Sunday, May 25, 2014

Twilight Reverie; Painting The Horse

"Twilight Reverie", horse oil painting on canvas

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and the weather is beautiful, the trees are finally leafing out and Spring bulbs are blooming here in NW MIchigan. I’m ignoring reports that there is still ice on Lake Superior. 

My kids are here visiting, but since I can’t do much yet, I’ve spent two days in the studio working on two different paintings. The first one just consisted of getting the image drawn on the canvas and then reinforcing the lines by painting over them with a tiny brush. Nothing exciting to see there. 

The second painting is the one above. The first layer of paint was applied to the horse and the bit of sky that shows. I had problems that slowed the process. For one thing, the paint was thick. For another I had problems with paint brushes. I felt like Goldilocks and The Three Bears; some brushes were too stiff and some too soft. The paint either was going on unevenly or I had little control over what the brush did with the paint. I finally found some that worked and managed to finish the horse in one day. 

When the work session ended and I looked at the painting, I wasn’t very pleased with the results. Then I took out my trusty red acetate report cover and looked at the painting through it. The red makes the color dissolve pretty much into only values of light and dark. Immediately it was obvious that I had gotten the light areas within the horse too light which was causing the horse to have a kind of disjointed look. 

Then I felt better. With the next application of paint, I can correct that. All of the preparation work of doing the planning and the color study are now paying off. The painting has a long way to go yet, but it is well under way now, and I have high hopes for it. 

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