Canadian Black History Portraits

Posted by on Dec 23, 2010 in Freelance, Illustration | 6 Comments

If you had told me earlier this year that I’d be wrapping up 2010 by drawing portraits of a dozen African-Canadians, I probably would’ve chuckled, for I am very much American and about as white as it gets. But alas, that’s exactly what happened. It was a great project — I got to focus on straight-up drawing again for a couple months (which I’d wanted to do more of), and I learned a thing or two researching my subjects, as well. Win-win. I hadn’t done this much “analog” drawing since finishing the African-American portrait set that led to this project, so it was nice to return to that for a while. This new set will be featured in a 12-month calendar for a fundraising effort, which I’ll post details about when I learn them.

So, without further ado, I give thee the portraits. Featured are Anderson Ruffin Abbott, Elijah McCoy, Harriet Tubman, Harry Jerome, Josiah Henson, Mary Ann Shadd, Osborne Perry Anderson, Portia White, Rosemary Brown, Sam Langford, Viola Desmond, William Hall and Mifflin Gibbs. I think my favorite one ended up being the Sam Langford — what’s yours?

Anderson Ruffin Abbott

Elijah McCoy

Harriet Tubman

Harry Jerome

Josiah Henson

Mary Ann Shadd

Osborne Perry Anderson

Portia White

Rosemary Brown

Sam Langford

Viola Desmond

William Hall

Mifflin Gibbs


  1. Tweets that mention Blog of Indiana Designer and Illustrator Christian Elden | --
    December 23, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Christian Elden and Christian Elden, a. rae owens. a. rae owens said: Josiah Henson. // RT@christianelden: Which one is your favorite? […]

  2. Dave Aldrich
    January 12, 2011

    These are great, Christian. My favorites are Portia White and Sam Langford.

  3. James Day
    January 13, 2011

    Great work Christian!

  4. Wilson Williams
    January 20, 2011

    Heya Christian!! Josiah is my favorite!! Great work! Also, I’m doing another book with you guys! Yay! We practically work together, LOL!


    • Christian
      January 20, 2011

      Hey thanks Wilson! Good to hear you’re doing another project with WP!

  5. Blog of Indiana Designer and Illustrator Christian Elden |
    February 6, 2012

    […] pencils again lately, doing portraits of a few more Black History figures (see the others here and here). Some were Canadian, some American, but all have a common bond in that they’ve done great […]


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