Four years ago today I posted my first Drawing on Observations doodle. Over the last four years, I've posted a drawing every weekday and occasionally on the weekend, for a crazy total of eleven hundred sketches. Because I doodled over the news, I find I enjoy looking back at the timeline of events more than the drawings.

On last year's anniversary I posted this video.

Today I"m reposting the first post from March 20, 2008, when I did a sketch of Obama on a paper napkin while watching his speech on race and over the full text of said speech in the following day's paper.

Obama Doodles

Ball point on paper napkin

Yesterday I took a break from my work to watch Senator Obama deliver a speech about race relations in America. Sometimes we can recognize a transformative moment in history as it's happening i.e., man steps on the moon, Kennedy is shot, a plane crashes into the World Trade Center. No matter what follows, you know the world will never be the same. Other times, society needs to digest it and history put said moment into context. Whether Obama goes on to loose the primary race to Senator Clinton, capture the nomination but loose in the general election, win the presidency but become an ineffective president, or win the presidency and become a transformative figure in American history will likely be the context by which we remember this speech. I hope I can someday say I remember watching the speech while I scribbled this doodled on a napkin in my kitchen. That would mean that history has judged Obama to be the latter. Can we do it? I'm not sure.

Ball point on Newspaper text of speech



  1. March 20, 2012 -

    I love the video! In the half second you get to see each drawing, you can instantly recognize the likeness. I know a ton of illustrators, including me, who would love to half even half your skills!

  2. Zina
    March 20, 2012 -

    Inspiring work. I hope to see four more years!

  3. Sue
    March 20, 2012 -

    Larry, congratulations! Your portraits are always beautiful.

  4. March 20, 2012 -

    1100? That's quite an accomplishment! Congratulations, it must feel good to look back on all of that effort flying by in your mash up. (Were there only two where you helped the pen with a little watercolor in the background?)

  5. March 20, 2012 -

    In that mashup video I think one or two had some color, but I did take some of the sketches I and created over the previous four years to create series entitled "Seven Deadly Sinners" and Lust was recognized by Creative Quarterly. <a href="https://www.roibal.net/zenphoto/portraits/Lust.jpg.php" rel="nofollow"> Click here to see. </a> I kind of like Greed as well. <a href="https://www.roibal.net/zenphoto/portraits/Greed.jpg.php" rel="nofollow"> Click here for that one.</a>

  6. March 20, 2012 -

    I especially like greed. Did you happen to rest your coffee cup on each of the 7 deadly sins?

  7. March 20, 2012 -

    Coffee, the morning paper and sinners just seemed to go together.

  8. stephen gardner
    March 21, 2012 -

    Well done Larry, four years and still going strong, very impressive. Hope to see you soon.

  9. March 21, 2012 -

    Cheers! Here's to another great 4 years. I'm still amazed by the consistency, the work and the good commentary.