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(Contains: sexual themes)
A personal artwork for a change

In the 1970's I was conscripted into the army in part because there were 'Reds under bed'. We here taught how to track, set up Claymore ambushes, fire RPG's, shoot a coin off a brick and to go out and find other young men and kill them. Most of us were too young to drive a car and we weren’t allowed into a pub.

During that time the government felt the need to preserve our moral purity by banning images of topless women so that we could go and slaughter total strangers with pure, unsullied souls.

When I was finally allowed to leave the military 12 years later, I was old enough to drive a car and visit pubs. I had served my country and done what was asked of me but even then, if I’d been found in possession of an image of a semi-naked women the penalty would have been jail - exactly the same sentence had I refused to fight in their ridiculous war…

Acrylic paint and Prismacolor pencil on MDF board, 24 x 36 inches.

The pencil comp is to be found here: markraats.deviantart.com/art/S…
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:iconjohnnybigoud:
JohnnyBigoud Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Impressive ! The atmosphere and the comments remind me of a novel "Sympathy for the Devil" by Ken Anderson. The editor would have been very lucky if he had learned about your art and inspired if he had asked you to make the cover !^^ The drawings of Indy are impressive too, very elegant hommage to this great saga !
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014
Thank you very much JohnnyBigoud sir.

I appreciate you taking the time to write such a thoughtful note..
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:iconsleepyhead12567:
sleepyhead12567 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014
This is fantastic. Love all the detail.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
Many thanks. Being a more personal piece, its always difficult to anticipate how people will react  with it not being either Star Wars or Indy.

I appreciate you taking the time to comment Kristine..
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:iconsleepyhead12567:
sleepyhead12567 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
You're welcome! It's always nice to be able to do something just for yourself :)
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:iconjohnnyjester:
johnnyjester Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah yes....the young and poor go first to war.  Aren't they lucky?  Obedient and loyal.  Show these young men  a few nipples attached to female breasts and all their training unravels.  Also, a nipple could poke your eye out if you get to close and forget to blink....and it's frozen solid?  Nipples are dangerous! ;)
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
Hahahaha... spot on John sir!

Many thanks....
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:iconjohnnyjester:
johnnyjester Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for sharing your top notch art and thought process.  Always happy to find people who agree that war is such a waste of "the people's" time and that censorship is just absurd.  
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:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014
Mature Content: What a Mindfuck

No PTS accepted back in the 60's, after humping nine 16 hr days "ok mutts, tonight you get to sleep outside in full gear, enjoy the mud and rain .. just be at the ready with clean weapons for inspection at 0400!" 

Yeah, FtA was the battle cry of the day, at least it was/still is mine. 

PS really great work on many levels, enough said, getting brainfreeze ...
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
LOL, cheers brother - warmly appreciated to be sure, especially because you see what I was trying to achieve...

Stay warm and best of luck over there mate!
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:iconbanenascent:
BaneNascent Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You don't need those dirty mags anymore, you live through your dreams now! Haha. I like it when artists find the thing that inspires them to draw. Even though the foundation of the thing can be ugly, the outcome can be nice eh?
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014
LOL, nice way to look at it Wade!

Many thanks sir...
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:icondosvidanjia:
dosvidanjia Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
Mark, Sir,

Amazing as always.  "They have the faces of boys but they fight like lions."  And, no matter how much the lion you may be, the Army will always think of and treat you as a boy.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014
Thanks very much Colby - great quote sir!
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:iconbikerscout:
BikerScout Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Art with a personal story attached. My favourite kind. :aww:

Great work, Mark - love the details in your recent pieces. :)
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014
Cheers and congratulations on your current daily sketches - absolutely lovely sir...
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:iconstefano-krivtzoff:
stefano-krivtzoff Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
Lovely art mark! times of war are really sad...we had military dictatorship here in brazil...and a lot of teachers or parents of friends of mine lost friends and stuff..
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014
Thank you very much Stefano!

