Above: Working in a new journal on Arches Text Wove (Arches Velin). The journal is approximately 6.5 x 9 inches. I worked first with a 3/4 inch wide tipped acrylic marker getting loose lines and warming up (light blue; sometimes working on the edge of the marker) then I went in with a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Brush Pen, to capture contours. Finally I played around with gouache, Stabilo Tones, acrylic paint, gold wax pencil resist and some white markers in the background. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
My dog portrait project originally scheduled for last fall is still on-going. It's been difficult to find time to paint paintings, but I'm massing up studies galore. That's what this is about. Becca is a lovely black lab. She was in the original pool of dogs and I saw her again briefly around this time, but not in a situation where I could sketch her from life. I took a couple photos and used those, popped up on the screen, as reference.
I think I need to see her once more in person and do some more sketches from life before I do a large painting of her. She is so calm I'm not sure I'm getting her essential look. When the snow melts I'm going to pester her owner for face time!
I find sketches like these, playing with materials, thinking about a subject, help me keep my enthusiasm for the project even during long periods of time when I might not be able to get to the drawing board or easel.