Crosby Dog Graffiti

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I enjoyed walking down Crosby Street in Manhattan during my 20+ years living in that great city. Beginning at Houston Street (pronounced, ‘how-stun’) Crosby runs south. The area South of Houston is also known as SoHo.  One of the interesting shops that used to be there (as I recall) was a small storefront that sold nothing but T-shirts and posters of the work of Keith Haring, a prominent artist, known for his graffiti.

As I was walking south on Crosby, I came upon a scene which really struck my fancy. There was a fire call box (one of a number which used to be all over the city) on a stantion that must have been hit by car, as it was bent. Bright graffiti stood out on the darkened walls. But what really got me to press the shutter on my camera was the electric-orange dog profile.

Normally, dogs seek fire hydrants. But in this case, it was clear that my silhouette dog just finished with a fire call box instead of a hydrant.

I used a combination of white conte crayon, gouache and ink to approximate the graffiti on the dark wall. I inked in parallel lines for the bricks of the wall before I applied black watercolor. I applied several washes before I drew the graffiti, but I couldn’t get it dark enough.

Watercolor: Graffiti and Fire Call Box on Crosby Street

Crosby Dog Graffiti
4″x6″ 140# Mixed Media Paper

The photograph is much darker in tone than the watercolor. The light is diffuse, highlighting the top of the fire box and the rim at the base of the wall.  I love the drama of the photograph.

Photograph: Graffiti and Fire Call Box on Crosby Street

Crosby Dog Graffiti – Reference Photo

2 thoughts on “Crosby Dog Graffiti

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