It’s finally done! I don’t do a lot of digital art so although this painting got off to a blazing start, I quickly hit a wall and then it languished around for months because I found it too exhausting and physically straining to work on (digital painting hurts my wrists way more than traditional painting, plus my posture is bad). Well I’m super proud to say that I knocked down the wall and got this painting done.
You can order prints of this painting
in my Storenvy shop on TeePublic. Make sure you order a Poster or Canvas print to get the picture printing all the way to the edges!
There’s also a t-shirt version available on TeePublic! It’s on sale for its first 72 hours, $14 now, $20 later.
I can’t remember how the idea itself struck me, but the inspiration for this piece is quite obviously CM Coolidge’s famous series paintings of dogs engaging in human-like behaviour and pastimes. Many of these featured dramatic moments in games of poker.
Render done in Blender to aid painting of the cards and chips.
I knew that the feature of my piece would be the cheeky Duck Hunt Duo gloating over their winning hand. While the image most resembles the paired paintings A Bold Bluff/Waterloo The scenario is borrowed from Poker Sympathy and the general theme of the bulldog getting beaten even though he holds 4 aces (His Station and Four Aces, Pinched With Four Aces – the inspiration for the title of the piece).
Detail of the chips and cards after I painted over the renders
First up I had to determine who would be seated at the table and who the unlucky loser would be. My inclusion criteria was pretty much any canid that appeared as a character, assist trophy or background element. I missed a few characters in the first pass and had to add them to the painting as I went. I thought about including Master Core’s beast form but letting in things that were simply beastly rather than canid would open the door to other things, like the Ultimate Chimera.
Close up of Isabelle and the drinks she’s serving.
As for the loser – as luck would have it, Smash 4’s Nintendog was changed to be a bulldog. I think it’s a perfect match – the bulldog puts his hands up in protest, thus resembling his appearance as an Assist Trophy.
I tried very hard to include everyone but I’m sure I missed something… even though my friends on Facebook didn’t call me out on any missing characters. (Well, they didn’t tell me I’d missed Lucario, or the Animal Crossing guys either). If you think I’ve missed something major I might have a go at adding them in, but for a minor appearance I think they’ll just have to miss out. (I remembered Tails pretty late on, but I didn’t think he was prominent enough a cameo to feature.)
I got the painting printed as a wrapped canvas print. It’s about 75cm x 50cm. I think the poster prints come out nicer though, they preserve the details a bit better.