Archive for May, 2009

Horse Portrait Progress

Here is the progress so far. His face looks a little wonky as I have yet to fully sort out the highlights and shadows (especially on the left.) I have to put in the neck area before those decisions are made. Also I think his marking being off center throws it all a bit. We’ll see how it ends up in a day or so. (That’s my overly optimistic estimation of how long until I can complete this piece.)

I was unable to post yesterday due to thunderstorms rolling through the area. This has been pretty much a daily occurrence now for a couple of weeks.

Unfortunately all this rain and lightening is also slowing the progress of getting my pasture fence completed. Nothing says death wish more than walking through an open grassy expanse where the tallest object is me carrying an armload of metal poles in a thunderstorm.

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Moving Over To The Dark Side

Okay, I am such a sci-fi geek that I couldn’t resist.

I got a little anxious to work in some darker values so I slipped over to the shadow side of his face today. Though I currently have only the base coat in on this side, I am looking forward to the richer colors of the dark side.

I am chin deep in framing, I have my first art event in a couple of weeks and have yet to check my inventories and prepare for it. The gallery is in serious need of a complete cleaning. And I blissfully ignored it all today and just worked on my horse painting. Ahhhhh.

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Chicory's Horse Portrait

So here it is after a few more hours on Sunday afternoon. I know it doesn’t really look like a lot of progress has been made, but bear in mind this is just about life sized.

I am looking forward to starting the right side. It will be the shadow side so I can play with some richer colors and also add contrast.

The grapevines of wrath
My morning was spent pulling well established (like over 10 year old ) grape vines out of incredibly old (like 70 year old) barbed wire fence. It will be a miracle if I don’t get Tetnus. These things are like trees, except the are all twisty and gnarly and grown into the fence. The fence and the vines have officially become one.

I tried to convince my husband that the smart thing to do would be to drop in new posts a few feet from the old fence line. He didn’t agree. So we spent the morning, hack saw in hand, cutting and pulling and occasionally swearing.

All the while Chicory was watching, head held high, stone statue still. Except every few minutes he would spin around, squeal and buck. Then take off in a gallop around his paddock. Only to charge the fence and do a rolling stop any reining champion would be proud of. Upon which he would resume his statue pose while giving me the eye. All of this equine drama was his way of saying “let me the heck out there with you guys!”

I took a break and came in to the gallery today to work on my Soul portrait. But rest assured I have a full evening of viney entertainment ahead of me.

By the way, we use an electrified rope for Chicory’s pasture fence that is run well inside of the barbed wire. But if we didn’t remove the grapes, they would short out the fence.

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Soul Chicory’s Portrait
watercolor pencil on suede

Yeah Okay, so it’s not much to look at yet. This is the very early stages with only the base coloring in.

Spring is here with so much going on (like putting in new fence line for Chicory’s pasture) I have to be even more diligent in setting aside some creative time. (Not to mention blogging time.)


The other bit of news is while at my recent trip to Wet Paint (the best art supply store in the area) I picked up a few water soluble ink pencils made by Derwent called Inktense. They are touted as being like watercolor pencils except better, in that they have a more intense color.And that after the color has been wetted and then allowed to dry, it becomes permanent. So, in theory you can layer on more colors without things becoming muddy.

So far I like them. SInce I’ve only played with them on the suede however, I can’t really say if they are superior to the watercolor pencils but I’ll let you know when I find out.

Oh and why do I think Wet Paint is the best art supply store in the area? Because it has open stock (the ability to just buy an individual item without committing to a whole set) on just about everything. Because I was able to buy open stock, I tried out Faber Castell WC pencils (and then bought the set) and all my oil pastels sets were first tried out as a few sticks of color bought as open stock from Wet Paint.

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A New Project

As it was Sunday I decided to begin my portrait of Chicory. I got it drawn out and traced over to the suede board. But since that is all that has happened I didn’t bother to take any photos.

This is finally the realization of a study I did of him about 10 years ago. (Image color is way off here.) We were just beginning this “art thing” that we do, and we needed some images in print. (At that time we were pretty much doing only 8 1/2 x 11) So we printed it. And it not only sold, but it sold well. This is a large part of why I haven’t redone it in all these years. The “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” concept.

Well it’s time has come. It still sells really well but at this point the quality level is far below my current standard. It’s not a bad image, it just no longer looks like my work, technique wise.

Also the only complaint I ever received about it was it is too small. Which it is. The original measures only 5 1/2 x 8 inches. The new and improved Soul will be about 15 x 20. (nearly life sized)

Initially I thought I’d invert my reference photo (photo above right is the inverted version) so it would match the direction of my original study (Of course I’d flip the markings.) I like him facing that direction since people read left to right it allows the eye to travel easily.

However I decide to leave it in the direction of the original photo so it would distinguish itself from the study.

So there you go. As soon as I have something worth taking a work in progress photo of, I will.

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