This past January, I decided to trade the warm winter of Los Angeles for three weeks of winter in frigid Russia. I hadn’t really experienced much of a winter since the days of my youth on the east coast of the U.S. Let me tell you, Russia REALLY knows how to deliver a winter.

I learned that when venturing outside on most days, it was advisable to cover up every single part of your body in abundantly warm clothing. Unfortunately, one must leave their eyes exposed to the elements for the strangely necessary need of vision, otherwise everything else is covered.

I wear glasses, but learned I could not wear those while out and about because my own breath would fog them up, or worse, would freeze on them rendering them useless. Once I removed them, I could then see, and my breath was now free to collect on my eyelashes where it would form icicles – or as I called them, eyecicles.

You may think I am kidding, but I am not. For several days over there, the temperatures dropped to about -32 degrees celsius. Translate that to fahrenheit, and it is -26 thank-you-very-much.

So, spending time indoors was a much better activity than walking around. My last three days there were mostly spent attending a seminar at a Bible seminary. A friend of mine was translating an English speaker into Russian for the students, so I sat in the back learning a few things myself. However, I also sat in the back drawing all the other students in the room, which is really what this post is about – my sketches of the Russian men I met during those three days.

It pays to carry a sketchbook with you wherever you go…


My favorite is the one with glasses I made real large in the middle. The man looked like he could be in an animated movie!