February 25, 2008

"Mr Big"

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Oil on archival, museum quality 1/8" ampersand gessobord panel - 6" x 6"

Painting a brindle Great Dane was a new experience for me. The brindle coat presented quite a challenge. There are very dark hairs and very light hairs playing off each other. If you lay down the blacks and then feather in the pale Naples yellow, they want to blend together. It takes a soft touch to get the effect. Mr. Big is one gorgeous Dane. His coat is almost tiger striped with rich umbers and deep blacks shot with pale yellow highlights and they don’t come any sweeter. He shares his digs in Baltimore with Walter the wonder wiener. They make quite a pair. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Danes. One of my very first commissions was a painting of a harlequin Great Dane, way back in the early seventies. My cats were not happy with his modeling sessions at the studio. That early commission was almost life size. Is it me, or is it perverse to paint a Great Dane on a 6 inch square panel?

14 comments:

Don Gray said...

You think that's perverse? I recently tried to paint the Grand Canyon on a 5 x 7!

The vibrancy of the red background and gesture of the dog is wonderful. I really enjoy your work, Mark.

Mark Adams said...

Back at you Don! I’ve been a long time fan of your work, too. I have a friend with an Australian Sheppard and you really nailed it. Your sensitively handled landscapes are full of life and the brush series was inspired and wonderful. I never throw away a brush, even if it’s just a nib. While painting the Dane, I needed a beat up bristle brush to flick in some highlights. I have been known to use the handle at times, especially on the oyster paintings. Your love of a good brush comes through.

I visited the canyon once. Trying to capture something that vast and awe-inspiring seemed futile. I can imagine your amusement at painting it on so small a support.

Takeyce said...

Mark - you handled this challenge masterfully! Love the red, and Mr. Big's gaze. His coat is very convincing. Great work!

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Takeyce!
To quote Einstein - "Ist die Trägheit eines Körpers von seinem Energieinhalt abhängig?" ("Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?" (inside joke)

Diane said...

He's a beauty... love those dane eyes

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Diane!

Carole Foret said...

Mark and Don, only the "great" and the "grand" can be painted on 6x6 canvases by the "awesome" painters! This is fantastic! Caught my eye immediately on daily painters widget. Very nice, Mark!!

perez.art said...

Great portrait Mark!!
I honor tribute to the men best friends.
keep your excelent art Mark
Alex.

Mark Adams said...

Carole and Alex,

Thanks for the kind words. It is wonderful to get this feedback from other talented artists. I have been so engrossed in my own work that I haven’t made time to venture forth to other sites. These comments, which I thrive on, shake me from my own artistic revelry and force me back into the present and allow me to journey out to see new artwork, see new faces, and meet new friends.

Carol – Those who know me well know that my middle name should have been “scoville” and that I wouldn’t travel far without my handy bottle of Tabasco. The Bloody Marys on the plane would be boring indeed. New Orleans my sister city and I get down there twice a year. Seafood Gumbo, Alligator Sauce Piquante, Crawfish Etouffe…Hoo Wee! I love your Tabasco paintings.

Alex – I have never been to Chili but the vibrant color and expressive knife and brushwork almost make me feel as if I had. I envy your constant source of new material.

JEANNE ILLENYE said...

He's gorgeous!! His eyes just glisten against that soft coat. Jeanne

LCNeill said...

Yes I agree, very very nicely done!!

Jason Waskey said...

I keep thinking that I 'don't like' dog(animal)portraiture. But it's not true. I dislike bad dog portraits. You're the third artist that I've come across recently (Don Gray from above is another) who has proven to me that good animal portraiture is entirely possible.

Well painted!

Mark Adams said...

Thanks everyone! I'm flattered

JMahorney said...

I love this composition. What a fun shape his head cuts out of the negative space. Just a great painting. :)