A customer asked if English Springer Spaniels were available on my dog breed pottery. Well, I didn’t have that design done yet so I remedied the situation and made a couple color versions of this very pretty breed – black and white and liver. I’m in the final color testing stages – in fact, I just did another color test over the weekend. The design part of my work is the most time consuming for me because, as with most art, it’s hard to know when to stop.
Given that every breed has a range of body conformations, even within the breed standard, but especially outside of it, it’s hard sometimes to nail down an outline sketch that will work for most people. Then there are all of the color variations within breeds, not to mention the huge variation color patterns between dogs of any color. Once I settle on an outline and do the color work, I print my decals and fire them on a white test tile.
I usually fire 2 or 3 versions of the same artwork, applying different manipulations to my artwork, such as a slightly darker version, an even darker version, etc. The reason for this is that it’s difficult to tell how a printed decal on paper will equate to a decal fired on a finished piece of pottery. This is partly because my printer prints in ceramic pigments which look very flat when printed on the decal paper. Their richness, or lack thereof, doesn’t show up until a cover coat of flux (basically glass) is applied and fired onto a ceramic piece. Its much like how the color of wood color is enriched by applying laquer. So it sometimes goes that the first test tile comes out revealing that my artwork needs some alteration because it’s either to light or has an “off” tone.
The tile shown represents two different firings. I did the top group of 4 English Springer Spaniels (2 black and white, 2 liver) in the first firing. I liked the liver color of the left dog but thought it and the two black and white dogs were a little flat looking. They actually would have been ok but I wanted to make them a little better – this goes back to that part about not knowing when art is done. So I worked on them a little more and refired. The two dogs at the bottom with red arrows were the second test. I think the liver might need a little more vibrance however, there are liver colored dogs that are really dark, so maybe not. What do you think?
Anyhow, I’ve decided that my English Springer Spaniel artwork is done and will add them to my website. Of course I’m always open to revisit my artwork should a customer advise me to do so. Such recommendations usually result in a different version that I’ll ad to my website.
I’ll make a quick post once I’ve listed all of the English Springer Spaniel items to my website.
Until next time,