Basenji- The Bark-less Dog

The Basenji got its nickname “Bark-less Dog” because they don’t bark. But, they are far from silent. They yodel (commonly called a “barroo”), moan, wail and howl due to their unusually shaped larynx. Originally from central Africa, the Basenji is categorized in the Sighthound group. Standing 16” tall at the withers and weighing in at around 24 pounds. They have short hair and can be red, black or tricolored. The Basenji has alert ears, a curly tail, almond shaped eyes and wrinkles above the eyebrows as a puppy and an older dog. This athletic dog is powerful for its size and resembles a small deer when running. They love to chase anything moving, so watch out. They can also stand on their hind legs like a meerkat. They have been known to jump straight up as much as 6 feet, so make sure your fence is tall. They can easily get over wire fences. The Basenji may not get along with your cat, but surprisingly, some of his characteristics resemble the feline. The Basenji will groom his fur like a cat. Gotta love that low maintenance. I chose to paint the Basenji in a high contrast format for drama. For the black, I mixed Green and Purple instead of using black which has a tendency to make the background look flat. I painted his left eye (eye in shadow) first, then painted the green/purple combo over the eye. Because the two colors of green and purple are transparent, you can see a very slight indication of the eye. This was a new technique for me- it is called “Chiaroscuro” it means high contrast between light and shadow. The term was developed in the 17th century and was used by great Masters such as Raphael, Caravaggio,Vermeer, Rembrandt and many more. Often the only lighting that was used was candle light which made for a very dark background and high key light on the subject. I love the effect the Chiaroscuro technique gives. I think I will try it again. Stayed tuned next week for the next Breed, Basset Hound. Thanks for reading!

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