Sit, Yoshi, Sit, So I Can Paint

Isaac Hernández, Yoshi, oil pastel on paper, 35.6×43.2cm (14″x17″).

Yoshi’s still sitting. Is it finished? Probably not. Paintings rarely are. The one below is a photograph of the work in progress, and it looks just as finished as the one above, perhaps.

Isaac Hernández, Yoshi (in progress), oil pastel on paper, 35.6×43.2cm (14″x17″).

Some time in 2011, my horoscope at said: “It’s a good time to stay at home with family, reminiscing about the past and planning your future. Play games or paint a picture.”So I worked/played in the garden and painted a picture.

The blue pig I painted had received such great response that I decided to paint another pet. Yoshi, the greatest beagle in the world, was staying with us for a couple of weeks while his owners are on vacation, or rather being stuck in airports. I thought it would be great to send them a picture of their dog. Against the good judgement of my wife, who told me to use a photo to make the painting, I asked Yoshi to sit for me. Why paint from a photo when you can paint live?

Yoshi didn’t sit very long. That’s what happens when you don’t pay your models. I managed to follow him around the dinner table, in order to get his expression. And then I finally had to pay him, in dog food pellets, for him to sit still enough to draw the body and finish up the face. Sorry for spoiling Yoshi, Alejandro, I promise I didn’t give him more than a dozen pellets… well, maybe 13.


After the Play

Isaac Hernandez. "After the play (self-portrait)." Oil pastel on paper, March 20, 2012. ©2012

The play is over
Nowhere to hide
Now, I’m low
Before, I was high.

I did the drawing above with a piece of brown oil pastel, but unlike other oil pastels where I build layers upon layers, I traced lightly, treating the pastel as conte crayon or charcoal. I even used a similar pose and composition that in a self-portrait from two years ago (below) done in conte crayon (when I had more hair), which was shown at the Atkinson Gallery back in 2010. Unlike conte crayon, you cannot erase oil pastel, so I ended up tracing very lightly. The result has an ephemeral flair, as if I’m going to disappear, which is the way I’ve felt ever since Carmen’s death.

Isaac Hernandez. "Self-portrait." Conte crayon on paper, 2010. ©2012