Wednesday, February 14, 2007

February 14 - Starting the Canvas, Whippet Painting

Here is the canvas--yes, a 12 by 36 inch format--long and wide, with the first sketch laid in and a rough start on the color of he dog in shadow. I lifted off the mid-tone layer behind the dog's head, because I am wanting to have tha area be where the sunlight glints off of he water. You can see the sketch of the splash of what the dog pursues laid in on the far left.
This long, horizontal format seems to make the dog move more swiftly. If you are conveying speed or vertical rise, one effect to enhance that feel is to choose a canvas shape that seems to duplicate that. As this progresses, I'll talk about how each brush stroke works to push the dog forward and move your eye across, not up and down, the composition.

And getting an email such as the lines below is the reason why I take the time to write back to each one of you:

...the memories you have stirred. Our neighbour bred and raced Whippets all through my chidhood. Ive not seen or heard of Whippetts since I moved North. Ginny was our fav and I so loved watching her race.

You give me the gift of seeing fragments of your lives, and knowing that what I'm doing means something for you... it gives me such great satisfaction to live a life where the gifts are always moving. A long time ago I read Lewis' thesis on the Erotic Life of Property, and, contrary to its racy title, is a rather dry read of the study of gift within the cultures the islands of the South Pacific. In a nutshell, it is paying it forward without expecting something in return. It has molded my life, and given back countless unexpected gifts.

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