Horse study . . .

March 18, 2012

I have been endeavouring to paint a fondly-loved pair of horses for a friend of mine.  Were I to choose my own equine subject matter, I would likely have preferred more than two, or where they weren’t quite so front and centre.  I have painted horses before, but lack confidence due to not being raised around them.  I lack fundamental knowledge of what they are like, i.e. horse sense (groan).

A beginning (from the rear)

"Charging ahead from behind"

Starting from behind . . .

"Odur" nears completion . . .

"Lettir" joins "Odur"

"Lettir" joins "Odur"

Sky is dropped in with a few strokes

wash of sky is dropped in with a few strokes . . .

"Odur" and "Lettir"

"Odur" and "Lettir"

The horses aren’t too bad, but the sky is too blue, and the field too green.  I am also not thrilled I added the stone wall, as it cuts a swath right through the middle.  So . . . back to the proverbial drawing board.   I will keep you posted, and provide the next instalment.

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78 Responses to “Horse study . . .”

  1. Thank you, fellow artist!

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  2. nonoymanga said

    Sir your very good in perspective and colors combination. A very fine art. Thanks for sharing Nonoy Manga

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  3. It is so good of you to stop by and offer these words of support and encouragement, Chito!

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  4. I am thrilled seeing the horses unfold in the series.
    The step-by-step process is an interesting tutorial.
    Thanks for this; looking forward to the culmination.

    Shine on!
    😉

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  5. How very sweet of you to say this! However, believe me, just as one can put too much tamarind in the singagong, painters like me can make a sky too blue and grass too green (smile). I am enjoying your recipes very much. They are traditional, with a flare!

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  6. gghie said

    I love everything horses and barns, beaches and lakes.
    I think you can never go wrong with what you paint, it’s an expression of how you feel or feeling the moment your fingers touch that paintbrush.

    The sky can never be too blue and the grass can never too green!

    I’m not an expert on painting but I know what I like. And this I Like! 😉

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  7. very kind of you to say this, thank you very much!

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  8. You really did these horses very well, and I love horses… 🙂

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  9. Thank you for being so effusive, and I compliment you on your photos, your new room design and getting that truly great photo of your city lit up by lightning!

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  10. I think the sky looks beautiful and it makes the horses stand out.
    Love seeing the sequence of this work; you are such a great artist.

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  11. Thank you for stopping by and giving such encouraging words, Dave. We are all pleased having you bring Nia into your fold. She is such a wonderful person!

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  12. Dave said

    Well, Lance, I can’t decide which version I like better. I think the sky is stronger in this one and that really appeals to me, plus Odur and Lettir seem to be a bit more prominent and Odur seems more majestic because of the line of his back and neck and his higher position relative to Lettir. I really like how you show the process of your art. Thanks so much!

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  13. I love your horse photographs, Laz–thank you for this

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  14. I love the process!!! This reminds me of a picture I took, of the mother horse and her baby, with sort of the same angles I will post it so you can see it, the baby is right under her head the opposite way, great picture, Mr!!

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  15. Thank you for being so generous in your support, Fergie. Your art comes through your lens and haiku! I love the pelican briefs (smile)

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  16. Fergiemoto said

    I enjoyed seeing the progression! I would be happy if I could do anything decent with paints. Thanks for sharing, I just adore horses!

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  17. Your kindness is appreciated very much and I was cheered further by your site’s positive message.

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  18. sojourner said

    You are such a gifted artist!

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  19. Thank you for taking the trouble to find my site and leave your helpful remarks. I was looking at your site and the discussion concerning ‘down times’ for artists–when things aren’t quite going right. I believe the great masters produced so many abundant and inspired works simply because they weren’t afforded the luxury of getting all depressed. It was paint, or starve. In the case of these horses, I might normally get somewhat discouraged over them, but I have a deadline to meet (smile) — instant cure for ennui. Thank you for your encouraging words today.

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  20. hi, I found your blog through High River Arts, who had just liked one of my posts.

    I’ve also worked intensively with watercolours, but not recently. I like the first 3 stages of your horse painting the best, where it is a lot like a Chinese brush painting.

