Saturday, December 17, 2005

An Arabian in Oil Pastel

I'm one of those artists who likes to have several pieces on the go at one time. Sometimes you just get to a point in one piece where you need to pause (or in the case of an oil painting, it needs to dry!), and working on something different allows you to step back and return with a fresh look. It's just one of the ways I use to constantly evaluate my progress with a painting. We artists tend to be notoriously hard on ourselves, our own worse critics, so I'm rarely completely happy with the end result, but there has to come a time when I look at it and decide it's done, though on occasion it's taken putting it behind glass to be sure I didn't fiddle further!

You've seen this little Arabian piece before, in one of my first posts. This little gelding was one of the many horses I photgraphed at the Can-Am Emporium in March this year. The lighting was poor, and only my brand new (at the time) DSLR Canon 20D let me get anything I could consider working from. It's been a challenge, but a fun one, to pull some lighting out of this one. I got back to it last Sunday, as I had some time watching over an art show myself and a couple of friends put together in our little town of Campbellville, thanks to the generous donation of another friend's shop space for the day.

Sometimes it's a bit tricky getting back into an oil pastel after it's been sitting, especially left at the stage this one had been. There is the risk of losing the "flow" so I struggled with this a bit, especially as I'd forgotten some of the pastels I had used when I started it at home! Now it's at the same stage as the Snowbaby -- I want to get it done! I expect I'll be working on a background for this. Sometimes I do things "backwards" with the OP, and work on the background last. That lets me pick and choose the colours that will work best for a cohesive end result.

Anyway, hopefully by the end of the weekend, I'll have both these little pieces just about done. I'm back in Campbellville tomorrow, so I'll be working while I'm there. And maybe I'll have some more progress on the Andalusian too!


Carrie L said...


I rather like this the way it is. You didn't say what type of support you were using, but it looks like suede. If it is, the suede might be all the background you need.

I am a bit envious of you, getting to go to shows and work while horses are in the neighborhood. *sigh*

Two cats just don't quite make up for no nearby horses!

Linda Shantz said...

Carrie, I'm working on Canson Mi-Tientes for this. It may not need a background...that's why I leave it till last!

It is great being able to look and the window and watch the horses. Of course, it's the ultimate distraction! They can be pretty entertaining.

I've been talking recently about setting up a web cam out at the barn. Initially I thought of it because of what happened to Luna -- if I'd had a camera, I might know what happened. Also, it would let me keep an eye on things when I need to be away (assuming I could get a wireless connection where I am, or had other access). But it would be kind of fun as an attraction for others as well!