Friday, 8 May 2015

Blue Heeler

Oil painting of a blue heeler, painting of an Australian cattle dog, pet portrait by Karen
This beautiful dog is an Australian Cattle Dog, nicknamed a Blue Heeler (with this particular colouring). I hadn't heard of the breed until recently and thought it would be a challenge to paint him in one sitting given the 'ticking' in his coat. It looked like an open invitation to descend to mud and tears.
I have worked longer on the painting than I normally would for a daily painting, but I did paint him entirely whilst the paint was wet and hopefully improved my brush control. Essentially, his coat appeared to be blue-black, with white ticking. The key was to add the white very very gently. I pretended the end of the brush was thistledown and used the lightest touches I could manage (so as not to lift the black or overly mix the two).
The dog's ancestors were originally brought to Australia from Europe, where early settlers found them insufficiently hardy and set about improving the traits they wanted to see by cross breeding dingo and blue merle collies, dalmatians and black and tan kelpies. This resulted in a hard-working, very intelligent and hardy breed capable of herding cattle over long distances.
I do not think we have any in the UK. At any rate, I have never seen one. The palette for this painting was Pthalo blue, Ivory black, yellow ochre deep and white for the dog, with permanent rose and cad red as necessary for tongue and collar.
Last blog post for this week. Have a great weekend and thank you for looking at my paintings.

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