View Full Version : WIP - Arab headstudy

09-07-2004, 08:47 PM
Hi all -

Just wanted to share with you my first attempt at pastels in a loooooong time. I'm guessing it's been about 20 years but I don't remember for sure. I've been out of art for about that long and am now in a place in my life (with a supportive husband!) where I'm ready to start all over again.

I've started this one as practice for a pastel portrait commission that I received thanks to a colored pencil piece I recently did of a beagle named Molly, which I posted on cp and on animals. Way to go Molly!!

Obviously, this is not finished, but thought I'd get some c&c from the experts...PLEASE be honest! I've also posted the original image from the RIL -- thanks Rewston! As you can see, I tried to take off his 'trappings' and interpret what was under them...tough...any changes?

Paula Ford
09-07-2004, 10:29 PM
WOW, fabulous so far!!


K Taylor-Green
09-07-2004, 10:30 PM
Great start on this, Melissa. I like the crop. I don't like painting tack either. I only do it when I have to! Looking forward to updates.

09-08-2004, 10:02 AM
Thanks Paula! :wave:

And also thanks to you, Kate. I don't care to do tack either but in this case I think it might have been easier as it helped to define the contours of his face and reinforce the three quarter view of his head. AND it has been a bear trying to get that bit out of his mouth and make it look normal! :( Still not sure I've got it. (P.S. - I've been trying to get to your website to see your work but my *&%$# computer just won't open it! I'll keep trying though :) )

K Taylor-Green
09-08-2004, 10:59 AM
Ummm, I didn't think about the bit. Yeah, that would be tricky. I've attached a couple of my "naked" horse heads. The positions are not exactly like yours, but close. Maybe they will help with the mouth.

09-09-2004, 04:54 PM
Wow - this is awesome, Melissa. Do you have an update for us yet?

09-09-2004, 06:18 PM
Indeed its a wonderful ref image.... and you are doing a fantastic job on it ......its a beauty......

Deborah Secor
09-09-2004, 09:19 PM
This is a beautiful start! What paper are you using and what size is it? Your sensitivity to the details is really fantastic, especially after such a long break! Glad you're painting, and sharing here.

If I were you I'd analyze the angle of his eye. It seems to me that you've angled his whole head a little farther out from his body than in the ref--which is fine, of course--but perhaps that has affected the eye. It needs to slope with the head. Right now the arch over his eye is protruding a little too far out, giving a bit too much sharpness to it. I'm afraid the whole eye might need to sit farther back in the head but before going that route I'd try adding to the thickness of the zygomatic arch (okay, the bone over his eye! LOL--Don't know why I remember the name of that bone! I can't think of another bone name...) so that the slope over the eye is gentler. You've done such a beautiful job of painting the eye that I hope this fix works!

I must seem terribly picky, mentioning this one little thing, but this is a really nice rendering that I think merits a little more attention. Hope you show us updates!


09-10-2004, 09:04 PM
Thanks all! :wave: It's very encouraging to get such wonderful feedback!

Here is an update, although I haven't had much time to work on it. (I hope this works - it's my first time using my new scanner :rolleyes: )

Kate - thanks for the references on your horses (GREAT work, btw!), they really helped me to figure out a line for his mouth....I think. I also remembered an Arab I used to have who had just this expression on her face right before her ears would pin back and she'd try to bite me. Russian Arab :rolleyes: . So I tried to capture that here.

Deborah - you were right. I had changed the original sketch from just what you were describing because it seemed 'right' to me at the time. Now, with color added, I see what you mean. I didn't want to try to reposition the eye at this point, but I did play with the position and the zygomatic arch (woo-hoo! You really know your anatomy!!) and I think it fits better now. What do you think? I'm using Canson Mi-Teintes, light blue, and the image itself is about 8 x 10.

09-10-2004, 09:30 PM
this is looking beautiful Melissa. thanks for letting me know about it!
your doing him justice alright.
ill keep watching!


09-10-2004, 09:44 PM
Thanks Katy! BTW, where did you take this photo? Is he in Scotland?

09-11-2004, 09:02 AM
yes he is in Scotland. He hasnt sired any offspring yet but they are hoping to get an arab mare and put him up for stud in the next few years.