Saturday, March 14, 2015

a funny character to sketch

Clearly from the illustration above, "Frederic" Hylands is a comical character to sketch, as I do like to draw him often, due to his rather funny looking features. He must have been quite  a surprise at the first sight of Columbia's manager, Victor Emerson. Mr. Emerson probably didn't know what to think of him at first. He certainly didn't create that image of a tall, thin, stringy, long-haired pianist. He was pretty much the complete opposite of that. 
He wasn't necessarily very tall, at about 5 foot 11(well, compared to Len and Harry Spencer's 6 foot 3), he had funky looking, rather-- feminine, perky-looking lips,  sincere blue eyes, and dark blond hair swept outward at the back. 
He had a straight, but distinctively shaped nose, dirty teeth with probably several of them missing, and of course, he weighed just under 250 pounds as of 1898. His personality is a real theory pool though. He was clearly a very intelligent person who did not receive the best formal education, also musical education. He was to most accounts a very pleasant and accepting person most of the time, but you couldn't boss him around too much, as he was as stubborn as a mule. He was especially this way when it came to music, more specifically, Rag-Time. 
He wasn't one to be bossed around. He was a free musical spirit who was always going his own way. 
One thing that I will forever wonder about is his voice. He has been documented as being an amateur singer of the Rag-Time songs that he often played, like Mr. Roger Harding. 
He was a rather innocent looking character, but when one heard him play, they would sure as hell back away from that thought, cause he played piano like a fiend. Like a monster.
 Like a wildman! He had unusually dainty hands for his piano style however, someone may notice that unusual small thing, because I hear him hit tenths on the piano here and there! 
Fred's ringed hand, not too long and chubby

His hands are a real curiosity, as they were somewhat long, but not Eubie Blake long if ya know what I mean! They were very rather slender and fragile-looking in the few pictures there are left of him, and they're considerably fair. What I'm meaning to say here is that his hands did not really fit his body type very well. It's very odd really. 
Even though he was a hard drinker, he still could somehow play his Rag-Time very well, but like I have said before, he became very anxious to play piano when he was loaded. So that would mean that they would have to let him go and do what he did, IMPROVISE! 

I hope you enjoyed this!

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