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John Howard’s Knees


Quick sketches of ex-PM John Howard
Secret of drawing John Howard: he's always got "sad/furrowed eyebrows", even when he's happy. This makes him look like he's constantly suffering indigestion. Maybe he is.


About five years ago I wrote a script for a short film called “The Ballad of the History of Trying to Break John Howard’s Knees”, a lovely singalong tale of how our then-Prime Minister, John Winston Howard, has always had to escape brutal knee-beatings.

Those knees secrete some kind of powerful magic, tempting violence from all who come across them, from the nurses who delivered him to his schoolmates to his fellow lawyers.

It’s completely apolitical, and now, not even topical, since Mr Howard has been largely out of the public eye since his resounding defeat in the 2007 federal election.

So now that it’s a charming period piece, the time has come to finally make it! It’s one of the things I really want to finish this year (see my to-do list on the left sidebar).

Up top are some sketches of Mr Howard. The one at bottom row centre is clearly the best likeness, but probably not the best design to animate. My favourites are middle row, left and second from left. I like the idea of a sideways mouth. What do you think?

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