Friday, January 25, 2008
Saratoga Dreaming, January Edition
I put my "First Time Past" painting aside today for a rest (for both of us!) and started work on a new one. This will be my second on Artfix linen, so we'll see if I learned anything from my struggles. It's an 8 x 10 oil, so less surface area to cover!
I took the reference for this painting on my first trip to Saratoga, in 2003. As someone who has spent a lot of time on the backstretch, this is a familiar scene. It was summer, of course, and after training each day, a horse is bathed (say it "bath'd" with the 'a' short...we don't "bathe" or "wash" racehorses!), and then walked. Naturally their feet get dirty again as they walk, so before going back in the stall, the groom will wash the horse's feet and dry the legs with a towel. It's all part of the routine...one that starts around 5AM, or did for me, way back when it was what I did for a living!
I've had this photo set aside for a long time. It's always appealed to me, but I wasn't sure I liked the composition as shot. With the painting, I've actually added the right foreleg as it wasn't visible in the photo, and it just didnt' look correct without it. You can kind of see me starting to work out how it should look as I go. I'm not done yet - I'm really only blocking in an underpainting of Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue and Titanium white so far, though I'm taking a few liberties and using the colour as colour. Just couldn't help it! The surface was toned with a light wash of Raw Sienna before I started. I'm really happy with how it came along today.
Spending some time on this little breather should let me get back to the larger, more complicated racing painting with some added inspiration. Right now, it's looking like time for bed!