July 12, 2010

shooting the breeze 2

The early stages of this painting went surprisingly, deceptively smoothly. I decided that I needed to "get the horse right" before proceeding, because without a technically correct horse nothing else would matter. I figured that if I could nail Abby, then I could use artistic license 'til the cows came home. So to speak. Heh. Anyway, here she is after the first day, mostly finished but minus her mane and tail. I did change the patterning of her overo colouring a bit, mostly because I'm too lazy to stick to the script! Ha! As you can see I took a conservative approach, leaning towards realism rather than my usual looser style, as I truly lack confidence when dealing with new subject matter.

My second day was all about getting the crow right, and planning the background. Again, deceptively smooth sailing. I knew I'd need a big chunk of time for the grass at the bottom as I was planning to use the layered Pratt grass (as some of my peeps like to call it) approach which is pretty labour intensive, so I stopped there.

That's where it all fell down. What I discovered, the hard way I might add, was that my method only works with fast-drying acrylic (or coloured pencil). The harder I tried to salvage the mounting disaster the worse it became. It was like trying to hold back a mudslide. Finally, at about 8 pm last night I rubbed the whole stinking mud puddle off, leaving the one part that worked. Chances are it'll be gone soon, too, as I rethink my approach.

And now I'm off shopping for a nice hat because I've torn all my hair out. The ear will be the next to go.


Melody said...

Wish I could say I don't know the feeling but unfortunately I do

paula said...

i love this so far, i dont understand the problems because i'm a painting idiot...but i love the horse and bird and will hope you find a way to push through your problem.
this really caught my eye on my blog sidebar :)

mrwriteon said...

I like the idea of the crow pondering the horse. I do hope it ultimately works.

Ponita in Real Life said...

So far, I quite like it, Andrea... grass problem or no. However, does the horse get another back leg? Or a hint of one? The crow looks like it is yammering on and the horse is dutifully listening... nice!

andrea said...

Hey thanks, all. I'm feeling a bit discouraged right now so "I write down what I feel in order to lower the fever of feeling." (Fernando Pessoa, Lisbon poet)

And Ponita: WHAT!? A four-legged horse? What will they think of next? :) Actually, I wasn't sure quite where I wanted to position it yet because, if you look at the photo in the previous post, the only part showing is the off hind hoof slightly forward of the near hind and I knew that hoof would be hidden in grass. In the end I have decided to place a shadowy section of the off hind behind the near hind (painted after photo #2).

Anonymous said...

HI Andrea,
I like the way the image is developing. The horse is strong and the way you've changed the position of the crow is much more dynamic (another profile would have been too static). Is there a feather sticking off the back of the crow? If so it gives it a bit of a tattered look.
Maybe you could use some of the pattern from the horse in your background, i.e. the sky, even turned sideways. This subtle repetition often helps to bind things together in ways that are not as obvious.
I like this idea for getting interaction with your work. I might try it out.

Hayden said...

Wow, reading forward through the last few posts is, as usual, an education. I love the horse, love the crow. Don't fully understand the problem with the grass, but am guessing that it has something to do with the way oil paint freely blends itself. But I thought that was 'dealt with' by allowing drying time. So we're back where we started, I don't have a clue about the problem.

But I love the horse and crow!

ValGalArt said...

beautiful work Andrea!

Hayden said...

thanks for clarifying that. Makes sense now.