Lakota, practicing his “greeter” pose.
Let me start by saying straight lines are not my favorite thing. So here we have a really nice-looking horse surrounded by—straight lines. My long-ago mentor used to say that you should draw everything free-hand so it looked like your lines were making an artistic mark. Then he would say, somewhat sarcastically, that if you wanted a straight line you should use a ruler. OK, ruler in hand I have made an unusually (for me) large number of straight lines to successfully enclose Lakota in a relatively realistic-looking stall.
Not to worry, when I start to paint I can rarely make myself stay within perfectly straight lines. So it will look “painterly” in spite of myself when it’s all done!
I can’t remember ever showing a comparison of original photo to finished painting, so I thought it might be interesting to see some of the behind the scenes work that has to go on sometimes before a suitable portrait can even be started.
Original reference photo. Lots of possibilities, but not such a great background.
Final version of painting, cropped and reconfigured to disguise the lovely trailer.
Will be starting on the companion painting to this one, another Appy named Lakota. You will soon see how the next one also provided compositional challenges and some background machinations via my best friend Photoshop™…
It would have been a great time even if wine hadn’t been involved, but in this case the wine also happened to be pretty good. A few scenes from my reception for the Sky Pads exhibit last night at the Gallery at the Inn at Harbor Shores in St. Joseph, Michigan. The show will run through mid-January 2017.
Me, the short one, along with my dressage trainer and two of our quadrille members. The wine was good…
Looks like the wine was good for the other guests too.
The “monster” painting in the background. Good thing it wasn’t interested in partaking of wine.
Interested, friendly, inquiring group of guests. I was kept busy most of the evening answering questions. Barely had time to snap a few photos.
I also had the opportunity to give a talk to an art history class visiting the exhibit, and to answer a multitude of their questions. I so enjoy conversing with folks who are genuinely interested in my art, and this evening’s experience was one of the best I have ever had! Thanks awesomely due to the curator, Susan Wilczak, and all the others who helped put this event together!
Waiting for paint to dry…
A couple of light transparent coats of paint on the horse now. Will have to wait for them to dry for a day before going over with more paint. If I don’t wait long enough, the new coats will lift off some of the paint underneath because each coat has a lot of painting medium in it to make it semi-transparent. That medium dissolves what’s underneath if I get at all aggressive with the brushwork before the undercoats have pretty much set up. Crazy, but that’s the way I like to do it to get lots of depth in the layers.
Lucky for me, I have a “painting day off” tomorrow because it’s the day for the opening reception of my solo show at the Gallery at the Inn at Harbor Shores in St. Joseph, MI. I’ll be running around getting some things in order before I have to head off to St. Joe…
Love the glowing greenery!
Wanted to make sure the greens didn’t stray too far into the yellow spectrum. I have a habit of doing that. Which isn’t to say that it’s a bad thing (see this post of Windstorm and Reugan) but in this case yellow isn’t going to work too well when Glory’s reddish-dark brown-black coat gets layered in. Onward!
Ink undercoat for Glory’s portrait
It may look “scratchy” now, but when the paint is over it the ink will give a nice texture to the coat. I guess the choice is either thousands of ink strokes or thousands of tiny brush strokes to get a similar effect, and for me the ink has worked out every time. Doing the ink first also allows me to really get a handle on whether or not my original drawing was accurate. I always find myself making small corrections as I lay the ink in. Then when it comes to the paint I don’t have to think so much about the draftsmanship accuracy and can concentrate on getting the color right.
Posted in art, drawing, horse portrait, horses, ink drawings, oil paintings, painting techniques
Tagged art, horse portrait, horses, ink drawings, oil painting
Pencil drawing for “Glory”, on 16 x 20 canvas
My super understanding client ordered portraits of her two Appaloosas way back in August when I was in the middle of creating a swarm of lily pad paintings. I told her I couldn’t start until late September/early October and she graciously accepted the delayed start. Both horses are “blanket” Appies, with more or less white hair mixed in with the larger dark areas. The spots themselves present no special challenge, but it will require some finesse to get the roan areas working right.
This is where my occasionally applied ink undercoating will come in handy. Here’s a photo of a blue roan Appy I did as a demo piece for my booth way back when.
The salt-and-pepper roan areas show off quite nicely using crosshatch ink strokes underneath the paint.
This will work quite well for Glory, who is dark gray/black. We’ll see what tricks I come up with for the second horse, Lakota, who is a red roan. Last year I did a reddish Appy on Aquabord™ but he was just spots, no blanket and no dark areas–so that was a snap to do by comparison. Here’s Chesney–
We have spots…
Update to come when Glory gets some ink.
Posted in art, drawing, horse portrait, horses, ink drawings, oil paintings, painting techniques, Uncategorized
Tagged art, artist challenges, horse portrait, horses, ink drawings, oil painting