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.
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.
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!