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Friday, 5 May 2017

Paint Impressionist Dog Walkers In Oils

I have always been impressed by how impressionist artist manage to create a complete story with a few random brush strokes. I replicate this in today's blog when I paint a couple of dog walkers against an empty background. Notice how casually careless the brushstrokes seem to be, and yet they manage to create two figures and dog, interacting with each other.


I so this painting on a small Canvas Panel by Dala. It measures only 5" x 7". I took a photo of the back of the canvas as the info can be found on this side.


Turning the canvas over, you find a canvas that has already been primed to accept paint.


I used mixes of Phthalo Blue and Titanium White to paint the background with a palette knife.


The colours used.


I then mix a black from Prussian Green and Permanent Violet.


I mix a grey from Lamp Black, Titanium White and Deep Rose.


I paint the edges of the canvas in the grey.


I use a brush to blend the paint.


I start with two figures and a dog, but it leaves me disatisfied. I am not happy with their position on the canvas.


Instead of wiping the paint off the canvas, I simply blend the figures into my background and find it improved as a result of this action!


I then add a male figure that is clearly in motion.


The smaller figure of the child is slightly withdrawn from the action.


The position of the dog and the man, focuses the attention on something that is somewhere to the right of the canvas, but not part of the painting.


I am only left to add the heads of the figures to complete the painting. There are not defined lines and only very rough brush strokes, yet the painting effortlessly manages to establish action, character and interaction. Isn't this fantastic? It is for this reason that the painting engages with the viewer. Static figures would not be able to achieve this. The dog's attention is fixed. The man is taking proactive action towards a foreseen reaction from the dog. The child withdraws from this interaction between man and dog, leaning away from the man. Yet, the man maintains a firm hold on the child, leaving the viewer in no doubt as to who is in control in this scene. Did you notice all of this when looking at the picture? What else did this picture manage to tell you?


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
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