Monday, August 25, 2008

Skipper the Swedish Farm Dog

Skipper loves Tennis.
Skipper used to bring his minder for long walks and some lazy lunches down on the beach. The only thing he required on the walks was a tennis ball. When I went round to his house one day I realised why. He has a tennis ball fixation. There were dozens of them, everywhere, so you won't be suprised that the title of this painting is "Skipper loves Tennis"
He is the happiest of dogs, has a constantly wagging tail and is seemingly tireless. The Swedish / Danish Farm dog originated as one of those multipurpose farm dogs who could do anything from catching mice to herding cattle as well as being an entertaining and affectionate companion.
He is smart and funny and the genuine article, really like a cross between a Fox terrier and a Jack Russell terrier. Skipper is super! I would have put him in my case if I could have.
It was impossible to get a photo of this little dog with his mouth shut! He is always smiling or panting and ready to go. This pose seemed to sum him up.. Mr Happy ..always by your side waiting for you to throw one of those tennis balls. It's acrylic on canvas.

When I paint an animal the best possible secnario is to meet the model face to face. Sometimes I can sketch there and then but usually I take lots of photos and then make sketches to familiarise myself with the shape, the character and what makes this particular dog, horse, rabbit etc different from all the others. If there is a quirk of temprement that I can show, I do. The more you know about your model the better job you will make of the painting.
Here are a couple of "getting-to-know-you sketches" of Skipper.

and the finished painting..

"Skipper Loves Tennis" Acrylic on Canvas 16 x20 inches

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Miami Belle

One day last year, walking through San Pedro on the Costa del Sol in Spain there was a large black shiny car parked at the curb, empty except for this little dog. As I walked past she threw me a glance, but was more intent on the return of her chauffeur.
A Costa cutie complete with a bow and attitude.
I made a tiny quick sketch just to remind me of the scene. Here it is.

It was a couple of months before I got round to the finished painting. I took some photos of shiny black cars and found a little white dog who posed charmimgly.. her name was Mitzy. Quite appropriate I thought. Initially she was called Marbella Princess, but in honour of my current Florida home she is now Miami Belle.. Que chicitita! no?

"Miami Belle" watercolour on paper 30 x 22 inches

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Meet Jessie and Charlie and Jenny

My two lovely dogs, now long gone to some doggy heaven. Jessie the whippet lurcher who used to sit on the chair next to me while I worked and Charlie, here as a young dog before he grew into a big bad hairy lurcher, a bit of deer hound, a bit of greyhound and a lot of gypsy. They were both rescue dogs and a bundle of trouble.

I drew them many times. Also in the family was Jenny. She was a pretty reject racehorse who in her youth was a dark dapple grey just like a rocking horse.This little oil sketch is of her in old age and is the only recorded image I have on my computer.

These are all old images but looking at them again reminds me of how lovely it is to have a painting or two of these old friends.

Drawing the Dog

A new blog for an occasional self indulgent piece of work. I am busy with but I do like to paint other things too. Due to moving about so much I am dogless and horseless now and so can be often found gazing wistfully at the dog parade which takes place on Park Avenue every weekend. A few of those classy mutts will be recorded here I am sure.
The first posts will be dogs, horses and other pets I have drawn for myself and for others, and then, no doubt a variety of wild life from the environs of Orlando. Join me from time to time to see who and what I encounter.

I have called it Drawing the Dog because it will obviously have lots of dogs in it but also, when I was a little girl, my mother could sometimes be persuaded that "drawing the dog" was a legitmate excuse for avoiding dreary tasks such as tidying my room or washing up....I have been " drawing the dog " ever since.