Power Back UP!

He's finished! Lookin' happy and good, your typical hound dog.

  • We have power!!! It's been out since Friday night, making for a very long, hot, basically incommunicado four days. Lots of time spent at Starbucks & Panera. We really got hit by the derecho (straight line) storm, and so did lots of people, trees, homes and power lines. There are still over one million people without electricity, and it's 95 today.
  • The best thing I could do with time on my hands was finish the SPCA hound dog for the "Dogs and Cats Around Town" event, so I did! There is Chance the Hound above. On Friday afternoon we're taking him to the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, where there's going to be a big kick-off for all 18 dog and cat statues at 5:00 pm at the Freedom Wall. Everyone's invited so come on down!
  • Hope everyone else is well and staying cool. It's great to be back!

SPCA Auction Statue Progress

Starting the first layer of freehand painting in purple. Acrylic paint, Dick Blick Master Stroke Brush, & Q-tips

Starting work on a dog statue, now named "Chance" that will eventually be auctioned off at the "Dogs and Cats Around Town" Charlottesville Area SPCA.

Critical things needed to do this kind of work: a very steady hand and a very good brush.

It's a truism that this kind of work often looks much easier to do than it is. After wielding brushes for many years, I can tell you that practice is essential before you start the final work. Judge how easily the  brush becomes "loaded" or filled, with paint. Then, glide it across a practice surface similar to the final piece. I actually went outside and got some rocks, which really helped me understand what paint consistency was best, and how fine or thick a line I could easily make.

Spend some time stroking away and realize that no matter how much you practice, when you get to the real, final work you're bound to make some mistakes and you'll relax as you move along. Mistakes? Later I'll show you some custom-made mistake erasure paint. Not that I ever make mistakes. Ever.

On this particular statue, because I can't move it (150+ pounds?) I became a contortionist. I'm right-handed, which means my most controlled stroke is from left to right. Just imagine how I had to move around the statue - crouching, sitting, bending, leaning - to get the straightest, most beautiful thick and thin strokes. That was about 3.5 hours of painting and yoga!

To get clean, thick and think strokes, I had no caffeine, lots of patience and a pretty expensive Dick Blick Masterstroke Kolinsky Sable #4 brush. The acrylic paint brand is "Folk Art" for projects like this, and was purchased at Michael's. The colors are all liquid and pre-mixed, so I knew exactly what I was going to get.

And the Q-Tips? One of the most essential tools in my magical box. I dip them in water and can easily wipe away errors in the finest details.

Chance will be standing in front of the Happy Cook this summer, so the colors I've chosen reflect some from Happy Cook place settings that were just beautiful. I started out with multiple layers of Krylon Primer followed by Satin White Paint, also by Krylon, also from Michael's.

One note: I plan to spray the entire dog statue with a semi-gloss clear acrylic sealant when it's finished. Until then, I'm careful not to rub up against the colored paints.

Dogs & Cats Around Town Auction

Working on the dog design for the Charlottesville Area SPCA Dogs and Cats Around Town auction in the fall. I kinda like this one.

This pup is going to stand in front of The Happy Cook at Barracks road in Charolottesville, VA for three months before the auction. These are the colors found on some of their plates that I just loved. 

Input welcomed.

SPCA Charity Auction: Dog Name?

-  Up for a challenge? I am taking part in a fundraiser for the SPCA. They've asked me to use my artistry to paint this large cement hound to be auctioned off in the fall.

- Until then, after it's finished being painted it will stand in front of the Happy Cook on Rt. 29 in Charlottesville.

But I need a name!!! By tomorrow!! I was going to name her Lady or Queenie, but she's a boy!!! Being a Board Certified Medical Illustrator, I can recognize these things. Anyway, suggestions welcome, in the name of fun and animal charity!!!

- Oh, and I'm not painting the real, very nosy pup behind the statue; that's Moxey.

- Charity: CASPCA; Charlottesville Area Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

- Auction: "Dogs and Cats Around Town"

- CASPCA contactc: Cynthia Viejo