Dog-gone dog gone

Castle entry inkied

Castle entry

Well, miracle of miracles, we met up with our German shepherd stray ‘s owners yesterday and were able to return her to her proper home.  She lived about 2 miles down the road and somehow managed to make it to our deck and park herself here for the week. A friend of the wife saw the notice I put on the Owen County facebook page and they called Monday.  We weren’t sure it was the right dog because they said a younger age than my vet thought and the facial markings were off a little in the picture she sent, but we agreed everyone would feel better if they took a look.  Sure enough, it was their dog.  Everybody went home happy.  The  funny part is that I couldn’t decide between the name Sadie or Sophie.  Neither one seemed quite right.  Her real name is Shadow.  Pretty close if you ask me, for a shot in the dark.

In the meantime, I inked up the castle entryway. It has a plain stucco wall for the entry area and rear turret, red window trim and some sort of wooden shingle above the lower stone.  There is a little bit of greenery growing on the stone bases, which will add some nice colors.  Washes up next.

Dog-gone it

New dog?

New dog?

Guess what showed up on my deck again two days ago. You guessed it – another German shepherd.  Two years after our adventure with Alex, the long haired German shepherd puppy, another one showed up on the back deck.  She is very sweet and about a year old.  She has none of the dominance issues that Alex had and seems to have quite a nice, submissive temperament.  She seems quite intelligent and trainable at this point.  We are looking for her owners but maybe she will just be staying here.

I ended up taking off the last week or so.  After 3 home portraits in a row, on a quick schedule, I decided I needed a short break.  Back to work really soon.

Sweet Alex

Pen/pencil drawing

Pen/pencil drawing

I am oh so sad to report that, in the end, we were not able to keep Alex with us. Once he settled in and became comfortable in our home, it became apparent that he had a rather dominant German Shepherd personality. He remained submissive to people and was as smart as I could hope for, but very quickly he decided that we and our household were his responsibility.  Even at only 4.5 months, he felt he had to seriously defend me from other barking dogs and noises around the house.  I got into contact with a wonderful woman who runs a GSD rescue in Indianapolis and she was able to find him a more suitable home right before Christmas.  This family has had extensive experience with working GSDs and will be able to assure he develops into a very responsible member of society.  I am sad for me, but glad for him.  I know that we took good care of him for the five weeks he was here, but in the end, he was just too much dog for me and I really wanted him to be able to reach his full potential.

Watecolored

Watercolored

The night before Alex left, I took a dozen pictures of him and picked out one to paint. The first photo shows a bit of my methodology for the portraits.  While I don’t grid for the home portraits, I do for the animal ones.  I find it gives me just that edge to lay out the eyes and mouth correctly.  I have a piece of gridded acetate I place over the 4×6 photo and away I go.  After the pencil up and most of the inking is done with the nib pen, I erase all of the grid and miscellaneous pencil lines.  (Another reason why I like the sturdiness of the watercolor board.)  I let it sit for a day and then add the watercolors with what I hope is a fluid and loose brushstroke.  After another day of reflection I may add a bit more watercolor, but voila, normally it is done.  He is a handsome fellow, is he not?