I know, I said I was going to do something botanical. And then I went and painted something dogical.
Just don’t tell Ripley that I drew someone else. She will be so jealous.
If I go to a friend’s house and play with their dog she is ALL OVER me with questions when I come home.
Who were you with? What did he look like (yes, dogs know if it was a he or a she)
Did you give him a treat? Did you bring one for me?

Tech stuff:
Watercolor and colored pencil (both watersoluble kind and waxy kind) on Stonehenge paper. The underlying watercolor was painted with a squirrel mop. Some Photoshopping to clean up ragged edges and correct color and values.

I guess I better not leave that squirrel mop within reach of you-know-who or I’ll have to go looking for it in the doghouse.


  1. Lin
    January 22, 2006

    I hope this doesn’t get your further in the doghouse, but it’s a really DELIGHTFUL watercolor! And your words had me giggling
    and giggling! My cat does the same thing! LOL

  2. Laurie
    January 22, 2006

    Love the rendering of the fur, how you captured that sweet face – very nice watercolor!

  3. Terri
    January 22, 2006

    Beautiful. I’m in awe at how you managed to depict the fur on the top of his head…the outline bit near the background colour. This is just amazing. Lovely dog too. :o)

  4. TeriC
    January 22, 2006

    Karen, every time I see a watercolor of yours I think it is the best one yet…..and then you do another one that is even better!

  5. Felicity
    January 22, 2006

    Just wonderful! You really do love dogs, it shows! Ripley has a right to be jealous!

  6. joyce
    January 22, 2006

    This is such a beautiful painting! Such a sweet face! What is a squirrel mop!

  7. Karen
    January 22, 2006

    Thanks for your comments, all …
    Joyce, a squirrel mop is like a round brush but it is bigger in the diameter and it comes to a very fine point, allowing you to go from a very thick line to an extremely fine one. Mine is a series 250 Winsor and Newton but I lust for a big Isabey which is reputedly the finest made. When you make a puddle of mixed paint, for example, you would be amazed how much paint this kind of brush holds – just like a big floor mop. Most of the brown hair on the dog, for example, was done with one or two continuous strokes without recharging the brush.

  8. Detlef
    January 23, 2006

    I think you nailed the effect of getting the light right on the leading/backlit edge of your recent watercolours. It is evdient on this piece and the rooster and this is what gives these works real life and depth.

  9. Karen
    January 23, 2006

    Detlef, what a very good observation. Yes, backlighting certainly helps with the modeling. Having white in the subject helps, although I think even a colored subject can “glow” if you get it backlit just the right way. Now I need to find one of those tulip magnolias to observe in early morning light … and see what happens.

  10. Cin
    January 23, 2006

    just beautiful Karen! and looking forward to your blogstory entry, terrific to see the steps of your warming up illo

  11. u l a n
    January 24, 2006

    grrrowll…who’s that dog?!?…..

    Woops, Ripley! Get off my keyboard…

    Hi, Karen!! What a gentle portrait.

    Woah Ripley, he’s not as pretty as you. For sure.


  12. Julie Oakley
    January 24, 2006

    Very good – I love the backlit effect as well. The dog’s owner must be delighted, so natural looking.

  13. Fran
    January 24, 2006

    Have you ever done a commissioned dog portrait, Karen? I’d hire you in a heartbeat to Cookie. Ripley is too gorgeous.

  14. Linda
    January 24, 2006

    Sweet dog! (not as sweet as Ripley, I’m sure.) Do you find that the Stonehenge paper can only take about one and a half watercolor washes before it starts to tear up?

  15. Marie-Dom
    January 28, 2006

    Wonderful wonderful watercolour of the dog. I love your dog pictures.

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