Monday, May 12, 2014


"The Plans I Have For You," 18 x 24 oil on canvas

A lot of artists have a hard time taking compliments.  I know it took me a long time to learn to say "thank you" rather than put myself down.  This post isn't about that, however.  I'm talking colour, not comments!

My palette is usually pretty limited.  Just like I don't wear bright colours, my paintings are generally pretty down to earth....literally.  Every now and then, though, I break out a little - at least for me!

Way back in Grade Nine art class, we learned about complementary colours.  A colour's complement is the one on the opposite side of the colour wheel. Even though I know what is where on the colour wheel, I still keep one tacked behind my easel!  Saves having to think too hard some days!  Then, back in 2009 when I took a workshop with Val Hinz, we did some paintings using complementary colours for the underpainting. For a horse, you have to extrapolate a little, of course:  bay = red, so complement is green;  chestnut = orange, complement is blue, and so on.   I really like the result, and have done a few paintings this way.  This quick study below was one:

"The Yearling" oil on canvas panel, $75.00

Skip forward to August 2013.  While having lunch with my friend and fellow artist/photographer Renee Fukumoto, we decided we needed to do some kind of "challenge."  We settled on using one of her photos of her very handsome Standardbred, Remi.  The photo was absolutely gorgeous.  I decided on my crop, then thought hey, maybe I'll try that old complementary colour underpainting for this.  It was kind of fun posting the crazy in-progress photos on Facebook.  He was my Martian horse for a while!

Of course, the finished result was very different!  While on the one hand I'm disappointed I defaulted to going very realistic, it was, at least, a fresh way of getting there.  The painting is 18 x 24 oil on canvas, and the title I settled on is "The Plans I Have for You."

(Thanks Judy Wood for the gentle smack upside the head on my word usage, haha....I should know better!  And now I will never forget again!  ;-) )


Kpeters said...

I think it turned out wonderfully! very alive and grabs you. Well done!!

Anonymous said...

This painting of Remi is breathtaking. I may be a bit biased about the subject but the way you have used colour to capture both horse and scene make it rivetting.
(and thank you for the link back :) )

Linda H said...

Stunning!!! I love the colours and how they add a mystical feel to the painting!

T Myers said...

LOVE the yearling!