    I agree with your self critique about the background,and appreciate your humilty. But I also really like your eye, your obvious expertise in the medium and the beautiful watery shading you got at the start of the painting. sarah

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  21. I will have to look up Mr. Stubbs–thank you for the tip and your very supportive words. You are always very encouraging in all your comments to bloggers, I’ve noticed. Thank you for yours to me today, Lisa.

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  22. I am enjoying your photos of your dog Linus. Great post. Thank you for your encouraging words. Watercolour does demand a kind of controlled daring–and too much of either is fatal–but one lives for another go at it! thank you very much.

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  23. ljr3 said

    I would have to say watercolours are the hardest to work with although I love the results that are possible. It must be frustrating for you to start again but at the same time it shows that even the best of artists have their down days. Anyone can display their best work but it takes a special kind of person to show mistakes. I’m sure you will come up with a fantastic painting in the end!

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  24. beautiful horses! Do you need a background? George Stubbs painted Whistlejacket without a background and it’s a magnificent painting. Having said that, if you gave this painting to me I would be mighty pleased with it!

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  25. That is a very uplifting thing to read, Russell, and I am enjoying how you find beauty all around you through your lens! Thank you very much for taking the time to stop in here.

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  26. Thanks very much D.M. much appreciated!

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  27. Awesome post! Thanks for showing how a painting evolves. It’s amazing to me who was born with ten thumbs. I have no skill with my hands, or hand to eye coordination. I so admire anyone with your abilities. And your communication skills are great. Kudos!

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  28. I love the positoning of the horses, especially in relation to each other, and the movement of their bodies, Lance. It will be fascinating how you continue with this. But I like it very much!

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  29. absolutely spot on, Jane. However . . . that ain’t in the cards, so we soldier on. (smile)

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  30. with “your” thoughts

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  31. I agree with you thoughts about the painting Lance. To “know” the physiology of a horse, you need to be intimately acquainted.
    You don’t have to ride one but learning to groom one and watch how they move their bodies in motion will give you all the information you need:)

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  32. Thanks and you just made my day. And, thank you for all your support…;)

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  33. I enjoy yours very much as well–fingers crossed!

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  34. orples said

    Thank you for the wish of luck. I hope the orples series will take off. If not, life goes on. I do enjoy your work, so if you change your mind, the award is there for you for the taking. Accept it, or not, at your discretion.

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  35. I’m very honoured, orples, yet you’re going to have to forgive me. Please do nominate another in my place, while accepting my gratitude. I am enjoying what Oscar and Jack and Olivia are up to–looks very summery, I must say, up there in that leafy tree! Good luck with your sales on amazon!

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  36. orples said

    Greetings Lance, First let me say, you knew I wouldn’t let these horses slide by, without checking out your work … beautiful job! It seems like you have a knack for it all. So much, so, in fact, I’ve nominated you for the “Kreative Blogger Award”. Please post it on your blog site with pride and admiration to you from me for a job well done. Anytime you find the time to pick up the link, come on by and nab your reward, sir. In the meantime, keep up the good work! 🙂

    http://orples.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/kreative-blogger-award/

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  37. Francina said

    Not too worry, dear Lance, I know about your thoughts on awards 🙂

    Ciao, Francina

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  38. You are very sweet, Francina! On my ‘about’ page I explain how I can’t seem to manage these awards–but it is grand of you to think of me–and I truly appreciate the sentiment.

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  39. Good suggestion. I do believe I’ll place them in a treed area which the original photo includes. They were hoping I’d do that to begin with, so I think that may solve it. I was going to perhaps change the stone fence to a rail, and like you say, angle it differently. But fences have a way of biting an artist in the you-know-what, because the eye immediately follows them instead of zeroing-in on the subject. As soon as I put this one in, I knew I’d ‘done it again’, cursing myself.

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  40. Francina said

    Hi Lance,

    I have nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award. Just a token of my appreciation of your beautiful paintings.

    http://seasonspoetry.com/2012/03/19/versatile-2-beautiful-blogger-award/

    Ciao,
    Francina

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  41. George Weaver said

    Lance, you know how nosy I am…and a bit bossy too. Nobody, who isn’t as shameless as I, would dare to advise a renown artist re: how to compose a watercolor!

    I have thought about that painting since yesterday. What would happen if you angled the stone fence toward the center back of the painting so it kind of disappears? Would that add depth and avoid the line across the painting that you don’t like?

