Another Dog? Why Not!

October 28, 2011


Above: A chihuahua pup (who was actually white) in my Fabriano Venezia 9 x 12 inch journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement and read below for a little bit more info.

I used cerulean blue and magenta (all Schmincke gouache) over a quick sketch using Pentel's Aquash brush pen with light black ink. You can still see a lot of the sketch lines. I started with the pink ears and facial features, moved to the shadow areas on the body, laid in a blue background, covered that with yellow (actually just blended in some hansa yellow to make the green which shows through) and then covered that ultimately with magenta. The interesting thing on the verso page is that the previous page had a sketch "glued" down with matte medium and even so it buckled when I started painting on the reverse side. That's what caused the buckle pattern in the background, but I think that's pretty cool. It looks like an old wall or something. 

I was willing to put up with the chalky nature of the cerulean blue, migrating up in my layers of paint, because I really wanted that smoky grayed lavendar for shadows.

111023ChihuahuaPupDetailLeft: Detail of the dog face so you can see the mix of light washes and heavier paint applications, as well as the strokes of light black ink from the Aquash brush pen, underneath.

I took this book into color theory class on Monday to talk with my students about it. I told them (and am telling you) that I normally would put some patterned papers collaged into that white strip on the verso page. I even brought in a variety of papers to show how I might make a selection. But the funny thing is that I like this white strip just stopping everything there on the edge. So I left it.

For me the painting is finished, empty eye and all. I don't know when I started drawing dogs without finished eyes. The idea of a one-eyed dog as a character for a book first appealed to me after my second page spread in my 2011 Fake Journal. (Curiously that was also a long-haired chihuahua, though not a pup. I have been drawing and painting a lot of little dogs in the past year.) There's a one-eyed dog here, and a one-eyed dog here too

When I finished the chihuahua above, I realized that the empty eye is also a comment on my life. My own impaired ninja skills. Where I'll go with that, whether there will be a series in it I don't know. For now it's something with which I can experiment.

Oh, and I'm still enjoying experimenting with my 3/4 and 1 inch filberts. I used the 3/4 inch filbert for this entire sketch, switching to a number 12 round when I did the eye, and highlights on the nose. 

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