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Givin me the wild eye

September 25th, 2005

I was vacillating all week about what I was going to do for the “Draw an Eye” challenge for the Everyday Matters group, and I finally decided to paint the excessively large eyes of my American she-bulldog, Ripley. I don’t know if it’s a birth defect or a characteristic of the breed but Ripley’s very large eyes seem to point in two different directions, giving her a decidedly ‘unfocused’ and inattentive look when she gazes straight at me. We noticed this characteristic when she was a puppy, and when she was in a particularly rip-roarious mood her eyes would widen, exposing even more of the whites for a distinctly rabid, mad-dog appearance. We came to call this “giving us the wild eye.” Although it’s not apparent from the angle of this drawing, she really does have ears. Uncut, of course. She’s doesn’t go for any of that west side cosmetic surgery stuff.

23 Comments

  1. Wow! this is incredible. Great work!!

    Comment by Shelly McC — September 26, 2005 @ 1:49 am
  2. I don’t think Ripley has an evil eye in her. She looks like a mighty fine companion to me. Very nice depiction. I also like the way this has been framed.

    Comment by Detlef — September 26, 2005 @ 2:10 am
  3. Beautiful work indeed. Those eyes are very captivating!

    Comment by Jurgen — September 26, 2005 @ 2:23 am
  4. Lovely, lovely. This image looks very much alive.

    Comment by Miyuki F. — September 26, 2005 @ 3:09 am
  5. Great alive eyes on Ms Ripley! (And super grin, too!)

    Comment by Linda — September 26, 2005 @ 4:17 am
  6. very well done, it’s really alive..

    Comment by victorie — September 26, 2005 @ 5:19 am
  7. FANTASTIC!!!!!!!

    Comment by Lin — September 26, 2005 @ 6:31 am
  8. You’ve captured a wonderful light in her eye. I love the very subtle color-swish inf fur and tongue!

    Comment by Nita — September 26, 2005 @ 7:27 am
  9. Great work Karen – your Ripley looks like a loving companion. I love the use of color.

    Comment by Gail — September 26, 2005 @ 7:30 am
  10. Excellent drawing! You really captured the eyes. I can feel his personality.

    Comment by Kira — September 26, 2005 @ 9:40 am
  11. Sorry – I can fee HER personality!

    Comment by Kira — September 26, 2005 @ 9:40 am
  12. Wow. This is really beautiful! The eyes are very captivating. So alive. Love the moustache and the subtle ‘eyebrow’. I believe you said that you used WC pencils? I can’t never get such an even look with WC pencils. What did you use to draw the white moustache? How long did this sketch take? A very fine job.

    Comment by Evy — September 26, 2005 @ 11:16 am
  13. Thanks everyone!
    Evy, it was watersoluble crayons which pretty much melt on the paper. Also, I paint with them by touching brush to the tip of the crayon when I want to get in small areas. About 90 minutes, although I had to stop and fix dinner in the middle. That’s a best guess, though.

    Comment by Karen — September 26, 2005 @ 5:27 pm
  14. This is great! She looks like a great dog–your portrait shows lots of personality!

    Comment by joyce — September 26, 2005 @ 5:56 pm
  15. one of my all time favorites, everything about this is so completely gorgeous!

    Comment by Cin — September 26, 2005 @ 10:32 pm
  16. Karen, you have totally captured Ripley’s personality with those eyes. Beautiful!

    Teri

    Comment by Teri — September 27, 2005 @ 11:29 am
  17. karen, this is a beautiful rendering. we love ripley!

    Comment by mal — September 27, 2005 @ 12:22 pm
  18. I like what you have done to this piece. You are quite good with watercolours, don’t you? Really, really impressed with it. I just did my own experiment
    with acrylic. My sis bought as she thought there might be a good business venture if we were to be serious about our artistic skills.

    I thought ‘ hey, why not trying! ”

    To be really frank with you, I am really really bad with watercolours. My strength might be with illustrations. Just did a fashion illustration yesterday.
    Had it posted in my blog. Maybe you would be able to comment on it. The more comments I get, the more I’ll be able to learn from my mistakes.

    Comment by coffee — September 27, 2005 @ 11:01 pm
  19. lovely illo as always. really

    Comment by isay — September 28, 2005 @ 2:31 pm
  20. Here by way of Moleskinerie and I’m so glad!
    You’ve caught that wide-eyed “I’m about to have a mad half-hour” look which I recognize in my own companion animals so well.

    You have a lovely way of illustration, and seeing you’re work reminds me of how evocative an illo can be.

    Comment by Cin — October 21, 2005 @ 12:24 pm
  21. Love Ripley’s eye!! and the rest of her!!

    Comment by Sioux — June 17, 2006 @ 9:25 pm
  22. This is superb! I love dog drawings anyway. I love the perspective… if it was my dog, I know I would be just about to be…kissed!

    Comment by Jan — June 18, 2006 @ 2:58 am
  23. Karen, that’s the best I’ve ever seen eyes done!!! If I touched the screen, she’d whimper!! Lovely composition and use of the MS sizing in the washes, it worded great!

    Comment by Malinda — June 18, 2006 @ 6:39 am

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