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Space Dog

At a Glance:

Title: Space Dog

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 48″x36″

Music listened to: a jumbled mind necessitates a jumbled playlist (aka, my library on shuffle)

The Concept:

Space Dog, is the last installment of my three part series for Intermediate Painting that focused on portraiture. From the beginning I planned on making my third piece the most ambitious, both in scale and technique. However, I didn’t necessarily plan for things to get so. . .out of this world. Like the previous installments of my series, The Bearded Man, and When the World Turned Color, I stayed in the realm of illustration, but took on an even looser style, which I feel lent itself well to the ethereal lighting and richness of the oil paint.

The Process:

This piece was both intimidating and extremely liberating to paint. When I first put charcoal to canvas to complete an initial sketch, I didn’t intend for this to be a space scene. I was working off of a reference photo of my dog, Luke (who is adorable, by the way), and I sitting on a balcony and overlooking my backyard. It was a beautiful photo, and I fully intended on translating it faithfully, but when I began to work it, the process of copying a photo seemed too mundane and frankly boring to me.

So I began to think. How could I spice this up, not only for me as the painter, but for the viewer as well? Between the lighting in the photograph and the figure next to a wide expanse of blank space at the time, outer space popped into my head. This shift in setting also aligned with my ambitions outside of the purposes of this class. Lately I’ve been wanting to create fantasy/sci-fi concept art, so I saw this as a perfect opportunity to do just that.

Formally, almost all of the paint was applied solely with the palette knife, excluding the space background, as well as a few strategically placed strokes in the hair where I wasn’t getting the result I wanted. I saw the color mixing as a challenge before I started, but as soon as I jumped into it, it sorted itself out. Without trying, I took on a very galactic palette. Sometimes things just work out! As a side note, I’ve found a new favorite paint color to mix: Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue, and Cobalt Violet. So beautiful!

This piece feels very much like a triumph to me, and a great place to end the semester. I can tell that the previous two installments of my series have helped me grow in my technique regarding the human form, and it also shows my love for painterly mark making which more and more is becoming my trademark.

Thank you for following along in my journey so far, please check back soon for more art as this website will be extending far beyond the purposes of this class. Seeya!

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