As I drove up to my art teacher’s studio this morning, I noticed a young black border collie trotting up the driveway. She looked friendly enough, so I wasn’t overly concerned about getting attacked — more like getting licked to death.
I parked my car, and she came over to my door as I opened it. “Eh!” I yelled at her, making what Diana Gabaldon would undoubtedly refer to as “a Scottish noise.” She ducked off, and I left the door open as I leaned over to gather my art supplies.
A black blur crossed my line of vision, and the next thing I knew, I was looking at a 40-pound dog sitting expectantly on my passenger seat. She cocked her head at me, let her tongue hang out a little, and smiled. Clearly we were going for a ride. Her tailed thumped. Isn’t this great? Huh? Huh?
I burst out laughing.
Here’s the thing about dogs: they know if you’re laughing at them or if you’re laughing with them. If it’s at them, they sulk. If it’s with them, you’ll never gain control. They just want to continue the joke. I was laughing with this dog, and she knew it.
No amount of coaxing while laughing was going to get that dog out of my car, so I went into the studio for reinforcement. I opened the door, and out burst the art teacher’s 90-pound caramel-colored hound dog. Before I knew what was what, he had joined the border collie in my car, and now I had two dogs I needed to get out of there.
I was totally worthless. I couldn’t stop laughing. This kind of stuff just doesn’t happen in real life.
Luckily, my art teacher came to the rescue, and my car is no worse for the wear except for one muddy paw print on my passenger seat.
After I had settled down, I worked on the next step in my tone course, which is to refine my middle tones and learn how to do tone grading on the foreground and background to create a three-dimensional space.
Here’s a shot of today’s work:
I was focused on working the light so that it comes from one source and seems to fall diagonally across the drawing. I feel pretty good about the highlights, but I can see where I need to do more gradients in the foreground to foreshorten it and make the tabletop three-dimensional.
A direct shot:
And so ends today’s adventure in art.