Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Look

The Look - a beseeching look from a poodle puppy. Painted in oils, impasto by Pet Portraits by Karen
Continuing to work on a looser and more expressive style of painting, this poodle was painted with a brush but a larger one than I normally use and I made a really big effort to build him with the smallest number of marks I could manage. It is still a lot of marks, though.
To see dogs expressed "just so" with the smallest number of marks, you need to look at David Hockney. This book is the one:
David Hockney, Dog Days - painting dogs using the smallest number of marks
all I can say is that it is so much harder than it looks. Hockney says he set up palettes and left them all around the house so he could seize every opportunity to paint his dogs, Stanley and Boodgie. Inevitably, most of the paintings show them asleep, as it is tricky to paint them any other way, from life. My dog would want to grab the brush (stick?!) and run off with it, if he saw me trying to paint him.
Painting from life would be helpful, though, in efforts to move away from the tyranny of the photograph: it would be  easier to avoid getting bogged down with "photocopying" every detail, if your subject was liable to run off at any moment.