Sunday, November 11, 2007
And Now For Something Completely Different...
Well, maybe not completely. It's still horses. And painting. And oils! Every now and then though, while working on these fairly regimented oils using an underpainting, it's time for a break. Sad, perhaps, that this is what artists do for fun! But we won't get into that right now!
A few weeks ago I decided I needed to do one of these. I had a canvas my dear Border Collie Swish had crashed into and torn at the bottom (note, at the bottom right!), so it was the perfect ground to play on. It had already been toned in raw sienna, so was already to go. I've got no shortage of reference photos and pulled out a head shot of Miss Monster as a three-year old. I remember the morning -- it was fall, misty, and I'd just brought her back from the track the night before, after being in for a couple of days to gallop and then work. I guess it was sort of the same for her, as it was for me to do this painting -- time to get some bucks out, get away from the restrictions of the "job". Needless to say she was alert snorting at the dragons in the trees.
I picked up the photo and just started painting on the canvas, and in three hours made myself stop. It was a cool experiment. The most interesting thing to me was that, in this photo, she looked a lot different from how she does today in her more relaxed state, and the painting actually looks more like her than the photo, so my right brain kind of took over on me there! I'm actually going to paint a loose background into this. I've been told I should leave the canvas whole, with the tear. Kinda like a used truck I learned about in my shopping travels that had a bullet in the door....(they took it out though; I thought that was much less interesting!).
This week, on the EAG Forum, we started talking about getting together for a kind of online "quick draw" similar to what I had done on my own. Wet Canvas, an online resource for artist, does these every weekend, calling them Weekend Drawing Events. When I was spending a lot of time on WC I did a number of them. They're great for taking a break, working fast and seeing if you can capture what's "important." I offered to host this EAG venture for its first official outing. Naturally then, it had a racing theme!
The photo I chose for myself was of the same racehorse and pony you've seen in my "paddock escort" painting (another one I need to post a final version for!). Interesting what comes out when you know you only have two hours. The palette of colours has to be very limited, and the brushes big. No stressing about detail, or you get carried away and don't get finished. This is 14 x 11 on Fredrix linen panel, done in just under two hours. It was a lot of fun. Of course, wet paint and incandescent lighting don't make for a very good photo, so it does look a bit better in real life. I will likely spend a little more time on this, and maybe start a new line of oil "studies" I can offer!