Dogs, abstracted and otherwise

Back in the land of Oz and we had barely been home for two days before we had to hop on a plane again to celebrate a family wedding interstate. I was still in a drawing frame of mind and what caught my eye over those few days were dogs.
In the airport lounge in Canberra two plastic ‘Puppy’ dogs (designed by Eero Arnio for Magis Me Too), were placed looking out onto the tarmac, waiting for some children to play with them.

Green plastic 'Puppy', Canberra Airport 14 November 2014, ballpoint pen

Green plastic ‘Puppy’, Canberra Airport 14 November 2014, ballpoint pen

Two days later we were in the Art Gallery of South Australia and found a Haniwa dog. These terracotta sculptures were made in Japan in the Kofun period (3rd to 6th century AD) and were used as tomb markers. They are fairly abstract shapes and this one looks quite chunky. The face looks rather like that of a pig to me, but I think this is a result of the coil technique used to build the clay figures making more of a snout than a tapered dogs nose. What you can’t see from this sketch is the curled tail that of a Japanese akita dog.

Haniwa dog, circa 6th C AD, from the collection of Andrew and Hiroko Gwinnett, on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia, 16 November 2014, Copic multiliner

Haniwa dog, circa 6th C AD, from the collection of Andrew and Hiroko Gwinnett, on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia, 16 November 2014, Copic multiliner

Finally I couldn’t leave out Sam, the Old English Sheepdog, who’s house we were staying at.

Sam the Old English Sheepdog, asleep under the table, 17 November 2014, Copic multiliner

Sam the Old English Sheepdog, asleep under the table, 17 November 2014, Copic multiliner

Animals and Cafes

Continuing on with the catch-up, there were opportunities to draw at two of our regular coffee shops last week.

Queueing for coffee, pen and ink,1 July 2014

Queuing for coffee, pen and ink, 1 July 2014

The next day I attempted to draw this dog waiting for it’s owner.

The same dog, several times, pen and ink, 2 July 2014

The same dog, several times, pen and ink, 2 July 2014

While I’m OK with the position of the body, getting the dog’s head the way I wanted really eluded me. I suspect that I’ve not looked closely enough at the relationship between the position of the animal’s eyes and ears. No doubt there will be plenty more dogs I can draw in future.

Later in the week we once again took to our bikes to ride around the lake. This time I was ready with all my gear to sketch the swan and or any other nearby waterbirds. But nature isn’t always obliging and we saw nary a swan.  The wind was blowing a howling gale so finding a spot to sit without being blown into the water was hard enough. I did manage to draw two Masked Lapwings that briefly landed near where we were having lunch. As I was simultaneously trying to complete a painting of part of the nearby pontoon I decided to dampen my paper to see how it would work. I like the quality of the resulting line quite a bit.

Masked Lapwings, pen and ink on damp paper, 4 July 2014

Masked Lapwings, pen and ink on damp paper, 4 July 2014

I ended up having to abandon trying to paint as the wind shifted and we couldn’t bear to be sitting still any longer.

This week I’ve managed one cafe drawing, at a new locale, which I’m sure will offer more drawing possibilities. Unfortunately I was distracted by sitting on an icy metal cafe chair, outside, because the cafe was full, waiting for the fog to lift. Cold winter mornings are not conducive to making detailed drawings! I added the colour after I got home.

Play area and shade sails (definitely not needed this day), pen and ink and acrylic marker pen, 8 July 2014

Play area and shade sails (definitely not needed this day), pen and ink and acrylic marker pen, 8 July 2014