Coco the Dog
By Daisy Richardson

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Year
1997
Media
Mixed Media and Collage
Subject Matter
Animals
Reg. Number
P810
Size
57 x 49 cm

This charcoal drawing of a dog on sand-coloured paper is partially shaded in pastels. Richardson explains that it is a drawing "of my mad dog Coco near the sea in Ireland, running at me while I was trying to draw her." The artist's chosen point of view provides a 'dog's-eye view' of the subject running towards the viewer. The charcoal lines are loose and freeform: in places they have been erased or redrawn, such as the inverted 'V' at the top of the picture, which may have been an first draft of an ear which the artist has chosen not to erase. Selective shading of elements such as the dog's left leg adds to the feeling of spontaneity, while the motion of the tail and lolling tongue communicate the dog's high spirits.

The most striking element of the piece is the use of a vivid (and unrealistic) blue pastel to colour the dog's face, presumably as a visual reference to the water that Coco is running through. Combined with the vertical dashes representing the eyes and the implausibly thin tail, they lend the drawing the stylised quality of a cartoon.

Daisy Richardson was born in Edinburgh in 1975 and completed a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and Design at Glasgow School of Art in 1997, followed by a Masters in Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2007.
Together with her with friend and fellow GSA graduate Jessica Wolfson, Richardson was the joint winner of the BP Travel Portrait Award Travel Award in 2002. She used the award to spend six weeks travelling by train from Glasgow to Shanghai painting portraits of other passengers and train staff.

With thanks to Comment Art, The Guardian and re-title.com for information about this artist.