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Paws On Grand Report

August 12, 2011

BellaPawsonGrand
Above: Bella the Boston Terrier, next to the portrait I made of her moments before. (It should be illegal for people with Bostons to go outside, because that is just too much cuteness!)

Did it even reach 80 degrees on Sunday? From where I sat, under an awning at the side of Wet Paint in St. Paul, with 5 other artists sketching pets as fast as we could, it sure didn't seem like it. We could not have had a more perfect day for the 3 hour pet sketching event. And there was no humidity to speak of (a welcome break from recent weather norms).

Once again, all the models were lovely (even when they were in constant motion), and all the owners patient. Liz Carlson, Tim Jennen, and Anna Miller from Wet Paint were joined by Ken Avidor, Tracie Thompson, and me. The crowd started forming at 11:30! We started drawing dogs at noon and kept at it until a little after 3 p.m.

Bella4274 Left: Another Bella, this one a Chihuahua with the sweetest look!

You can see photos from the event taken by Wet Paint staff on Wet Paint's facebook page (be sure you find the Wet Paint art supply store that is in St. Paul! I just saw a similarly named store in Arizona and that's not the one.)

All the artists worked in different media. We all worked on Stonehenge paper (I worked only on the white and cream, but other artists worked on the gray and tan sheets).

I worked with a black Stabilo All which is a waxy, watersoluble pencil. My original intent was to use water to smear the pencil lines as I'd done in practice sessions, but on the day this didn't appeal to me. Evidently I'd dropped my padded pencil case earlier because my pencils kept breaking in my sharpeners, and because the pencil lead is waxy and it was a "little" warm, the tips would get stuck in the sharpener. There was no time for me to dig them out. I killed 6 or 7 sharpeners in 3 hours! Luckily I had 15 Stabilo Alls that I could rotate. And I began with them all sharpened.

Springer4262 Left: A Springer Spaniel. Now of course I can see that I've left a couple of her nose freckles off! Note to self—do a freckle check at the end.

Besides the owner who asked me (after several long minutes of waiting for her dog to settle down and show me something besides his butt) "Do you need him to face you?" the only other drama for me on the day was the death of my pocket camera. I like to end each portrait session by taking a photo of the model next to the portrait (as you see in the images of this post). I know I'm a compulsive record keeper, but it also helps me, after the fact, to see where I peaked, where I got my second wind, and how to train better for the future—because speed sketching from life like this is an endurance sport.

I know from my sticker count that I did over 20 portraits. I know at 90 minutes, however, I was only at 10 drawings, so that's slower than I wanted to be. I was off my practice time. It's good to have goals and something to aim for in the future. I'm grateful for the even faster artists who made it possible for us to reach 117 portraits!

Contained in this post are a few of my favorite portraits, which I was able to take photos of before my camera died, or take with a borrowed camera. The paper I was using is white, as I wrote above, but we are in the shade.

If you were at the event and had your pet's portrait done (two girls brought their guinea pigs so it wasn't just dogs), thanks for attending and making this a fun project. And a special thank you to everyone who donated money to The Pet Project.

Thank you Wet Paint—for asking me to participate, for caring about your community, and for being the best art supply store in the world!

  1. Reply

    Oh my goodness! What awesome drawings, and beautiful models. This is such a fabulous event that I was thinking I should organize one locally.

    • Miss T
    • August 12, 2011
    Reply

    Roz, wonderful drawings! Bella the Boston is killing me, she’s so cute.

  2. Reply

    Melly, if you are going to do something like this seek out the Paws On Grand organization or group. They organize the entire business community. That’s part of what makes this so successful. There is a LONG residential and commercial street (very interesting character/charming) called Grand Ave. in St. Paul. The boutique and independent businesses as well as the larger chain businesses on the street almost ALL participate in someway. This means that there is a draw for people with pets beyond one or two businesses.

    All day long people walk up and down with their pets. It’s a crowd of people and dogs.

    From that group of people there will be more than enough to make your pet sketching attractive.

    Good luck.

  3. Reply

    Miss T, I so, so want the other Boston owners, and Bella’s owners, to contact me so I can work with their dogs—hasn’t happened yet. Sigh. But at least I have these memories or her cuteness!

    • Sweetie
    • August 12, 2011
    Reply

    She’s no Boston, but Becca will happily model again, perhaps in a less exciting setting… It was great to see you. We had fun and I got a few supplies from the best art supply shop in town, maybe the world!

  4. Reply

    Sweetie, Becca was wonderful, and I enjoyed meeting her and seeing you. And I look forward to drawing many pictures of Becca in different situations. (She’s not cute she’s lovely.)

    I’m glad you got some supplies—But it is the best art supply shop in the world. Hands down better than the store we went to in Paris (though that had interesting and ancient signage and stairs) and anything I’ve been to anywhere else. (Australia, Europe, Asia)

    I suppose there could be something good in Antarctica, but somehow I doubt it. (Though I would be up for a fact finding mission as long as it included lay over time to sketch penguins!)

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