Still life + photo reference

Betsy, from a photo dated 7 April 2018


This is the picture that kicks off my new square mixed-media sketchbook (Bee Paper Company, 6 x 6 inches). The photographic reference is Betsy herself, as a not-quite 3-and-a-half-month old puppy. That photo was taken indoors, in the evening (see below). What I did was 'transfer' her (along with her beanbag) out into the lanai, where my fuschia and Alsobia dianthiflora were hanging, though not in the proximity seen here. The blue swashes between them represent the white voile curtain on the other side of the lanai door. Beyond we glimpse a shaded fence and a vague profusion of foliage -- but I'm not aiming here for precise realism or even particularly convincing perspective. This picture might instead be titled 'A few of my favourite things', to wit: the hanging plants and the puppy. The plants were drawn from life (but see the Alsobia as my camera now shows it, with many flowers). Incidentally, I coloured the Alsobia leaves in an olive way because that's how they appeared to me in the sunlight at the time. The photo shows the plant in a different location, and the leaves look more Castelvetrano unbrined-olive than the anchovy-stuffed ones I drew. But: I was drawing from life!