Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Basset Hound

oil painting of a basset hound, a pet portrait , dog painting by Karen

Painting a portrait of this particular dog appealed to me because, like most Basset Hounds, he manages to exude an air of quiet dignity but inexplicable comedy both at the same time.  I think a comical dog that makes you laugh simply by existing would be a highly desirable thing to have. I started thinking about  names for basset hounds. This one is Meldrew. Look out for Maud tomorrow.
The first mention of the word “basset”, in referring to a breed of dog, comes from a French text of 1585 and includes a woodcut of a huntsman out on the hunt with his “badger dog”. It is thought that the friars of St Hubert were the key to the selective breeding of various hounds to produce a lower set, slower moving dog which could be followed on foot. The word “basset” is derived from the French adjective ‘bas’ and means “dwarf” or “low structure. The friars of St Hubert were also instrumental in the creation of the bloodhound, and this breed of dog is the only other one that has a more highly developed sense of smell than a basset.
Painted with a fairly restricted palette, I used Transparent Oxide Brown, Burnt Sienna and Yellow Ochre, with a touch of ultramarine for the white of his eye and shadows.