Yes, war is unkind to everyone - I'm sorry to hear so many friends of yours were lost :(
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:iconstefano-krivtzoff:
stefano-krivtzoff Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014
unfortunatelly it happens..thanks mate!
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:iconsamarai:
Samarai Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
Good old Estados Unidos was conscripting folks back then as well [called it The Draft], but only for 2 years.  I had no idea one could be 'pressed' into service for 12 years - at least not in an otherwise whatcha call civilized country.  That really musta sucked.

I was in from '67 - '70, but my only exposure to weapons was in Basic Training, where I fired an M-14, tossed a couple grenades and otherwise pretended I had a clue what the hell we were doing [I was 17 at the time, so...].  Things were a bit restrictive back then, as I recall, but I also recall that probably 3 of every four guys had some type of nude or nearly nude woman hung in his locker and [once I got overseas], they were pretty prevalent on the walls of bunk rooms as well.  Of course our military had a long-standing tradition of plastering pin-ups on everything from tanks to war planes, so it really isn't all that strange.  

You poor bastards, however.  This is almost as bad as what they did to Alan Turing in WW II.  Or, as we used to say, when I was in... "I wouldn't mind so much, if they would just take the splinters out." 

Nice memorial, in any case.  
And, you know... Fuck the Army.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014
Cheers Rich - great to get comment from someone who 'gets it'. In fairness, its takes a vet to really understand but hopefully by including well known items into the composition it opens the message out to everyone (or at least everyone who's interested).

I should mention that it wasn't 12 years, 24 hours a day. For the first two years we were there 100% of the time and then for the next 10 years, we were called back for 3 months of each year. Essentially we would have to leave our families and our jobs and go back into the fight. Then we had to come home again and pretend that nothing had happened and that nothing was different.....

Yeah, Fuck the Army!
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:iconsamarai:
Samarai Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014
Ah.. weekend warrior.  We had something similar when I was in [National Guard/Reserves].  Six year commitment is what they called it.  A lot of college age dudes [and young married guys] opted to go into the Guard or Reserves 1) to avoid going to Nam and 2) stay close to home/school/family.  Otherwise, you took the chance of being drafted, not getting a deferment and winding up being cannon fodder in some jungle.  Options that, oddly enough, only upper middle-class and rich kids got.  The rest of us had two choices.  Join or get drafted.  Oddly enough, I was only dimly aware of any of this, when I quit school [at 17] and my Old Man made the decision for me that I would go in the military.  I got the standard issue talk - it'll make a man of you, etc.

At any rate, my three years of active duty [and the fact that I was a disabled vet] precluded me having to do active guard duty.  I was, in fact, attached to a unit in Cleveland, Ohio, when I got out, while I was living in Jamestown, New York, a good hundred and fifty miles away.  Three years later, I got my final discharge papers in the mail and was officially done with Uncle Sugar.  Things have dramatically changed since then.  Some of these poor bastards today wound up doing three and four stretches in Afghanistan and/or Iraq [which, no shit, it's beginning to look like we're going to be back there], with no real end in sight.  Apparently, now that it's all volunteer, once you sign your name, you belong to these assholes until they decide to let you go.  At least, when I was in, it was a finite trip to Hell.. today it can be a life long one.  In some ways, I feel sorry for them; but then I remember that they actually have a choice today; something we didn't have.  If you know what is going on and still choose to go.. well, man up, I guess.  

So and so and so.. 
I posted a pic on my page for you, by the by.  You see it, you'll know what and why.
Keep the Faith, dude.
There are fewer and fewer of us left with each passing day.
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:iconxavier-119:
xavier-119 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
very interesting bit of story behind this piece. btw, i've always liked the way you use hatching in your work. they're much longer strokes than people normally use. any tips for implementing them into work the way you do?
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014
Thanks very much Ricardo and thanks too for the interesting question.

I don't know why I work the way I do other than to say that it FEELS right. Sometimes strokes are longer and more forceful and other times they are finer and more gentle. 

Generally I like to work for finer line on faces and especially if the face belongs to a woman. I use a stronger line for the background elements so that there is a contrast between for foreground and the background.

I have a number of tutorials in my gallery that might also help show my process.

Best of luck!
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:iconxavier-119:
xavier-119 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks for that, I'll check them out.
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