Anna Lagos's sketch of artist John Ruthven. Lagos sketched 36 of the participants at SKB's recent workshop in Dubois, Wyoming.

Anna Lagos’s sketch of artist John Ruthven. Lagos sketched 36 of the participants at SKB’s recent workshop in Dubois, Wyoming.


It’s not an icebreaker.

Anna Sophia Lagos says she is not shy, but drawing cartoon depictions of people is a favorite thing to do because of the conversations that result. “It’s a different way to be able to talk to people,” says the Texas artist. “It’s also nice practice for me because I like getting better at faces. It always strikes up a conversation—another kind of conversation.”

This is especially true if one is drawing the caricatures of artists participating in a quick draw competition. A few months ago, Lagos was sketching some of the bigger names at the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation workshop, held annually in September in Dubois, Wyoming. Some of the participating artists were quite august; all were distinctive looking. “Everybody had fun facial features,” says Lagos. John Seerey-Lester, James Gurney, John Phelps, Lee Cable, Wanda Mumm, Andrew Denman, Nancy Foureman, John Ruthven, Mort Sohlberg, and others were given the Lagos treatment. The teen-aged artist drew them in ink, then later painted them with watercolors.

“I filled so many pages with sketches,” she says. “It was interesting meeting John Ruthven–It was great meeting so many famous artists. I didn’t get everyone that I wanted to get. There were just so many people.”

In the end, Lagos had 36 faces. Her friend and fellow SKBer Roxy Krywonos is also an inveterate sketcher, and the two drew each other and anyone else sitting still. They had fun exaggerating distinctive facial features. Lagos went around to her subjects and asked them to autograph her sketchbook below their likenesses. All seemed charmed. Lagos seemed in her element.

“It’s just something I do,” says Lagos.