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Year of the Dog with Baoxing Zhang - January 14th, 2006

2006 is the year of the dog. Baoxing Zhang, a popular instructor who has led us in other similar workshops including last year's year of the rooster workshop, focused on the structure, proportions and composition of the dog. Baoxing showed us some techniques with the brush to create the fur - short, curly and long - and the relationship of eyes and nose. Baoxing began by showing us paintings of dogs he has been creating.

Paintings of dogs  

The word dog, as it sounds, started the class.

Dog, the word as it sounds 

Baoxing then drew the characters for dog, both in the ancient and modern form. The most ancient looks like a dog.

Modern and ancient characters for dog

The first dog painted was one for children. Baoxing has been working on a children's book, which shows children how to quickly draw the basic stokes for creating a dog.

Dog for children

A puppy was the next dog to be painted. Baoxing collects pictures of animals that he would like to draw. The drawing above Baoxing's own painting helped him work on this composition of a puppy. Baoxing uses the technique of sketching the dog with a blue pen he found in a clothing shop. This practical technique allows you to draw the outline and then, when water is applied, the outline disappears. 

Outline with a blue pen used in clothing shops

The nose is usually the starting point for Baoxing. By starting with the nose or snout, the eyes are easier to create in relationship to the nose. Using a dry brush with gray ink, he then adds the fur to fill in the outline. 

Adding the fur with a dry brush

Colour is added afterwards to bring out the coat of the puppy. Note how this puppy contrasts with the first simplified dog for children found in the top centre of the picture.

Colour added to the fur of the puppy

In addition to the detailed puppy, Baoxing demonstrated the looser, free-form and more impressionistic approach to painting dogs. A participant brought a camera with a picture of her white dog (see camera near brushes), which became the basis for Baoxing's painting. 

Impressionistic style of painting dogs

The background is added last, beginning with the ground the dog is upon.

Adding background to painting

Baoxing then added the branches of a tree to complete the painting.

Branches of a tree complete the painting

A participant asked for advice on creating a small, white dog with curly hair (see photo near brushes). Baoxing used a dry brush with a wave-like motion to create the short, curly hair for this dog.

Curly, white-haired dog

The completed dog had a bushy appearance in contrast to the other dogs painted at the workshop.

Bushy, white dog with curly hair

Now it was our turn and the participants in the workshop tried their hand at creating these dogs while Baoxing helped us one-on-one.

You can find more information on Baoxing Zhang in our links section.