Tuesday, February 28, 2006
One of the goals of finding my way to the top of my artistic abilities again is to be able to draw animals. Years ago, it was my mainstay in life and commissions flowed. I will reach that point again and am slowly building a portfolio, but I do take little journeys in other directions too and that is a good thing.
I don't have animal portraits from the past, only current. The past is lost and gone and paintings or drawings of Prince or Fitzroy(yes I know..) may be collecting dust in a back room or attic as the then beloved animal has long since died and another is lying in front of the fire. Or maybe the artwork is still in place and the animal fondly remembered. I like to think it is the latter.
My own dog is here in the January 1st posting. Sixteen years is a lengthy life for a dog, mongrel or not. His portrait is on a dining room wall, with his eyes looking out the window to the woods where he loved to run. His friend Blue, the cat died shortly after he did and both are buried together at the edge of the woods. She was 18. There was a bit of a Garfield/Odie relationship between them as there is with most cats and dogs. Towards the end, they were both elderly with eyesight and hearing fading and squabbles ceased as there wasn't the energy or interest in defending territory. Just an acceptance of each other, even to the point of sleeping on the same sofa -unheard of previously.
To celebrate animals here is a drawing of Blue in her dotage. The original calico cat.
Black animals are the most difficult, aside from white, to draw. Choosing highlights or shadow is all you can choose to make the creature come to life on the paper.
Here is another black animal...a Newfoundland dog.
Dogs and cats are common pets and the most frequently asked for in portraiture. However, horses, birds, ferrets, even guinea pigs have been immortalized for proud owners.
Here is an early acrylic painting of a macaw. And an even earlier one of lions in watercolour. The variety, colour, shape and size of animals always provide endless material for drawings and paintings .