Saint of Dogs

8 x 16 mixed media

I have been fooling around with various techniques halfway to forever, of course, but a bunch of them really came together on this one. This painting started life as a thumbnail sketch on brown paper, which was about an inch and a half wide. I scanned it, blew it by a couple hundred percent—given the chance, I always work from my original sketch, because once I have to redraw the bloody thing, it almost always dies in the process, don’t know why—and that left me with a large (but blurry!) digital image.

At that point, I started drawing on it in Painter, adding white and black over top of the sketch, throwing some random squares and squiggles in the background to give it a little more texture. It was still pretty scribbly, as you can see:


Printed that out, sealed it to a piece of cradled clayboard with matte super heavy gel, then slathered clear gesso over top. When that had dried, I did a wash of turquoise ink over it, worked it over in neutral gray acrylic (with a little turquoise added) and titan buff liquid acrylic. Another coat of clear gesso and then it was all colored pencil and PITT pen work. (Tuscan Red, Deco Aqua, Jade Green, Sky Blue Light, and Muted Turquoise Prismacolor.)

This is pretty similar to what I’ve done with some past pieces, except that parts of this one stayed semi-transparent, to keep the best of the sketchy bits, while others got layered into opacity. I was really happy with the result. A kind of sketchiness, but with solidity.

It’s a weird fact of my life that I do not make the kind of art I like, if that makes any sense—not that I dislike my own art, or am not proud of it, but the kind of art that is on my walls is very different from the kind of paintings I have generally done. I am getting much better about moving toward making the kind of art I’d hang in my own house, but it often seems like my skills and my subjects lag behind my tastes.

But occasionally—rarely!—I will do a painting and go “Yup. If that were in a show and I saw it, I would buy it.” So I was pretty darn happy with this one, and definitely gotta spend some more time with that technique.

Original is going to Further Confusion, barring one heckuva offer-I-can’t-refuse.  Prints available, as always:

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