Once I finish this print for the "Year of the Dog" I will have completed the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac for the BarenForum's artist exchange I've been participating in since 2007.
I've been working on this for a bit--and had lots of thumbnails and sketches before settling on a sketch of our rescued Segugio Italiano--an Italian Scenthound--that we adopted about 1 1/2 years ago.
He's a handsome and sweet fellow, but he is a dog that was used for hunting, and will disappear for hours if we let him loose, following the lingering scent of the hares and deer and boars that roam our fields at night.
My sketches started as silly cartoons and gradually became more and more representative as I looked at photo references and repeatedly sketched him in the kitchen. Once I was happy with a final drawing, it was copied using a xerox machine and these copies then glued down onto multiple blocks for carving to serve as guides for cutting.
There is one cherry plywood block for the key block (black lines).
There are two shina plywood blocks and another 2 Okoume' plywood blocks to mimic the dog's fur and textures.
All the blocks are carved and each print their own portion of this layered mosaic--and now I hope that I can make the sum of each layer better than the individual blocks.
Here are some early proofs; I still need to trim a few edges, adjust 1-2 kentos and decide on the colors.