Painting Gabi the Beagle on Silk

So, the bad news is that on February 23, our adorable beagle, Gabi, died. She had bad asthma and some other health problems, and apparently encountered something on our walk that hit her lungs so badly she couldn’t recover. It was a quick end, which I guess is better than something long and drawn out, but she definitely left us too soon. We were all sad for a long time. Still are, really.

Adorable Gabi:

I guess I took a lot of photos of her, because it seems like every Facebook “N years ago” memory lately is of Gabi. Oh, Facebook, you always know how to hit us.

Of course, I decided that I needed to mourn her by painting a portrait. Not just any portrait, either. Ink on silk. And then quilt it. And maybe do a block print. And an oil on canvas. We’ll see how that goes.

I broke out the silk kimono lining and ironed the creases out (a difficult task, actually. Those creases were *in* there.), then stretched it over a 13″ x 13″ piece of cardboard. In retrospect, cardboard was probably not the best idea, but it was what I had at the time. My Tuskineko All-Purpose Ink and various applicators stood at the ready to do their best.

I started by sketching in white. Initially, I tried using a brush, but I found that the Tsukinekko Fantastix Brush Tip Applicators were much better for drawing. That surprised me, since I had such a hard time with them previously. This time, though, they worked beautifully. I used one for each color, and blended a fourth medium shade of brown to round out the selection. I used a brush for the larger areas of color, for speed mainly, but anytime I needed to pay attention to detail or blending, I chose the Fantastix. Initially I was going to use blue for the background, but I ended up using the yellow and I find I like it. I’m allowing it to cure and mellow in my mind right now, but by next month I will be ready to do the stitching on it.

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