I didn’t wake up this morning and say, “Hey, I wanna paint a dog picture!”
Not that I dislike painting pet portraits. I actually love painting dog art. But painting dog pictures takes a long time for me.
A real, real long time.
Plus, after seeing DrawTheDog every day – have I told you how much I love that site? You have to check it out! – I’ve been wanting to draw an illustration of a dog.
Big, big difference between painting and illustrations.
I think. I really don’t know because I haven’t actually done illustrations. I just want to.
Why, you ask? Or if you didn’t, I’m asking myself, why?
Because illustrations are cool. They’re pretty. They have personality.
Think Mary Engelbreit. Cute, right?
Don’t get me wrong. I love my paintings. They’re all like my little babies. They’re all labors of love (pardon the pun).
It just seems to me that illustrations wouldn’t take as long as paintings. I don’t actually know that because I don’t know any illustrators. It just seems that way to me.
So this morning the plan was to work on my Zazzle shop and create more products.
And then I got the mail.
And then I saw this cutie-patootie. Isn’t he the cutest dang puppy?
I want to draw him. I’ve been calling him/her “Him” all day, and I can’t actually tell from this picture, so I’ll continue on.
First, a sketch with pencil. I can do this. I can draw an illustration!
Now, some ink. So far, so good.
Then, things got hinky. Isn’t that the weirdest word? Hinky. It almost sounds nasty, and I have no idea why. But I like it. I don’t like when things are it, but I like it. Still with me?
I knew he – the doggy – needed some color.
I got my trusty watercolor pencils out. But they weren’t so trusty today. I tried all kinds of combinations of color but couldn’t come up with the amber coloration on the puppy.
Hmm. . . what else do I have?
Tubes of watercolor paint that are who-knows-how-old. Old enough to be thrown out, that’s how old they are.
Ok, forget the trusty pencils. Forget the tube watercolors. Forget watercolors altogether!
I’m going for the failsafe acrylics.
At this point I’m still thinking I can lightly paint the dog picture with acrylics and still achieve an illustration-like look.
I’m even fooling myself at this point.
But now it’s time for the dark fur. Not quite black. Brown-black, actually.
And the illustration-like dog picture is now out the window. Way, way out the window.
Does this freak you out? BBH can’t stand when I leave the eyes blank.
Some artists paint the eyes first. I leave them ‘til the last. Why? Because there’s a moment, an instant, a distinct time in every painting when it comes alive.
Amazing, isn’t it? Not my painting, the eyes, the eyes. You can screw everything else up in a dog picture, but get the eyes right, and you’ll save the whole painting.
Maybe I’m just not cut out to be an illustrator.
That doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying, though. Have you ever googled ‘cute puppies?’