Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Our Standard Schnauzer

This painting started as a family joke. Kafka, our schnauzer, is a perfectly well-behaved dog until he sees either cats, picas or squirrels. The later seem to flip him into another channel! Standing is his favorite position once he has spotted one. Because I am teaching a basic painting class at Richmond Art Center, I wanted to do this painting completely from references. Thus began a series of life sketches (all interrupted because he is 16 months old and barely able to stand still), diagrams of his muscle system, and a value study followed by a color study. By the time I grabbed this small (20 x 16") canvas, I was feeling much more comfortable working from photos. A friend gave me permission to base the background on a photo of El Sobrante Ridge, and I painted the squirrel from memory. It has this tinge of magic realism, which is what I was going for.

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