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Cody Sabol Thrills THON Stage With Intense Speed Painting Session

Pittsburgh-based speed painter Cody Sabol took center stage before THON’s Saturday afternoon session to display his real-time artwork in front of a packed Bryce Jordan Center. 

Sabol painted three complex visuals over the span of 15 minutes, ranging from Disney staples to the Symbol of Our Best. 

To the tune of “Killer Queen” by 5 Seconds of Summer, Sabol immediately hung a blackboard canvas to his easel and began to craft. The Western Pennsylvania native began to brush the surface with pink strokes toward the left side of the area. 

The movement, which would end up forming a nose, then morphed into the mouth and jawline of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney’s first — and most famous — creation at the helm of his film empire. Sabol then outlined Mickey’s ears and finished off the elaborate sketch with a sky-blue background. 

Within seconds, the soundtrack transitioned to “Domino” courtesy of Demi Lovato, and Sabol quickly went to work on a fresh print. With a Colgate sponsor radiating Sabol’s efforts in the background, the painter began by outlining a large, head-shaped structure with a grey color scheme. 

He continued to brush from top-to-bottom, but in the middle, Sabol switched a hint of green. From there, he elected to draw Grogu, or Baby Yoda, from Disney’s hit series “The Mandalorian”. 

After rounding out Yoda’s facial structure, Sabol finished the job off by detailing the Din Djarin, or The Mandalorian’s mask. The detailed depiction received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the crowd. 

Sabol warranted another quick switch for his last piece of the night in showstopping fashion. Of course, the Pittsburgh product decided to play to the pride of Happy Valley by painting the university’s Lion Shrine seal. 

Rounding out the song selections with “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” from Whitney Houston, Sabol immediately struck magic with a pink pastel by outlining the shrine’s right ear. He then added a white tint along the nose and finished off the design with a crest, tying the design together. 

The artist completed his on-stage stint by slapping a blue handprint on the upper right corner of the canvas and received a (standing) ovation from the entirety of the BJC’s onlookers. 

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About the Author

Connor Krause

Connor Krause is a senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania double majoring in journalism and business. He is a lifelong Penn State football and basketball fan and enjoys rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams. In his free time, Connor can be found playing golf or pick-up basketball. You can follow his Twitter and Instagram @ckrause_31.

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