Sunday, April 11, 2010

First String Daily Painting Demo, Day 2+3

Hi Everybody, day 2 begins and I'm ready to start in on the horses. The first horse I will do is the white one on the far right side. For some reason, I had a senior moment and did not photograph the end of the first day with the two horses in on the right side, so just know that at the end of the second day, I had worked in the red metal swinging gate on the right side and two horses on the right side.

Here's what the first horse looked like when it was laid in. At this point, all the values were pretty close to what I wanted them to be. It's really important to me to get the reflected light bouncing from the ground onto it's undercarriage. Almost everything you paint will have reflected light. The stronger the light source, the stronger the reflected light. Remember your secondary light is light that's just what its sounds like, light that's being reflected from another object onto your subject's shadowed area. It's never as light as the directly lit area. It needs to read like it's still in the shadows, so be careful with your values here.

Closeup view of the first horse. Keep it simple. Don't put in every detail there is. Be selective, strive for accuracy of shapes, value, and color temp. You can always make adjustments later, but be as accurate as you can without putting in too much detail. Details don't make a successful painting! Mood, story, values, composition and edges do! For me, the painters who are most successful are the ones able to paint accurately, yet with a looseness. I love paintings where it looked like the painter had a good time painting it.

Another thing about this stage is: I know I'm going to be obscuring the hooves and lower legs of the horses with dust, so I don't waste a lot of time putting in details which will just be obscured later. I know I will be dry brushing the dust over the hoofs, coronets and pasterns because it has a very believable look to it when it's done this way.

The head and neck of the second horse after the lay in. Again, accuracy of shape, value and temps. One of the things that helps make the horse more believable (or any object, really), is making sure to put in warms and cools. You can see on the forehead and nose that I put in purple grays along with the yellows and oranges.

Here's a more detailed view of what I'm talking about. You can see how the warms and cools work together here to make a believable painting. It also shows how very little detail was painted in. No individual hairs were needed to convey the idea that he has a mane.

Here's where I left it at at the end of day three. All three of the horses are laid in. The faces, heads and necks have the most detail. Saddles and tack have less and the legs/hooves have the least, but more than they will have when the painting will be finished.

Thanks for looking! Steve


Jeremy Elder said...

Steve, thank you for taking the time to post your working process. I am learning a lot. Thanks also for posting the images so large, just looking at your paint application is enlightening.

I am excited to see how this continues to develop.

Steve Atkinson said...

You're welcome Jeremy. I like posting these because I think I learn a lot too. It makes you really think about what you're doing and why you do it.

paintlady said...

I love how you have a story with every painting post as you share and teach along with it.
Your blog is fresh and friendly and your art is dellightful.

Steve Atkinson said...

Thanks PaintLady! How lucky are you that you are an artist and happened to be named "PaintLady"! ;0) Talk about Destiny....