Monday, March 17, 2008

Puppy Love

When I start a little painting I often don't know how I'm going to go about it until the paint starts flowing on the paper. I'll do a sketch in pencil first, then a light ink "detail" outline. Erase the pencil and mix up some paint. The beauty of working in small scale is that I can paint without planning. If I don't like the results - flip it over and use it for experimenting.

This little puppy was so much fun the first time (on the left) that I had to sketch him twice. The first painting was soft and delicate, with a lot of careful wet-on-wet and several layers of color to add depth and tone. This painting was done almost entirely with Yellow Ochre and French Ultramarine, adding Burnt Sienna to make up the dark in the eyes, shadows and nose. In this case, a realism painting was unfolding.

I knew with the second sketch that I was going to have a bit more fun with color and "white space". I let the paint mix as it wanted to, using more Burnt Sienna this time around. I added Alizarian Crimson for "punch" on the nose, ear and in the shadows.

My initial thought was to do a chocolate lab for the second painting, but I really like the contrast here. I think I might make a larger painting of this. Not sure yet whether it will still be half face or full face. Any thoughts?