Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cowboys and Miniatures are like peas and carrots...

Saddlin' Up, 11X14, oil on linen panel

Hi Everybody,
This painting is of a Texas Cowboy. After lunch he's ready to get back out to finish the day's work. It's a simple scene, with a simple story. But those are the one's I seem to gravitate to. Nothing preachy or profound or political. Just regular people going about their business. Of course, when I try to saddle up, my horse jigs and dances all over the place. Cow horses have a lot more training than the one's I get to ride. Or maybe it's just user error (more likely).

In this sun drenched painting, there is light bouncing all over the place. It really does hurt your eyes when you are actually on site. So it's important to paint reflected light, but not to paint it so brightly that it competes with the sunlit areas. I used to paint the reflected light too bright and wondered why things were out of whack. After all, if a little is good, then a lot must be better, right? Always control and compare your values and you won't have to regret (or repaint) it later.

I'm going through this stage where I'm finding that I enjoy painting the miniatures more than I enjoy doing the larger paintings. Although, I really like how the larger paintings look when they're done and hanging on a wall. There is much more enjoyment for me to paint something quickly and see it come together. It must be AADD, Artist Attention Deficit Disorder.

I'll be visiting Alaska to see family, and will be bringing my paintbox to finally get out of the studio and get some location work done! I expect to do a lot of scraping. I'll post anything that makes it past my palette knife.

Thanks for lookin', Steve


Teresa said...

Beautiful painting, and the light is perfect! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I could relate to "After all, if a little is good, than a lot must be better, right?" Hope you have a great time in Alaska - I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Karen Hargett said...

I love this one - the story it tells and how you describe it in paint. The lighting is wonderful. Makes me want to go ride.

Have fun in Alaska - can't wait to see what you paint there.

Steve Atkinson said...

Thanks Teresa and Karen! I'm in Alaska now and having so much fun with the nieces that I don't seem to be making enough time to paint. I did do one, but my nieces (9 and 7) persuaded me to let them have it, so of course I said YES! I'll get out again.

Thanks for the posts and your encouragement. I appreciate you taking the time to write.

Having fun in Alaska, Steve

Rusty Jones said...

Great painting Steve. Meant to leave a comment on "Into the Light" but got off task. The thing about Alaska is the sun never sets, so there's plenty of time to paint. If not painting surely there's time to fish.
Congrats on the Bosque show. Haven't made it by the show, but will before August.

Steve Atkinson said...

Hi Rusty,
Thanks for the comment. Always a nice surprise to see when you leave a new one.

Don't get over to Bosque just yet. My show doesn't open till July 21st. I'll be flying down for a small opening reception on Friday nite, July 24th. I would love to see you there. But I also know it isn't just around the corner for you either.

Jennifer McChristian said...

Fantastic piece!
I love the reflected light bouncing off the horse's belly from the sun drenched ground.
Hope you're having a delightful time in Alaska with your family!

Steve Atkinson said...

Thanks Jennifer,
Alaska was a blast. A bit cloudy, but beautiful.

Thanks for your very nice feedback on Saddlin' Up, I'm happy to report that it just sold!!

Hope all is well with you and that you're painting like a fiend.