In fear of Boko Haram


In fear of Boko Haram (A3) – pencil and ink from a photograph by Emmanuel Braun/Reuters

Four hundred women and children from Damasak in the Nigerian state of Boro were recently kidnapped. The girls pictured in my drawing (from a news photograph) are hiding in a straw hut. Their fear shows in their body language and eyes. I hope with all my heart that they are safe and that the world will take more action to stop these appalling abductions.

The photograph by Emmanuel Braun from Reuters was printed in The Times today  but I can’t link to it as it is behind a pay wall. I have massive regard for news photographers such as Braun who put their own lives at risk to show us what is really happening in the world.

I chose to draw the girls without colour to highlight their vulnerability. I would have liked the lines to be a little lighter… frailer but I’ve gone some way to achieving what I was aiming for. I shifted the composition so that the girls are towards the back of the straw hut, as far out of sight as they can be.

Prep work


Picture 1 Initial pencil drawing (A4 sketchbook)








Picture 2 Photographed, line simplified in Photoshop and then printed out and background added. This formed the approach for my final drawing.



Picture 3 – Experimenting with colour. I did not feel the bright colour suited the  message of the picture


Picture 4: Colours washed out with bleach




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