This knife painting of Bjorn was fun to paint. He’s a new acquaintance with an adorable disposition I thought worthy of capturing in his youthful state.
I began with single knife-strokes of thick-bodied paint, with no blending whatsoever. Because I mixed my colors loosely (from red, blue, yellow, and umber), you can see the raw colors streaking through each stroke. I used a limited palette to keep things harmonious. These strokes formed a base upon which I blocked out the shape of Bjorn, then applied small stalagmite-like dots and dashes to help simulate a mottled concrete surface. It ended up looking more like a galaxy than a patio, and because I loved the effect, I kept it. I then laid in the details of Bjorn’s fur, building him up sculpturally so that he floats in the galaxy. I intentionally left off his shadow, which would have made him look more like a panda bear, and less like he’s floating in space dreamily gnawing on a rawhide treat.
See it in person through November:
Lone Star Saloon
1354 Harrison St
SanFrancisco, CA 94103
Here’s some detail of the finished piece. Scroll down to see the painting in progress.