Friday, 10 September 2010

Excited about this one.

I haven't enjoyed any art or posted to my blog for quite a while because I simply haven't had time. I had a long-overdue garden project to deal with that involved moving a concrete slabbed path, and I also got roped in for changing my daughter and son-in-law's bathroom suite. Throw on top of that my usual day-job and planning and arranging a special weekend for my wife's 60th birthday, and important matters like art just get pushed onto the back-burner. Whatever online time I've been able to find has been directed into trying to maintain some sort of presence in my art forum.

One piece of bad news is that my wife developed a rather nasty mouth infection leading to a massive absess just days before her special weekend. As a result we've had to postpone our trip, but it will still go ahead in due course. It won't be the same, not being on her birthday, but at least she will still get her treat.

While all this has been going on, a friend of my wife's has approached me to do a drawing of her brothers dog. I popped down to her house the other day to take some reference photo's and fell instantly in love. What an animal this is. A white German Shepherd, with hints of gold here and there, a fine brown nose and the bushiest bushy tail you could ever imagine. I have never painted an animal portrait before though have done reasonably well with graphite. Consequently I'd not thought of using anything other than graphite ... until I saw the dog. I took 66 reference photo's and have no idea which pose to use, but as soon as I saw the colouring I realised that graphite was never going to do justice to such a fine animal. I'm always happy to hear suggestions and advice so feel free to give me your views. In the meantime I'm in 'think' mode. I've often wondered about buying some Bristol Board and having a go with coloured pencils ... maybe now is the time.


  1. What a fabulous dog, John.

    The coloured pencils sound like a good idea. I have seen some beautiful work of that type. It would suit your liking for drawing media and it would let you build up the textures gradually.

  2. John, I just recently joined your blog and must say this is a beautiful animal. your so right about graphite not doing justice. I have used graphite and graphtint in the same drawing, but it just adds a bit of color... your idea with colored pencils sounds excellent.. let us know when you do the grand showing !!! good luck with it.

  3. Thanks Keith. The more I think about it, the more I think it's the way to go.

    Lovely to see you in here again Barbra. I'm not familiar with graphtint - I'll go and look it up. I'm off to do some practicing with coloured pencils - fingers crossed.

  4. One of the most difficult things to paint with watercolors is a white subject. One has to use just the right watered down color to make the piece look white. I think your style of painting lends itself to painting this beautiful animal in watercolors.
    Can't wait to see the result.

  5. Jean, I'm flattered that you think my style suits this type of painting, thank you. Maybe I'll give it a go. ;-)