11 April 2012

Threatened by a hair dryer...

Manola asked me to paint a dream her friend had sent to her last new years day. Here's what I was given:

Seems like it should be easy, right? I've certainly painted more then my share of dogs for the Panda... so why are still tricky for me.

I did not want this to be a cartoon dog, I promise "real paintings" here, not mall-like caricatures. I decided right off that the dog's interaction with the hair dryer had to be awkward. The dog needed to be clumsily dragging the thing around with it's best effort of making it seem scary to make it sad and ridiculous. A Scooby Doo-like dog using a hair dryer as a gun is wacky and feels more like an ill conceived tattoo (in the same vain as the Tasmanian Devil lifting weights).

Because of the subject matter, I thought this painting would work well with a design-like aesthetic similar to the original "panda licking on a light bulb" painting. A black and white boxer fit the bill. I wanted it to  look like it was made fast and have a very limited color palate.

I also chose a boxer as the result of a series of failures with other dogs. I did some preliminary paintings (though not originally intended to be preliminary) with more common dogs but nothing seemed to work. I wanted to use line and keep it simple and clean. Painting long haired dogs is like rendering the anatomy of a mop head, something is underneath but God knows what. I needed a dog where you could make out where it's legs meet it's body and recognize that it has a neck.

Upon rereading this request, I realize that I left the "owies" out. I was tempted to go back and put some wounds in. Red spots on the dog would work well color-wise with the red hair dryer. However, the presence of the power cord in the dog's mouth may suggest that the dog is begging to be whipped.. and that is just ridiculously sad.  Let's just imagine that the "owies" are on the dog's other side...

I'll be posting a analysis of this dream on my long defunct blog Id Detangler: A Dream Interpretation Blog. I've decided to post here again sporadically.

...and check back next week for the completed painting Beth started 3 years ago for Leon's request! She finally finished it! (...with a sharpie and highlighter).

Thank You, Manola!