Sunday, October 06, 2013

Taking a short break with a friend

I have been rushing trying to get everything finished before the deadline, when a friend called me to escape for 24 hours. It is just what I needed, some new surroundings to give me a fresh perspective and a bit of a break from the studio.  We actually headed towards L.A. and stayed at her families home. We ordered out, stayed up late playing games and watching movies, took care of dogs and laughed most of the night. As I sat outside during dusk with a glass of wine and my sketchbook, I was watching out for one of the elderly dogs in our care during our overnight excursion, Gumby. He was named Gumby because he no longer had any teeth, he was also deaf,blind and toothless. I watched him as he just seemed to make his way around the backyard, almost like doing laps, slowly, methodically. He was shaky but seemed to not be bothered by the other dogs or objects getting in his way. Dogs just deal with life quietly, accepting the inevitable.

When I sketch dogs or animals that are on the move I often will photograph with my phone along with watching them in person. This way I can freeze different positions, analyze movements and hopefully better capture the animal. I usually start my sketch with pencil and then once I am happy with my lines I can either start to paint at that point or use my pen and redefine the line and then paint. I do it different depending on how I feel, either works. Try both and see which way your prefer. Here is my first outline sketch, done while Gumby was doing his laps.

Gumby has cataracts so his eyes were not overly clear, I used artistic license to improve his eye. I wish it were as easy in real life.  

Here he is, the owners really loved the sketch, so I cut it out of my sketch book and gave it too them. A gift for the gift they gave to this little dog of much love, care and attention his last few years here.


Jane LaFazio said...

Just beautiful. Such a tribute to little gumby

Joan T said...

Lovely...I can see why they wanted it. It is great that we have phones to capture things so easily. It makes a big difference.

Christa said...

You are so good at what you do! You inspire me to keep trying!!!

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