Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Dapper Dog

photo by afterglow images
Ginsberg, watercolour, 11 x 14

Here's a painting that confirms my long held belief that everybody looks good in polka-dots. This watercolour pet portrait was commissioned as a wedding gift for a couple who had their engagement photos done by the photography studio, afterglow images. Fortunately for me, I was able to use one of those engagement shoot photos as my source material, so I had a wonderful image to work from. In addition to the pleasure of painting, the gratifying thing about creating commissioned work is knowing that the work is going to be enjoyed by its recipient(s), and I've heard that this piece was very well received by the happy couple. Booya.

Before I started this painting, I thought, "hmm, I should buy some masking fluid, draw in the polkadots and mask them off," but then I started painting and, whamo, there I was, free handing polka-dots. I confess to being afraid of masking fluid. What if it doesn't come off the paper without causing some kind of damage? In case you're unfamiliar with this particular art supply, masking fluid is a substance you apply to a section of watercolour paper that you want to stay white. Once the fluid is dry, you can put washes of colour over top of it and the paper underneath it stays white, which saves you from having to painstakingly paint around areas that are meant to stay light. When you're done painting over the dried masking fluid, you erase it off, exposing the unpainted paper underneath. I should really get a bottle of the stuff and experiment with using it. But in the meantime, if you've used it before, fill me in on your experiences with masking fluid: is it super amazing wonderful? or does it haunt your dreams in a bad way?