Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pets have been on my mind lately. The painting pictured is "Bath Cat" an oil on linen of Pixel lounging in his favorite bathroom window. Relax while you can, Pixel, as we are making preparations to add a dog to our household, a puppy no less, and I've come to the conclusion that there is just no easy way to break the news to the cats. Not one to take the responsibility of a dog lightly, I've researched and researched, and have decided that the dog I have been looking for is an English Shepherd, a good, old-fashioned working type farm dog. I stumbled across the breed while researching breeders of Nigerian Dwarf Goats (another animal we would like to add to our small farm) and I felt like this is the dog I had always been looking for in a mixed breed. But the English Shepherd is an actual breed, and I have been talking to a breeder that could have a litter of puppies ready by January!
Not only am I salivating at the thought of having a puppy to play with and train next year, but you can bet that this pup will be photographed and painted as if he/she were royalty. My first dog, Murphy, a golden/collie mix is lovingly captured in an oil on board painting that resides in my living room. Our cats are also willing subjects and have been featured in several oils and watercolors. I find that drawing dogs and cats is a nice little break from my equine work. And it is different than working on horses. Horses all have the same basic anatomy. They vary in size and shape a bit, but overall, the anatomical proportions are basically the same. Drawing a horse is all about getting the anatomy right. Dogs vary so much in size and shape, and many of them have so much hair, that the surface anatomy is hidden. Painting fur is a technique in itself, and involves lots of layering of color. Portraits of dogs and cats are all about the eye expression. Currently on the easel is a commissioned portrait of two Australian Shepherd dogs, both with blue merle coats. It's important to me not only to get the markings right, but to get each dog's unique facial expression.
Next time I post, I'll try to get that painting of Murphy pictured. I painted it before I had a good knowledge of scanning, and now I need to take it out of the frame and get a good computer scan of it.