Sunday, September 12, 2010

HENRY...for Vern Schwarz


8x10 oil on sketchbook paper nfs

This painting is for Vern Schwarz for The Flying Moleskins. Actually this painting is incorrectly titled, it should read: Henry, My Nemesis! I met Henry while painting plein air a while ago. He walked up to me wearing a blue on blue polka dot choker collar, he had a sleek short hair cut, and the wildest pompadour, complete with a topknot. His owners graciously allowed me to photograph him; Henry was obviously comfortable in front of the camera as every shot of him was perfect, all ready for a painting.

Now, for the nemesis part. Henry has been the most difficult dog I have ever painted, I should know, this is my 4th painting of him. My other 3 Henry paintings...ready for a bonfire come winter...include his full body. Something about that wild hair-do with the sleek body did not make a lovely painting, too much of a textural weird contrast or at least that's how I've justified those 3 bonfire failures. My husband (thanks, honey) has assured me "not all dogs are supposed to be painted and this one is just ugly".

I still don't know why I selected Henry for Vern's book, I just felt compelled to paint this dog and succeed for once. Cropping that wild pompadour with the topknot and focusing on Henry's face was a huge help, I am pleased with my 4th and I guess final painting of Henry.

14 comments:

Ann Rogers said...

Love it and I know Vern will also. You have the most fluid brush strokes and they really stand out on this portrait of Henry!

Linda Popple said...

I can see why Henry would be difficult to paint, but I think you did great! He has wild hair, but at the same time, he is quite handsome and you captured that.

Diana Marshall said...

I can imagine it was difficult to paint Henry successfully, but fourth time lucky, well done for persevering. He has lovely eyes.

Kim said...

Yeah, it sounds like a nightmare but your painting is fabulous! I can just FEEL that dog hair and his eyes sparkle. Great job.

carol morgan carmichael said...

I like your determination. He looks a bit like a lion with all the hair surrounding his face. You have done a beautiful job with a tough subject. Love your husband's encouragement. Ha.

Vern Schwarz said...

Thanks so much Angela. You did a fabulous job on Henry with all that wild hair. You always manage to bring so much life and personality to your pet portraits. He has a really intelligent look which is what these dogs are. Beautiful painting...I love it.

Camille LaRue Olsen said...

I am just crazy about Henry. Are you sure his name isn't Louis XIV? He is the Sun King personified but with a sweet soul. BEAUTIFUL.

Gwen Bell said...

Love Henry!!! I think you did a fantastic job. He looks so Fraaaunch and very arrogant. Camille summed it up nicely...Louis the XIV.

I can only imagine how strange he must have looked with that wild mane of hair and sleek body. He looks like he might be a Standard size which would make the contrast stand out even more. I think you made a wise choice to focus on that majestic face of his.

Fay Akers said...

as it's been said less is more. Cropping him really works for this painting. Good job

martinealison said...

Très jolie peinture et impressionnante comme le sont ces caniches géants.

sam said...

Sounds like you struggled through it Angela! Really worth it in the end though well done! I really like the cropping too)

Pam Holnback said...

Love the hairdo!

Ruth Andre said...

You may of had more than one try at painting Henry but you certainly succeeded with the final painting. Henry is gorgeous.

Angela said...

I have been scrolling through your blog and have been pleasantly pleased. Your dogs are precious. Love them