Thursday, March 25, 2010
Years ago when I did a lot of animal commissions while in the UK, one of the most common dogs that I painted or drew were Labrador Retrievers or Golden Retrievers. I even had a golden Lab myself, the wonderful Baggy, who I rescued from an animal shelter. Baggy was found wandering the streets of Bridgewater, half starved and was a large Lab with a head like a boulder. He was quite old and I was always taking in waifs and strays so he came home with me. He got his name because his skin was literally hanging on his frame he was so thin when he first arrived. I soon fattened him up.
He had obviously been trained to carry at some point and would get anxious on walks if he wasn't able to carry a bag or his lead. I had a little mini dachshund then so I would hand over her lead to Baggy and they'd walk slowly on ahead of me, he hanging on to her lead. It used to amuse people as she was so tiny and he so large. He was a great dog.
They are usually gentle dogs with kind natures, good around children and also great dogs to take hunting. Baggy was all of the above, but I don't know his record as a gun dog as I have never hunted. This was one of his favourite spots, snuggled up with the girls and Daisy, the dachshund, pretending he was a lap dog.
I liked the expression on this dog's face. He was alert, watching something or someone. And he reminded me of Baggy. So I did a quick watercolour sketch laying in basic lines first then just adding colour as I went. Its about 9 x 12 on 140lb Arches.