Rock and Roll Beethoven, Historical Photo Account Part 2

Continuing on with the second post in a two part series, the subject of this one is guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. In the first post, I talked about a very cool Twitter account called “History Lovers Club” (@historylvrsclub) that shares somewhat rare photos. They mostly post less common images of famous actors or musicians, but some are interesting scenes featuring regular people. It’s a fun account, and over the weekend I decided to sketch a couple of subjects from images they’ve shared.

I’ll bet most people know about Jimi Hendrix, or at least are aware of him at a basic level. Despite having an extremely short career (only about four year), he’s considered one of the most influential guitarists in history. I’m no musical expert, but it’s hard to miss how extremely proficient and technically skillful Jimi Hendrix was when you listen to his music. I’m sure there are many articles detailing exactly what made him so incredible, but I like this blurb from The Rough Guide to Jimi Hendrix (link) by Richie Unterburger:

“He applied this technique during the beginning bars of “Little Wing”, which allowed him to sustain the root note of chords while also playing melody. This method has been described as piano style, with the thumb playing what a pianist’s left hand would play and the other fingers playing melody as a right hand. Having spent several years fronting a trio, he developed an ability to play rhythm chords and lead lines together, giving the audio impression that more than one guitarist was performing.”

I’m just a casual fan, so I’m sure my favorite Hendrix songs aren’t the best examples of his guitar prowess. But, I’ve always loved Manic Depression and Crosstown Traffic as excellent pure rock, with the former probably being my overall favorite. I also really like the Wind Cries Mary and Castles Made of Sand, but they’re kind of sad, so they fit a different musical mood.

So, on to the actual sketch. I think the drawing itself turned out pretty well in a general sense, but I don’t really think it exactly looks like Jimi Hendrix. Here’s the final product:

I originally titled this post “Almost Jimi Hendrix” because this drawing almost looks like him. I mean, I think you could guess it’s him, but something doesn’t quite go all the way to Hendrix. There’s some feature that’s off, but I really can’t pinpoint what that is. Interestingly, I think my sketch might look a bit more like Andre Benjamin (musician Andre 3000) playing Jimi Hendrix in the 2013 film, which is kind of odd.

Also, as I was drawing this, I couldn’t help but think “Rock and Roll Beethoven.” Especially the earlier version when I hadn’t filled in the hair. I mean, clearly the comparison can be made due to musical brilliance. But, just in terms of how they are depicted sometimes; high collared coat, wild hair, etc. They obviously don’t have similar facial features, but I kept thinking of Beethoven paintings while I was drawing.

Beethoven and Hendrix

I feel pretty good about how these “History Lovers Club” inspired drawings turned out, so I’ll definitely kept them in mind for the future! There may be some other interesting subjects or ideas floating around Twitter. As I’ve said, I’m always on the lookout for another person to sketch.


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  • Perhaps you already do this but if not, could you share what media you use, on each portrait, and if pencils etc what brand you prefer? I think this would help a lot of readers…

    best wishes from

    Pamela Spiro Wagner

  • The more I look at this drawing, the less I think it looks like Hendrix. I’m usually fairly self-critical in general about art, but this time I think I’m being realistic. This is a solid sketch of a person, but it’s not a good representation of Jimi Hendrix.

    Oh well, that’s alright. As I’ve said before, sometimes art doesn’t work out exactly how you’d hoped.

  • I’m a Jimi Hendrix fan and I think your drawing is ace!

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