Sunday, 20 December 2009

"Shy Ted" - xmas present





I won't try and explain the meaning of this gift for my dad (I think you had to be there...) but nevertheless he asked for a pitiful greyhound called "Shy Ted" (and yes there is the other phonetic meaning that name... get it...? It's OK I didn't at first either...) winning a trophy at the dog track. Bit out of left field for my dad as he doesn't have any interest in greyhound racing (not the real reference for the pic), nor do I. Anyway, it was a good exercise in getting back to real media. As Ronald Searle was quoted as saying on matt jones excellent Ronald Searle blog:

"Forgive me if I take advantage of this exotic occasion to make a small plea as an infatuated pen & ink dipper. Please do not forget that the magical pen line still exists! Also, merely as an observer, I feel that some of you could switch off the automatic pilot and wing your way into wilder territory. Just a thought."

I know I do too much work relying on the digital safety net (or, as Searle says, automatic pilot). Photoshop really is a warm, fuzzy and predictable place to work, but sticking to the computer precludes (to some extent at any rate) the unexpected (or skillful hand where Ronald Searle is concerned...) improving the work. I adore working in watercolour, especially when something surprising, and not aimed for, occurs. There is also the personal touch (and commodity of a finished hands on piece) that natural media give you.

I never quite get there when I don't work on the computer (even on the computer I never quite get what I'm after...but at least I can tickle and retickle to get closer... apple Z and file "version2.psd" :) With this pic for my dad there are a handful of things I'm happy with and a flood of things I'm desperate to apple Z! I seldom ink my pencils but the painting was crying out for more contrast so I braved the dip pen on a finished watercolour without a safety net. aaaargh! Still, put anything in a mount in a frame and it looks more considered. Regardless of what I think I guess it's the thought that counts... and it doesn't hurt to leave my comfort zone. Onward with the never ending search to balance the real and the digital!

Happy Holidays everyone!

14 comments:

Jenea said...

Matt! I never not see "dog track"! This pictures is very funny, i like your ynick style! Happy holidays! ;)

Amy C said...

shy ted is adorable, I want to take him home. Your Dad is going to be stoked.
Yes I think my Z button is going to explode one day soon!
HAppy HoLidAyS to you and all the best for 2010.

Abz said...

love the colour palate!

damon said...

nice

i like

michael robertson said...

Gorgeous work, my friend-your dad is sure to be thrilled. You are an amazing talent and your work always inspires me. Your characters, colors and wonderfully loose style is so appealing, I find myself returning to your blog over and over,discovering something fresh and new every time...oh and I wouldn't apple z a thing here!

Have a great holiday. I'm looking forward to what gems you'll be coming up with in the coming year.

Kevin Levell said...

I always love seeing your watercolours. Inks are a bit of a bind - but you've nothing to worry about here - it looks great.

krisztina maros said...

yes you're right about sometimes it's so good to change or mix technics. you're dad must be happy with this illo - I just love the dog's expression!

I wish you and your family a merry christmas, a happy new year and see you soon again! :)

Eric Barclay said...

Whether it's traditional or digital, your brilliance shines through. Outstanding character design as always. Have a wonderful holiday season and best wishes for the new year.

fashion fucsia said...

Wow! Great gift for your Dad! I love the colours and technique. My best wishes for 2010!
^_^

Rico said...

Great colours and the dog's expression is priceless. Good work.

Christy Croll (tiddly inks) said...

I think it is great...no need for Photoshop that I can see. :) I do love the fixing you can do in Photoshop for sure. LOL

Brad said...

fantastic piece! beautiful character designs and color!

viagra online said...

Why you don't make a stop-motion video with shy Ted.

Barry Delacour said...

This made me laugh, Two of my frinds and I owned Shy Ted, the actual racing greyhound. He used to race at Catford greyhound stadium back some 20 years ago I guess. He was a grand dog, slightly lighter colouring than your picture, but never the less not too far away. He ran over 100 times there, winning 14 races, we even sponsored his 100th race, "The Shy Ted Centenary Stakes". Wonderful memories of a wonderful dog!!!