    Please forgive me for being such an old busybody! I just cannot help myself. Oh, how I wish I could paint. If I had one wish for something I cannot do, it would be to have your kind of vision and ability to put it on paper!

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  42. Thank you for being so supportive, Rhonda–I really enjoy your site and how you make use of so many different materials to create beautiful pieces.

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  43. Thank you m’dear. Your site is very inspiring, I must say.

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  44. Thank you for the support and encouragement. Today I’m going to remove the straw mulch and see what’s poking up, and what may not have made it through the Winter. We’re officially in Growing Zone 4, but I actually have perennials meant for Growing Zone 9. Ridiculous, I know, but just maybe they survived.

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  45. You are the soul of generosity. I thoroughly enjoy watching you paint through story and camera.

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  46. rhondablue said

    I think you did a great job considering. Horses are hard to draw or paint. One of my friends always said if you could draw a good horse, you could draw anything. I can’t wait to see the next one 🙂

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  47. Thank you, T. B. Things have to be just so, sometimes (smile).

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  48. Thank you also Graham–after all the fascinating photos you bring us, the pleasure is all mine, believe me.

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  49. Thank you again for bringing a smile, and encouraging words. You’re very uplifting, Saroji.

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  50. Thank you Robert, very much. You have a way of making the everyday spring to new life–I really like your latest wall photos.

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  51. TBM said

    I like seeing the progression. Sorry this one turned out to be a disappointment, but I’m excited to see the next round!

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  52. Thanks for sharing these – I always find it fascinating to the see the progress at different stages in the work.

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  53. futlooz said

    Odur looks majestic to me and both the horses compliment each other in temperament. And I so love the blue sky, and I am waiting for the next instalment! 🙂

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  54. Amazing. Seeing how it all comes together is just fascinating. And I like the colors, I think they’re just fine! 🙂

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  55. Loved seeing the process; the horses are so graceful in their curves, their expressions.

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  56. Wonderful creative process 😉

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  57. George Weaver said

    Leave the stone wall. “Something” will divide the land from the sky. Why not a stone fence? I think it adds a sense of place and time. Minimize it if you like, but leave it. I like watching you paint, my friend. It is a fascinating process.

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  58. Much appreciated Victor, I must say.

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  59. Thank you for your encouraging words, Nuno!

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  60. emjayzed said

    I think we can criticise ourselves to easily (I know I do!).

    I understand that having a vision in your own mind of what you want to achieve on the page, anything less is not enough. I’m often surprised when other people like something I’ve created but am not pleased with!

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  61. If a horse-lover likes it, I’m certainly not going to argue. I appreciate the endorsement, and the boost it gives my confidence. thank you, Boyd, alot.

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  62. I’m smiling. Thank you. I guess it’s in the ‘eye of the beholder’ category.

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  63. Victor Ho said

    Great evolution of creativity.

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  64. Nuno said

    Awesome! Thanks for showing the process. Very instructive. I love the textures for the bodies. I’ll be waiting for the next instalment.

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  65. niasunset said

    No, not like yours… I wish actually to paint like you but digital painting programs make me busy… 🙂 You are welcome dear Lance, with my love, nia

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  66. BoJo Photo said

    That is awesome. I love horses. Grew up with horses. They are amazing animals. Their senses are mind blowing. Lovely painting capturing the interaction of horses!!!

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  67. emjayzed said

    I think they’re beautiful. I like that the sky is “too blue” and the grass “too green”. It is how I think the world would be if it were perfect!

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  68. Thank you for sharing with me,too.

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  69. Thank you Nia–you are painting yourself these days!

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  70. So nice of you, Mags, thank you very much.

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  71. Thank you, Sandy–I am pleased you like seeing it develop.

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  72. kestrelart said

    But for all your reservations, I enjoy seeing the painting process. Thanks for sharing.

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  73. niasunset said

    Beautiful sharing and post… I know how much I love your works Thank you dear Lance, they are so lovely… With my love, nia

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  74. magsx2 said

    Hi,
    I love the way you have painted the horses, the ideal name that comes to mind is “Friends Forever”, it is a very touching painting I feel and shows the friendship between these two beautiful animals. Well done. 🙂

    Like

  75. sandy said

    Watching the creative process is so interesting!

    Like

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