Portrait of a little Pitbull Puppy whose owner rescued from a dumpster, literally, from being thrown away in an industrial trash can in a dark alley behind the university. This little one made his owner's life so happy that they now regularly go to the neighborhood Dunkin Donuts and have an icecream together to celebrate their luck and happiness.
I was working at the Dunkin Donut's near the university one night on a series of sketches, when at the table nearest me pulled up this adorable little pit bull puppy coming over to check me out, then quickly back to his awesome owner who had bought two ice cream cones, for their usual date night.
This little guy's name is Odin, a ferociously adorable little grey and white and pink coated pup, who changed his owners life forever. His owner told me the story while they two were enjoying their strawberry lemon ice cream cones of how they both changed each other's lives. Most endearing was how easily it could have been missed if he had walked a different path, or left his house at a different time, and never came close to the dumpster that little Odin had been thrown in, abandoned and left for dead until he was rescued and given a new life.
How I Made this Artwork
Since I really wanted to capture the playfulness and vibrancy of little Odin's spirit and spunkiness, I used my Caran d'Ache water soluble pastels since on other surfaces I already knew that they would "bead" and make "splash patterns" if dribbled at the right viscosity on an oil-medium surface. And my Krylon fixative would make that oil-surface between coats.
But, the Krylon also has toluene, a substance which almost instantly eats styrofoam. I learned this after developing the painting for several hours, and shooting several very light layers to fix the colors. I had waited what I thought was "long enough" between layers, but then, in the morning, the first panel of styrofoam I had used ended up completely dissolved. It really was heartbreaking, and also an opportunity to shrug off discouragement and just jump right back into re-creating the painting, so I did.
After two more tries, (yes, I'm persistent!), I mastered layering latex-paint and wet-sanding it to an almost glassy finish on the styrofoam block, and test-shot the primed surface with Krylon and proved by waiting a day, that the new surface was impervious to toluene vapor. The painting you see now is the final result, an incredibly lightweight surface to paint on that let me playrfully experiement with a very bright and workable medium (the Neo Color Pastels), and fix inbetween layers to splash the next layers on top of the dry ones.
Thinking about a Gift for Someone Special?
"Pitbull Puppy Ice Cream..." is something I have given to lifelong dog lover friends of mine, especially those who either own or have been close to Pit Bull Terriers and have really learned how sweet and precious this breed of dog is.
It's also such a playful innocent moment, that anyone who really sees and expresses the way animals move them, how their lives have been changed by animals and how sweet they want to be in return to our furry friends would be someone I would gift this art for.
Art Materials and Supplies that Made this Art
For the color blocking, and overall color I used my travel pastels, my:
Caran d'Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels, 84 Colors
For most of the overlay of textures and stroke / washes I used my:
MyArtscape 15 Pc Brush Set with Travel Holder
And for finer detail work I used my:
da Vinci Travel Series 1573 CosmoTop Spin Watercolor Brush, Round Synthetic Size 5
Since I used one of my favorite "splash" painting effects in which I apply water soluble media over an oil-surface or in this case an oil-sealed surface (Krylon Fixatif), I used:
Golden Acrylic Wetting Agent
to make some of the water-soluble layers blend more evenly over the Krylon Clearcoat layers.
And most importantly for the layers, I used:
Krylon K01306 Workable Fixatif Spray Clear, 11-Ounce Aerosol
(to fix textures beneath the water soluble glazes, and finally, fix the last layer)