Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Sled-dog puppy

oil painting of a malamute, husky, sled-dog
This sweet dog is a Malamute or a Husky or maybe a mix of both: I am not sure, hence titling the piece "Sled-dog". His back drop is a map of Canada. I liked the way the state lines echoed his one-ear-up, one-ear-down pose.
I started by "wall-papering" my linen board with the map and started with his eyes. Then, I blocked in the warm, middling sort of tone in his fur and the pink of his inner ear. I let this stage dry:
work-in-progress photo 1, oil painting of a sled-dog

Next, I painted his nose and began adding some of his darker fur:
work-in-progress photo 2, oil painting of a sled dog

At this stage, the white you can see is the white of the linen board. I let this stage tack-up and then took a big breath and began to add white. I used Gamblin Flake White ( a lead white replacement) because it behaves nicely and is much less like to turn to mud on the surface if I am a bit heavy handed
work-in-progress photo 3, oil painting of a sled dog

The paint went on nicely but I had forgotten how long this white takes to dry. 
So there was a longer than normal pause before I could finish the piece. The difference between this stage and the finished painting at the top of the post is a glaze of Raw Sienna to warm him up a bit and then a re-stating and softening of his white fur.

I continue learning how best to achieve different effects. Sometimes the pressure - wholly artificial - I put on myself to complete daily paintings is counter-productive. I can't achieve the sort of effects in this painting in one session. Brindle coats or any dark coat with light ticking (or vice versa) needs to be worked in layers, I find (unless you are willing to dump the detail in favour of a more impressionist result).

Sometimes I try to achieve both: detail, and completion in one sitting. The outcome, for me, is not likely to be success.