Still Dreaming about French Bulldogs

October 5, 2011

110925FrenchBulldogs Left: French Bulldog studies on a 9 x 12 inch page in my studio journal.

I still haven't found a French Bulldog model, so imagine my delight when I was watching TV and one came one. I did these quick gesture studies using a Faber-Castel Pitt Artist's Calligraphy pen, on a page where I already had warmed up by sketching a different dog breed (the light black ink brush pen sketch underneath everything). I added the gouache during a commercial because I just wanted to play with some left over paint, and because it helped me isolate the figures.

The past week has been a whirlwind but last week I met the cutest French Bulldog—Harley. Black with a white patch on the back of his neck. I was having lunch with my friend Tom and we were looking out the window at the Loring Park Cafe (I think that's the name, good restaurant, great mac and cheese and crab cakes!) A young woman walks by with her dog. "OOOH," I squeal. Tom simply says, "Go, go, go." And I gather my backpack (so I can give her my card) and out through the restaurant I run, to catch her, which I did as our paths were more or less parallel. I introduced my self (after asking if I could bother her for a moment; politeness first, even when obsessed, or perhaps especially then). Next I explained what I wanted to do and gave her my card. I asked her to think it over and to contact me. Alas, it has been a week and I haven't heard. I think she must think I'm a crazy person. (Well maybe when it comes to French Bulldogs I am.)

I would think that people would fall over themselves to have their dog painted. (Though she was young and hip looking so maybe she's an artist and wants to paint her own dog.) Sigh. The universe is just not giving me a break on this project.

But the universe did give me 60 seconds of affection from Harley (clearly he didn't think I was crazy). For now that's more than enough.

  1. Reply

    I always enjoy my visits here…good luck in your search for French bulldog models! seems like there ought to be a dog club or dog show in your area…anyway, thanks for sharing the great story about introducing yourself to Harley. the young woman may not really have thought you are crazy. young people are so busy with their own lives! and I really like your brushwork and the earlier sketch peaking out of the gouache!

  2. Reply

    I’d be thrilled if someone wanted to use my chubby but incredibly loving tuxedo cat as a model! Keep looking; I’m sure the universe will send the right model your way…eventually, lol.

  3. Reply

    Dianne, Thank you for your kind words and the wish of luck. Fingers crossed. A friend has tracked someone down through her vet and an e-friend has found two possibles that aren’t too distant, so fingers crossed! I have some deadlines to weave through and then I’ll be trying to contact these folks. Hope, hope, hope.

    The young woman, I totally feel for her. Her mother clearly taught her to be polite. But then she probably also has a bit of skepticism.

    And maybe she has deadlines of her own, and a busy life as you say! Fingers crossed on that one as well (he was so wonderfully friendly!)

  4. Reply

    Arika, I’m not familiar with cats much (except those of a couple friends) but tuxedo means the cat is black and white!? Those are the best for sketching. You need to be sketching your cat every day! You lucky, lucky person.

    I used sketches of my friend Janice’s cat on my fake book cover, “That’s No Excuse.”

    And another friend sent me video of her cat (I’d visited and fallen in love with him) and I sketched him from video—and she made the coolest wearable art with the sketch!

    So cats are equally to be focused upon for sketch models.

    It’s just for some reason, right now, I have to have a French Bulldog. (It doesn’t help that the culture throws them in my face in TV shows and movies, stoking the need for one.)


    • PeggySu
    • October 5, 2011

    Have you tried contacting The French Bullytin? Their snail mail address is in St. Paul.

  5. Reply

    PeggySu, thank you! Now I have three leads! I really appreciate it.

    • LizzieBo
    • October 6, 2011

    Any day without a new post from Roz is a slightly sadder day. Hope it’s just because you’re busy and not continued health problems. Let us all put our energies toward a French Bulldog has the honor of getting its portrait done by you. And thanks for the kind words about black and white cats. My Gracie absolutely feels I should be doing more sketching of her.

  6. Reply

    Roz, I think they call them tuxedo cats (informally; it’s not a breed or anything!) b/c the chest and stomach are white, and the back is black. Seems like most of them have a little splotch of white on the face, around the nose somewhere, and white feet (though most of the leg might be black). It can occur with other colors as well, but I think only the black and white ones are called tuxedos.

    And yes, I do draw my Sagan often! He’s usually sleeping, so I’m thrilled when I actually capture him awake. It’s hard to do b/c he’s such a lap cat. If he’s awake, he’s crawling on my sketchbook, bumping his head against my pen, etc. lol

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