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Monday, October 1, 2012

Ghosts and their horses

 This is a progression of the first commission which I completed recently. It is the first of a few references which I received from a "high profile" individual, who, frustratingly,  I know very little about.  The little I do know, I'm not at liberty to divulge. I really try and personalize my commissions but knowing next to nothing about this family, and given strict instructions to paint "the reference"only ("yes sir"!!!)  any artistic license which I may have been tempted to claim, has been squished!!
 Step two:  completing the background in layers, waiting for each to dry.  Patience is a necessary virtue here....hell on the nerves if you have two weeks to complete it by!!  If your paint is thin enough, it should work out well.
 Next, I started layering from the top left-hand corner, deciding on the base color and painting in the natural direction of the muscles, thinning out and thickening where the shadow occurs.  This makes it easier when working in the last layers of light or shadow
 I continued with this, working in sections.
 Being a dark colour, fortunately, it dried quickly so this part was quick (as quick as an anal artist could find it)  I worked in the white after the darker colors were takes a whole lot longer to dry and there is more chance of smooshing white all over the place ... (like always get covered with blue paint even when the darn tube is capped....whats with that???....or finding spinach in your teeth when all you've eaten is a jub-jub!)
 I worked from left to right as usual but didn't move down to grass level as that still needed layering before I could do the legs.
At this point, I was standing away from the painting a lot to ensure I've managed to capture the perspective, colors and shades and was going from one thing to another to correct and fill in as they came to my attention.
(I once painted an entire penis and only realized it once a fellow artist started laughing and I took a few steps back to actually SEE the picture)
 Once the grass was painted in, in the distance, only then could I start doing the legs and tail.  The fur was largely done using a fairly long rigger loaded with really thin paint. 
 Almost done, I was in a panic at this stage to ensure all the white had been added as the drying time is really long...especially if the weather is cold or rainy (which it was).  the white feet had to be completely dry before I could paint in the foreground. 
Done!  I hate painting in grass.  Its tedious and I'm still learning that less is more....i.e., sometimes using only a little detail in the foreground will create a better picture.

Because thin layers were used throughout, a week's drying time was adequate for me to cover in a thin gloss varnish.  I love using varnish as it enhances the color of your painting, especially if, like me, you are not a colorist.

Happily, my secretive client really loved her painting and a day later, I received a few more to do.


  1. He is a big boy... but well done Sharon another lovely painting.