For most of his life Walter Russell earned a living through his skills as a painter and illustrator. He painted child portraits from many famous Families such as President Roosevelt, Hamilton Phelps Edwards, and Hester Luther
Stevers. At the age of fifty six, Walter Russell decides to go from painting famous people and their children to making head bust of famous
people such as Thomas Edison and two busts of United States President Roosevelt. His two busts of President Roosevelt were declared a masterpiece. Walter Russell was a perfectist with any venture that he did in the art world as shown in this example. Walter Russell describes the start of his lifelong friendship with Mark Twain in this following statement that he included in his Home Study Course. “As a young illustrator I was asked to illustrate a story called “Ten Little Pigs”. After completing my drawings, I was not satisfied with the way the pigs looked. They did not excel to me. I spent a week in the country studying pigs and drawing them all over again. More love went into them this time. I worked with God’s hands in mine instead of with mine alone. They excelled this time. The love that it gave them was reflected in Mark Twain, who regave it to me. Work was done worthily and brought Mark Twain into my life.” If Walter Russell didn’t like the way something looked, he would re-do that piece until he got it to the perfection that he was seeking.