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Published March 22 2012

VIDEO: The ‘Original Butt Sketch’ artist brings his talents to Moorhead

MOORHEAD – Krandel Lee Newton lined three students in front of his easel and said something that, in any other context, might be a little strange:

“I’m going to take a look at what’s going on back there, and then we’ll talk about it,” Newton said, stepping behind the group and looking at their rear ends in preparation for a sketch that would take about 2½ minutes to complete.

Newton, who calls himself the “Original Butt Sketch” artist, is from Dallas. He spent four hours at Minnesota State Community and Technical College on Thursday sketching peoples’ backsides. His title is a little misleading because he sketches more than just rear ends.

Newton has been sketching behinds for 24 years, since quitting his job as an engineer to become a sidewalk artist. He painted a parade scene one day that included people’s rears. Someone purchased it and asked him if he could do another.

That moment offered Newton an idea he turned into a successful company employing eight other “butt sketchers.” Newton alone has sketched nearly 500,000 people, he said, including Alex Trebek, Kate Beckinsale and John Goodman.

Not surprisingly, he sees all kinds of rear ends in his work, including “flat, round or regular,” he said.

Newton doesn’t like to play favorites when it comes to rear ends.

“In this business, every butt’s a good butt,” he said.

Newton gets that some people might initially see his work as lewd or creepy, but “once they see it, it’s good.”

Newton sketched nearly 75 figures on Thursday at MSCTC, including students Katie Milner, Sydney Schermerhorn and Jamie Hoyen, who said they probably laughed out loud when they heard about Newton coming to campus.

But when he presented the women with the finished sketch, they were impressed.

“It’s unique,” Schermerhorn said of the concept. “No one ever draws your back.”

Newton signed the sketch for the group, and then prepared for his next model.

“Another set of buns in the books,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535

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