ve tried drawing from the TV a few times too, but without pause! it’s a really fun challenge, and talk about your scribbly lines! maybe give it a go if you haven’t already but definitely best when you’re feeling better, much focus bandwidth necessary!


Hope that cold has stopped bugging you, Jana. Love these sketches. I’ve also taped some stuff, hoping it would help me draw on the PAUSE, but I still have a long way to go. I think it’s a great exercise, especially for beginners like me who are so slow.


Well, the sketches are pretty good so I assume you’re on the mend.
I have to practise drawing my face from the mirror so I can do my self portrait lino print. Eek! (And I’m out of chilli chocolate…double eek!)


Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling yucky. No fun at all. Hope you’re coming well out of it now, and it certainly looks like it from these wonderful sketches. How bold to just go after the faces in ink, terrific job.


I’ve got to stop commenting on people’s blogs and spreading ‘germs’ when I have a really yucky cold! 😉

Hope you’re feeling better…….it lingers……….

I’ve been trying to draw heads during long programmes. Just doing it live and starting lots of little ones and then waiting for them to come back so I can finish them. However I’ve learned just how much I can finish just because I know the structure of a head – and it’s made it easier – looking for the things that are different. Have a go – it’s interesting to see how much you can do.


Thanks Katherine,
I’ve done the live drawing too, but being sick, I needed the extra
help of the people holding still. I was glad I got in that bit of
drawing because the next day (yesterday) I had a killer migraine all
day on top of the cold! I know you said on your blog you had a cold
too, yet you’ve managed to keep posting. I hope you’re feeling better


Oh Jana! I didn’t know, hope by now you’re on the mend. I was wondering why you hadn’t posted after your fig painting. Say, you don’t think that bite had anything to do with . . . . Nah, of course not. But your sketches are truly amazing! I’d recognize those folks anywhere. Just sorry you had to do them under such circumstances. Take care.


Drawing heads from TV, that is something I hadn’t thought about. How do you go with Obama moving to and fro, perhaps the other guy stays still a bit longer!
Hope you are feeling better. I just can’t get going when I’m feeling lousy. I had that 100 day cough – and it’s now 110 days and better! Some people called it the papal throat because it started in Australia the time of his visit! Now I’ve insulted a few important people I had better stop now!


Hi Jana, I loved seeing these and your different approach to mine. I put an answer on my blog to your question. I do feel guilty if I misled but you don’t need inspiration judging by these great sketches!! I feel the end justifies the means if it helps you grow and I know it has already given me confidence to sketch quickly in public (nerves are such a big problem for me) and given me another way of putting lines down (looking at the main darks and lights and eliminating the rest).

Glad your migraine is over – it’s such a relief isn’t it? I try and be thankful for them as they serve to remind me of the potential of every day and that I should slow down and savour the little things more. (Still, I’d rather feel that way without them!!)


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