Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dogs Skating - Work in Progress

I had this idea for a dog walker walking dogs, but having them all skating instead of walking. Cute, right? Yeah I thought so too.

I started with a really rough drawing of my idea, with different dogs in different skating postures, in a 'clump', with the human walker behind. (Actually, there were some rougher ideas before this one, but this one is the first one in the process I'm willing to share.)

I knew I wanted to do a bulldog, and the wiener dog out front. I also wasn't sure how many dogs I wanted - there could be more, but I also wanted to be able to show enough of each one to make it worthwhile drawing them. Too many dogs would hide too much of some of them, so I kind of weeded them out a bit from my very first ideas. 

I work 'old school', on tracing paper, and make a lot of overlays. Here's the next one, (again, with some 'in-between' ones left out), with some of the dogs tightened up a little bit.

I had a poodle in there, and the bulldog was doing that kind of gliding thing. The little guy in the back got cut off in this scan, but really, he's still there. 

I started playing with some outfits (oh yes ... they have to have outfits!), and had scads of little individual dogs re-traced and cut out and re-traced again, all over the drawing table.
Here are some bits hanging off my drawing table lamp.

And here I plopped all the ones that I liked down on a piece of paper and scanned them. You can see that I have two sets of "Mom and pup", because I'm not sure which one I like better. I also took out the poodle.

Here's where Photoshop comes in (yay, Photoshop! What did we do before Photoshop?)
I placed each of the dogs from the scan above into a new blank image, and started playing with placement, and also scale. I love using the Edit > Transform > Scale (and also Rotate) tool to fiddle with things. I ended up cutting and pasting (Lasso Tool > Cut (or Copy) > Paste) one of the Mom dog's head onto another dog altogether. 

I also used my Wacom tablet and stylus to draw the 'guy' in the background, the leashes, and the horizon and top crop lines. All the dogs, as well as the guy, were on separate layers. I erased around each image so they were all kind of 'free floating', and could overlap each other. 

I decided the crop the top half of the guy off, because its not really about him, its about the dogs. We don't need to see who he is I don't think. I want it to be all about the dogs.

Here's where I am with the drawing. Its not "there" yet, but almost. 

I love telling a little story with each of them. The wiener dog (with short legs) is racing out front. The Mom is helping her pup. The bulldog is just this really solid mass floating along. The bull terrier and other little hound are looking back to see how the little guy (you have to say "little guy" with a kind of quavery voice) is doing. And the little guy is just that - the little guy, bringing up the rear.

I have lots of work to do figuring out their clothes, but that will be fun. When I get a final drawing, I will transfer it to my paper and start the finish. This will be done with colored pencils, and I think I'll try out my new Gamsol (odorless mineral spirits) and of course my new handy dandy electric pencil sharpener!


In other news - 
its SPRING here already. I know, totally crazy, considering how much of the country is ice and snow bound. 

We've had juuuust enough rain to get everything going, but are still in a drought. We will all have to be creative about how to keep everything watered come Summer. 

I would love to fill in some gaps in my beds with new plants, but don't want to have anything extra to water, so I guess I'll just let them be a little bare for another year. 

Hey, I just had this idea. Someone could start a business painting 'fake' flowers and bushes on some kind of outdoor-friendly material, that people could put in their yards. You know, like those painted fireplace screens, but on stakes, that you could just stick in your flower beds. Yes? No? Maybe. If you do it, please send me pics. :~)


Bonny said...

This is fascinating and so much fun! Thank you!


Anonymous said...

Love it. Love the bulldog.