Manafort’s New Threads

Paul Manafort, accustomed to $10,000. House of Bijan suits, appeared instead for yesterday’s pre-trial hearing wearing an Alexandria jail issued prisoner jumpsuit. Looking disheveled, the collar of his green jumpsuit turned inside out, the usually dapper Manafort did not look comfortable. Perhaps that is why he has declined to be present in court today as prospective jurors are summoned to fill out questionnaires.

Judge Ellis granted the defense’s request to delay the start of the trial so that they could have more time to review evidence, but only for a week. The trial is now scheduled to begin next Tuesday, July 31.

Art Lien

Courtartist is me, Art Lien. I've been sketching the courts since 1976, and for most of that time the U.S. Supreme Court has been my regular beat. I've been working almost exclusively for NBC News since 1980. Courtroom sketching is a form of visual journalism or reportage drawing that is slowly dying out. Where once upon a time news organization each had their own artist covering a story, today a "pool" artist often sketches for all. It is a demanding and stressful discipline where the drawing is often done directly and under tight deadline.

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14 comments on “Manafort’s New Threads
  1. Gordon says:

    Your work is fantastic!
    Thank you.

  2. artbymeera says:

    These give so much wonderful information !!! Look forward to more fantastic sketches as trail starts :)

  3. Jill Savini says:

    When I saw the first illustration of Manefort I was so excited. Your illustrations are beautiful. I look forward to following you throughout the trial.

  4. Dawn Temple says:

    Every day I see your work and I’m so impressed. I would love to hear what drew you to be a court sketch artist, and if you have any advice for someone looking to get into the field? I am an artist, and am considering looking into it, but have no idea where to begin. Thanks for any tips!

    • Art Lien Art Lien says:

      I don’t want to discourage you, Dawn, but courtroom sketching is a dying art. Not much work out there and it won’t be long before cameras are everywhere. Nevertheless, you can go to pretty much any courthouse and sketch the proceedings. Then if the opportunity presents itself you’ll be ready and experienced. I got my start when our Maryland governor when on trial and a local TV station was looking for an artist.

      Good luck!

  5. Kurt says:

    Great work. Why do you sketch Manafort’s eye color as blue? His eyes are brown.

    • Art Lien Art Lien says:

      artistic license !

      • Prue Ronneberg says:

        Wow. Your sketches are amazing. They’re more than sketches, as you know. My Mother was a fine artist, educated at the Phila. Academy of Fine Arts. When I was a kid she did a couple of trials, and i was always amazed how quickly and how, with such intense concentration, she had to ‘catch’ the moments, complete with expressions, responses, and color. These are the best I’ve ever seen. I look forward to the day’s proceedings just to see your drawings. Thanks so much.


    Your choices in detail and color are amazing. Do you draw other things besides courtroom.

    • Art Lien Art Lien says:

      Thanks, Muriel. I don’t do a lot outside of the courtroom. Just too exhausted, I guess. Am eager to start on some watercolor landscapes once things quiet down (if that time ever comes).

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