Friday, May 23, 2014

Dot, The Horse...

This was a commission painting that I was asked to do by a friend for a friend who had to give up a horse.  The friend ended up moving into town and had to give up her horse because there wasn’t the room in town.  I imagine that was very hard.  My wonderful friend thought that it would be nice to have a painting to remember the beloved horse. 

I must admit that I had never painted a horse before and was a bit uncomfortable with painting a horse that actually looked like a horse.  I know that may sound silly but these things can sometimes be a challenge.  Also, the other part of the challenge was that I only had one photo to go off of.  The photo of the horse was mostly in shadow and rather dark.
The Photo of Dot that I worked from.
I started out doing a great deal of searching on line for photos and paintings of horses to figure out how to best approach the subject matter.  I then did a fair amount of sketching and drawing as a prelim to get a better feel for how to approach the actual painting.  I will tell you that some of the drawings looked like oversized ant eaters!  LOL! 

After doing a fair amount of drawing and sketching, I did some prelim sketches of various sizes.  My friend wasn’t sure which size painting would be best.  So, in an attempt to give her a feel of the different sizes, I sketched 5 different sized drawing.  She decided that she liked the 12” x 12” size best.

Another struggle for me was which way to go on the browns of the horse.  I played around for a week on scratch sheets of watercolor paper blending different browns—from golden shades to rusty shades to gray versions.  Ok, I’ll admit I may have been over analyzing but I wanted to get it to where I felt right about the right colors.  I ended up using quite a few of the browns that I had “experimented” with.

Then, my wonderful friend waited patiently while I slowly painted the actual painting.  Another 3 weeks later and I was FINALLY done with it. My friend came over and I had her take a look at it.  She smiled and said she liked it but as I looked at it with her I saw some fixes I needed to do.  They always say an artist is their own worst critic and I find that it’s very true for me. 

Another week later, and I made those changes and then I signed it.  I’ve made this rule with myself that once I’ve signed it I step away from the painting.  It’s done and I really do hope that my friend’s friend enjoys the thoughtful gift.  Here’s the finished piece that I call “Dot, The Horse”….
"Dot, The Horse"; Watercolor on 13.5" x 13.5" Paper.
Thanks for stopping by and I welcome any comments you may have!