KJ was the long time dog of one of our friends. The word is out that I capture the character of animals and not just the image of them so I have had a few commissions come my way even though I don’t really call this my “specialty”. I do like painting animals or maybe it’s that I like painting personalities. I don’t think I ever interacted with KJ so I didn’t know what kind of personality I had. All I had to go by were a handful of pictures. My favorite is the one on the top left. I proposed this as the basis of the portrait to the owner. The photo on the right I used to have a perkier looking ear and a photo similar to the bottom photo I used as KJ’s expression.
Luckily, this client trusted my work and let me experiment. I told her a basic size and from there I went into my mixed media experiments. With such such a black and white dog I wanted something like pop art. I keep attempting pop art but I’m too timid.
I wanted a sketchy look so I tried a transfer using a xerox copy of the drawing. You have to remember to print the image reversed. A thick layer of gesso on a wood board and I laid the print on the wet gesso and let it dry. Once it was dry I carefully washed off the paper. “Careful” is the key. You can see on the close-up of the tongue how some of the print peeled away. That’s OK. I wanted to create a chipped paint effect. It’s an homage to his owner who is a professional painter. I was hoping my art choice wouldn’t drive her crazy.
KJ’s favorite popsicle seemed to be orange, blue is the complimentary of orange so it was easy to have the background. So there you have it. KJ. He is now on display in Chapel Hill, NC. Another happy client.