Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dog. House.

Dog. House. by paynehollow
Dog. House., a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

So, I dabble a bit in art here and there, just for my own amusement. This is my first big attempt to try to do some watercolor painting. I'm not even sure if that's the right term. I sketched an outline with a pencil and used some kid's watercolor paint to do this.

If anyone knows anything about art and would like to make suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them.

I saw a photo that my dear friend, Sue, had of her front porch and her dog and I thought that looked like a subject I could tackle, so that was what I was starting with. Unfortunately for her poor pup, I didn't do such a complimentary job on him - he looks way too big and chubby and misshapen here.

Sorry little fella!


Marshall Art said...

It doesn't matter what the subject looks like in reality. It only matters how pleasing the representation of it is on canvas (or whatever). If you're pleased, and others who view are, then it is art. Such is in the eye of the beholder.

If you don't see on your canvas what you wanted to see, then you might want to take a class or two, or at least hook up with someone whose work you admire.

If you're truly looking to reproduce your subject as photographically as possible (not that it necessarily has to look like a photo), then all you can really do is to practice, practice, practice. Many artists will fill pages of renderings of faces or hands or whatever gives them the most trouble, until they're satisfied with their progress enough to put it together on canvas.

Many artists don't worry about how perfect their renderings of subjects are, but go for a feel or an arrangement of color, or just to get an idea expressed in whatever way they can.

Just enjoy.

Hope this helps.

John Farrier said...

That's a fine painting.

Dan Trabue said...

Thanks, John, I appreciate it.

And thanks, Marshall, those are some very gracious and helpful suggestions. Do you do art?

As it turns out, I'm NOT wanting to shoot for photographic realism. I'd like to be able to do more abstract or "rough" art - art that conveys the picture well enough, but is not a literal rendering at all.

And I am satisfied with the picture, I enjoy it and I think my friend likes it real well. It is just that it strikes me as very much as student-ish work, which I guess is fair. Given time, I'd like to keep it up.

Thanks for the kind thoughts.

Marshall Art said...

I don't draw as much as I used to. I ran with very talented people while in high school and one guy in particular just amazes me with his ability. But I was also one who was often called upon to create for the benefit of whatever cause or reason was at hand. I also love going to the Art Institute in downtown Chicago and spending a day there (so do my wife and daughter, thankfully).

If you're satisfied with the results of your efforts, then your work is a success. It's really that simple. The first one who must be pleased is the artist. Anyone else who likes it is bonus, and sometimes that can happen even if you're not pleased. I once attempted to do a painting of bluesman Johnny Winter, a favorite of mine, copying the photo on a self-titled album. I had only the bare beginnings completed and was already unhappy with the way it was going. It still had, for example, the crudest rendering of one of his eyes, which was just to set up the eventual product, and some areas of his albino hair were not actually acrylic paint, but the gesso used to prime the canvas. But a friend of mine, who was also a big Winter fan, was willing to pay me for what little I had done.

When one has the time, drawing and painting is a great way to express one's self and be creative. I wish I had the time. If I did, I would like to try watercolor myself. I like to watch those "how-to" shows one can find on public television for tips.

As far as photo-like reproductions, I do gravitate toward them as I consider what it took to get that close to reality. But I think most art instructors suggest just using a camera to save time. That could be because they themselves aren't capable of such fine detail.

Yet I am also a fan of Monet and appreciate some other impressionist works. I wouldn't call myself a student of the masters, so to speak. More of a "I may not know art, but I know what I like" kinda guy. And that's all art needs to be for anyone.

Craig said...

Nicely done for a first effort.

Alan said...


Sue said...

Well, as the owner of the porch and the doggie, and now the painting, I am over the moon thrilled with it!! It is destined to become an heirloom in this house! I love love love it and think it's perfect!

Dan Trabue said...

Glad you like it, Sue. Thanks everyone.

donna said...

Hi Dan....I'm a friend of Sue's. I think you did a fabulous job on Dog. House. I'm quite sure that Sue is crazy in love with what you created for her.