french bulldog with purple ears and bowtie with lara grauer photography logo

Mixed Media Dog Art

Have you been following my story as a developing artist? The journey continues, and I’ve started a new art project! Remember that mixed-media piece I did a while ago? The one with the pastel-colored background and the little Italian Greyhound coming to get ya? Well, this new project is sort of like that. I’m mixing paint with photographic image transfers on canvas. I am having loads of fun, and I have many more ways I want to explore this cute French Bulldog.




This cute pup was part of my 2014 dog calendar project. I really enjoyed meeting her. One of the most memorable things about her was the funny grumbling and grunting noises she made. Her expressions were to die for, as most French Bulldogs’ are. Look at those crazy eyes, that big smile, and those hilarious teeth!

Maybe you know I have very little background in painting, and other traditional art media. My learning has come randomly, and most of it was self-imposed. I always wanted to take art electives in high school, but academics seemed to get in the way, so I didn’t find my opportunity until college. At that point, I was so deep into theatre and photography, most of the classic art training fell by the wayside.

So here I am, building what some might consider my foundation, long after I launched myself into the world of artistic creation. I suppose there’s a path that’s right for all of us…

I began this new project shortly after my last blog post. The first day the kids were back in school, I promised myself I would keep exploring my artistic nature, and I decided that I was going to “be creative” every school day, at my first opportunity. It’s turning into a morning routine for me, and I’m loving it. There are no rules, except that I have to do it.

I started with 3 blank canvases, and chose two main colors to work with for these pieces. I figured 3 is a good number, and it gave me enough that I could use my time efficiently – while one canvas dries I can work on the next. This is especially convenient when I’m working with common colors for all 3.

For the colors, I wanted something that would “pop” and something that would take you out of reality. Since photography is true-to-life in so many ways, I was looking for a way to bring these pieces alive with imagination and playfulness. So I picked out my colors, mixed them with iridescent medium, and went to work on the backgrounds.



3 canvases, ready for experimenting

At this point, I chose my photo (see Lucy the French Bulldog, above) and decided I would do the same face on each. You can refer back to my post about image transfers to see how I got the dog’s face onto the canvas. (I’ll have to post some more detailed pics of that process some time soon).

Beyond that, I had very little idea what I might do with them I decided to forgive myself for wrecking the canvas, and just go for it! I think every artist can understand that “I’m no good” feeling. The finished pieces are fun, and I’m happy with them. But I promise you, I hated each one of them somewhere along the way. Here are some iPhone snapshots of the finished group. There will definitely be more to come. What do you think?

[dt_gap height=”10″ /]



Share your thoughts