Rebel without a cause- James Dean

Why not give it a go and draw some of my favourite stars like James Dean. I absolutely don’t expect it to come out as two drops of water but I will try my best.

James Dean  was an American actor. He is remembered as a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement in a movie Rebel Without a Cause (1955).

As a child I got a t-shirt from my dad with Jame’s picture on it not even knowing who he is but I thought it looked cool. When I grew up my dad introduced me to his movies.

I will try to recreate this iconic picture with plywood and pyrography tools. I used to make book covers using a nail that I would heat up on the hob but now I am a bit more advanced. This also is going to be a preparation to do my book cover for William Blake’s poem “London”

Here is a quick sketch to start with. As I have learnt along the way I should’ve have drawn too much on plywood as graphite is not so easy to remove or should’ve used softer pencil than HB2

So pyrography tool happened to be fun but I may need some gloves. Burning yourself is inevitable. Loving the smell of the burning wood though but not my flesh 🙂

Here is my weapon itself. I like to learn by putting it into practice rather than watch hours of tutorials.

I have given myself a challenge to do both a portrait of someone famous and try to make it at least recognisable and to use a tool that I haven’t used before. It’s like I like to complicate things for myself.



This is the stage I’m at and I must say devil is not as black as it’s painted. Once you get to know what each tip is for and how to use it, it will all go rather smooth.

The colours of plywood itself and and when its already burnt will have a little bit of sepia tone and it will make the portrait look vintage.

It’s important for me that I am having fun in the process and I get to practice on not rushing through my artwork and being more patient and maybe improve my accuracy as well.

I will update my post once the picture is finished.

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