I saw this dog by the roadside whilst walking in the Yorkshire Dales this summer. Normally I would tackle such a subject in pastel but what made me paint it was the notion of exploring what kind of textures I could get with watercolour. So it was more of an exercise in techniques than anything else.
Back in July last year I was sitting in a gallery, doing my stint; looking after the shop and trying to sell some paintings. It can be pretty slow around here, so I set up my easel and started painting the picture below. It was based on photos I had taken on a day walking in the Yorkshire Dales.
I used acrylics and square brushes and painted it during the day.
I was quite pleased with the result. I felt that the subject matter suited the style of painting. Unfortunately the punters dont agree. The painting stayed at my side, despite many attempts to shake it off. So the other day I decided to change the subject matter around and have the people walking towards me.
I’m not sure why I did this one. I came across the image from my trip to Thailand. And then I’m also not sure why I chose watercolour when pastel might have been better. I then sketched them out and I had them arranged like opposing apostrophes on a line. That left a lot of space at the top.
By arranging them on the diagonal I could make the dogs bigger and fill the space – more dog less mud. I also put some grass in at the top for visual relief.
Another challenge was the dappled shade on which I may have failed. Something to ponder during the long nights of winter.
Yesterday was spent manning an art exhibition I have a few paintings in. The other person scheduled to sit in failed to show, so I was on my own. There were not many callers and I spent my time painting this – so not all was lost. It was from a photo I took last year which I altered considerably, but I loved the figures in the dappled light and the contrast between light and shade. I was quite pleased with the result.
The exhibition is in an unused shop in town we are able to use. I have had some good results in the past, though so far on this exhibition I have only sold one painting – but there are two weeks to go.
You can just see the painting in progress on the easel.
This was from a photo snatched as we drove through the central square at Ollantaytambo in the Incan Sacred Valley in Peru. There are Incan remains of a fortress amongst other things at one end of the village but the modern village also has facets of Incan architecture, even a pavement which incorporates a watercourse. The place looked fascinating and I wanted to wander through the streets, but we had spent too much time at the fortress and didn’t have time. I simplified the background and rearranged the dog, but the rest was as the camera caught them.