Councillor Crawford paints portrait of Mayor Rob Ford

WATCH:  Councillor Crawford paints portrait of Mayor Rob Ford. Jackson Proskow reports. 

TORONTO – It may not be an official portrait, but a city councillor is painting a portrait of Mayor Rob Ford.

At the request of the mayor’s mother Diane Ford, Councillor Gary Crawford, an accomplished painter, is using some of his extra time during his summer break to paint a portrait of the mayor. At an easel in his studio, Crawford is using several photos of the mayor, including his official portrait, to capture his likeness.

Crawford said he started Ford’s portrait like he does all others: with a sketch. From there, he starts drawing the eyes, then will block in colours. After that he starts adding detail.

“He’s incredibly colourful. He’s larger than life; he just has so many different aspects to who he is,” Crawford said. “Personal, work-wise, he’s a politician, he’s a husband, he’s a son. All of that. So what I’ve been finding, it’s a fascinating subject to use as a work of art.”

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While the councillor is inserting a few political references – including some pink to represent the infamous ‘left-wing pinkos’ comment Don Cherry made to celebrate Ford’s election victory – the portrait itself is meant for Diane Ford’s living room, so Crawford is hoping to capture “What does Rob Ford mean to me?” he said. “What I try to do in my portraits is to capture the essence or likeness of the individual.”

The portrait isn’t done yet; Crawford guessed he might be 75 per cent finished.

Watch: The full interview with Councillor Gary Crawford. 

– With files from Jackson Proskow

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