Thursday, 28 August 2014

Harlequin Great Dane

This one was something of an experiment. I admired this dog's beautiful blue eyes, and despite reading an on-line art instructor's advice that that you should never use blue or yellow to tone your canvas, I toned mine in Manganese Blue  - this shade being a sort of Electric BLue and as such you would be hard pushed to get anything more blue. 
Anyway, I think it has turned out nice as my mum would have said.
The initial inspiration came from taking my little dog to visit an elderly person in a care home. One of the other residents, who was suffering from some form of dementia or similar, admired him greatly (he really likes elderly people and can take any amount of petting from them, so this useful) before assuring me that he was a very nice Harlequin Great Dane and these were her favourite dogs.
Just for the record this is what a full view of a Harlequin looks like
(AP Photo/Science, Deanne Fitzmaurice)
and my dog (with the cat, Oscar)

Going back for a minute to toning canvases before starting. There is lots of conflicting advice out there. Never tone; always tone; use acrylic to tone; use oil with turpentine; use burnt umber/ burnt sienna; use a complementary to the principle colour in the painting; use a harmonising colour.
Basically, the poor old painter who is trying to teach herself is reduced to a state of befuddlement such that every black and white dog is potentially a Harlequin Great Dane. 
What I think is it doesn't matter although some ways of beginning a painting make the rest of the process easier or harder than others.
Beginning with a neutral toned ground such as burnt sienna is pretty foolproof. Beginning with yellow or Electric Blue sets you up with a challenge which may or may not come off. I have had a number of electric blue wipers…
Last blog post for this week. Have a great weekend and thank you for looking at my paintings.

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