Monday, February 2, 2009

Dressage Painting

12" x 16" oil on canvas
December 2007

I did this painting as a Christmas gift for my dad's partner just this last December. It is from a photograph my dad took of her and her horse doing dressage. I painted this in one day in no more than 7 hours. I tried scanning it but I used so much Liquin in it that it scanned as a big shiny glare, so this image is from two crappy photos combined.

As always, I took "progress" photos (and as always, I remember after I've blocked in about 2 square inches of canvas already):
• sketched in
Background blocked in
background and figures blocked in

One valuable tool I used on this piece was a silicone paint brush. I don't have it here with me and I cannot find anything like it online or I'd show you. It basically looks like a short-handled paintbrush, size 1 or 2, but instead of bristles it has a flexible silicone tip. They come in rounds and flats and the one I have is a strange sword-tip shape, like a round with two planes carved along it. I bought it because I thought it would be great for doing little details since it would never lose its point. Instead I learned it was horrible for laying down paint - it tended to wipe it off instead. So I began using it to clean up tiny accidents, a job for which it is well suited. On this painting, working wet-in-wet, I used it for scraping out the fence posts and the fence wire from the background so the red paint wouldn't mix in with the green, and also to give the fence posts white tips. It also worked well to help define the shadows on the arena rails, giving the edges a watercolor look. Yay! My brush finally came into its own. :)

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