Friday, January 29, 2010

Back To Easy Rider

“Easy Rider” 11 x 14 pencil equestrian drawing

Well, it seems that my little painting of the JRT has made a hit. His owner sent me more photos of him and her new JRT and has given me permission to use one of them for a painting. It seems that I may be going to the dogs these days.

But, in the meantime, I made more progress on Easy Rider. I had hoped to get enough of it done to use in an ad in Horses In Art magazine, but a lingering sinus infection has slowed me down for the past week. So, I sent in another image instead. If you aren’t aware of this magazine, it’s a real treat for the horse art lover. You can subscribe online, too.

This dressage horse equestrian drawing will need some tweaking yet, and the background needs to be finished, but it’s coming along nicely now. Considering how long it’s lingered in the studio, that’s a very encouraging thing!

After an unusually long January thaw, we’re now back to real winter, with strong winds and blowing snow and icy roads. I’m SO glad I got new tires on my Subaru three weeks ago because they saved me from an accident soon after. The car ahead of me lost control on black ice when he put on his brakes (not a wise thing to do), but I was able to slow down enough without a bit of sliding to avoid him as he ran into the snowbank. Whew! Good winter tires DO make a difference!

At any rate, the weather makes the studio a cosy place to be on a blustery day, and I’m busy planning my next work to land on the easel or drawing board. Today we ran errands in Traverse City, and I picked up a new AC adapter-charger thing for my laptop. Now that I’m back in the studio fairly regularly, I’ll need it for viewing reference photos beside the easel. I have so many great digital photos to work from now, and I’m anxious to create some great art from them. I plan to create a series of Horse Show Dogs paintings in addition to the horse art works.

That’s all for now, folks. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Man On A Mission"

“Man On A Mission” 8x10 oil painting on canvas board

I had an email from my mentor recently. “You need to do some one hour paintings! Use big brushes and heavy paint”.

I must admit that this assignment was thoroughly intimidating because I’m a very slow, careful painter, but I knew it would be an excellent exercise to “loosen me up”. For my first attempt, I chose a foal photo, but decided that it was too complex an image for my first one hour painting. So, I found this simple photo of Spinner, a Jack Russell Terrier who belongs to a friend and sometimes riding instructor.

Yesterday I forced myself into the studio, and this was the result. I used a #12 bristle flat to apply a tone to the canvas and then used #8 synthetic flats to draw and paint the dog and the background. I cheated a little by using a round bristle for some of the small details, but that was it. I managed to do the dog in one hour but then spent another hour applying the background and fussing over the dog. I probably could easily have stretched the time into another 2-3 hours to refine everything but resisted the urge and put down the brushes.

I’m supposed to do a couple of these per week and already have a German Shepherd picked out to do next. It’s quite a departure from my usual cautious and detailed style and requires real discipline to resist the urge to pick, pick, pick at the painting. Now I’m looking forward to doing the next one.

I don’t think I’m in any danger of becoming a “loose woman”, but you never know.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Riding Into The New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! Did you all have a satisfying holiday season, and are you ready to plunge into this new year with renewed optimism and determination?

As for my part, I’m doing something different from my usual New Year routine. Instead of spending days on the end of year analysis and setting goals for the incoming year, I’m starting off by spending some time in the studio. Maybe this way I can keep the momentum going and not get side tracked by extraneous “stuff”.

Since “Easy Rider” was still on the drawing board, it is the first piece to get attention, and I’m getting very eager to finish it. There will be many adjustments to make as I work out the lighting issues, but it’s looking good so far. But, there’s something about that left foreleg that isn’t quite right. Could the head be a tad too large? Was there some distortion in the reference photograph that I didn’t notice until seeing the drawing in the small version? Hmmm.

This equestrian dressage drawing is approximately 11 x 14 inches in pencil on paper.

For my next project, I’ve already picked out a photo of a kitten; our own beloved Annie whom we lost last Christmas. I’ll be doing that in pastel before plunging back into the oils.