Wednesday, 6 April 2016

American Bluetick Coonhound

American Bluetick Coonhound, oil painting
Bluetick Coonhounds are one variety of American coonhound, bred to assist raccoon-hunting. Their ancestors include English Foxhounds, which were found by the early arrivals from the UK to the USA to be not much use for hunting American critters. Raccoons, possums, bobcats etc. turned out to be very un-sporting: they shinned up any likely looking tree out of the way and the English foxhounds were rendered completely non-plussed by this unexpected outcome. They wandered off in search of something else or milled about uselessly. 
Coonhounds, by contrast, have been raised and taught to "tree" the animal: there are videos on YouTube showing these dogs tree-ing raccoons.
The painting is made on a linen board pre-mounted with a bit of map of the US torn out of an old atlas. Please see my previous post for invaluable tips on wallpapering! I chose this section because there was a nice big blue square, labelled Wyoming, which echoed nicely the dog's blueticking. I painted him in two sessions: in the first, I painted everything but used no white at all. He looked rather strange. I left the paint to dry for 3-4 days and then came back with white, toned down very slightly with raw sienna in parts. So in terms of method, he could more accurately be described as a white-ticked coonhound.
The wonderful, subtle blue shimmer is thanks to my new Rembrandt Ultramarine Deep. It is fantastic, I cannot recommend it highly enough. I saw the tube in a photo of Richard Schmid's palette and thought I must get myself one of these. All blues, I have discovered, are not the same.