An artist's journal.
Here you'll find my paintings and musings, where the featured subjects could likely cover just about anything.
The last 4+ years I've been caring for my best buddy B during his courageous fight to live through cancer and it's complications. I'm tickled to report, he's getting better and I'm finding small bits of painting time again.

Looking forward to a daily celebration of life's gifts by using the brightest, happiest colors in the box!

Visitors looking for 'B's Journey', click here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Annie~Portrait of a Wild Mustang

Started a new commission piece. It's been a long time since I've accepted any commission work. As many of you know, B's illness has kept me out of the studio for quite a long while.

The gracious client of this commission is okay with me perhaps missing the delivery deadline if any issue with B's health pops up and keeps me out of my studio for a while.
That said, I've got a few days of painting in and I'm actually making pretty good headway so far. Hopefully (in a perfect world) I will be able to deliver this portrait of my client's wild mustang, Annie, right on time.

Annie's owner wanted me to work from a photo she had with this unusual cropping of her horse's face.
This cropping feels like pop art, so I'm taking a bit of artistic liberty, and will include very small hints of a contrasting color peeking out along edges here and there throughout the painting. This will add to the painting's modern, bold feeling, while still allowing me to be true to Annie's beautiful reds and golden white colors. It will be yummy!

Here, I began the painting by adding a black border on the
24" x 36"
canvas to accommodate the reference photo's unusual long, narrow size.
Then, I blocked in most of her dark lines with black and purple.
Next I washed the whole canvas with transparent Phthalo Blue and a bit of Thio Violet.
Almost all of the blue and violet will disappear as I add the opaque top coat colors. I will only let small bits of these under painted colors peek through here and there to add interest to the finished piece. I can control how much or how little I let show as I proceed and will let the painting tell me what is right. These hints of modern color will work great with the bold cropping.

Below I've started to add the opaque rusts and red tones of Annie's coat. I also worked a bit on her eye, although it still needs some tweaking to make it come alive. It is the main focal point, so I want it to be spot on when finished. It is, after all, the window to this beautiful horse's soul.

I still haven't worked on Annie's mane, which will be a warm golden color with white highlights. I'll start that in my next session. Remember, most of the blue you see will disappear, with only smidgeons peeking through around the edges here and there.

Here's a close-up detail of the eye. You can see the rough brush strokes that will ultimately be softened as I finish bringing her to life.

My 60's painting (below) is on hold until the commissioned piece is done.
I did block in a tambourine, VW microbus and another flowered square before I accepted the horse portrait, but those squares look like the pages of a coloring book, with just black outlined drawings. I still love playing with coloring books and it will be fun coloring in these new designs.

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"There are days when I feel I could've painted the Sistine Chapel and, then, there are the days when I'm not sure I could trace a stick figure.... the only difference between these days is my state of mind"~ Jenna Millward Corkill