View Full Version : belgian horse wip

Becky Foster
07-16-2005, 11:07 AM
Well, here's the commission I've been working on...20x24, holbeins and senneliers on fredrix ultrasmooth stretched canvas. The purple blob in the lower left corner will be 2 mountains (one behind the other in the distance), and the sunset (or "back" of the sunset) will lead up to a pale shade of blue at the very top (probably the same shade I'm using for highlights in the harnesses), and I should be able to squeeze a little blue between the two horses ears to push out the orange a little. There will also be a green bar underneath, which should push the reds in the horses. The horses are in what I call the "skeleton stage", later, once the harnesses are detailed and cut in I'll be piling lots of thick coats of color onto them, and there'll be color in all that bright white too. Comments and critiques welcome, but I work in layers so trust me that this is still quite a ways from my vision :cat: Thanks for looking!


Pat Isaac
07-16-2005, 11:25 AM
Great start, Becky. This will be an awesome painting. I like the idea of the complements that you will be using.


07-16-2005, 02:34 PM
this is looking just awesome! Already with your 'skeleton stage' the form is excellent!

What are your plans for framing on this one?

07-16-2005, 02:54 PM
Hi Becky! It's very nice already! I love those harnesses particulary! You named a lot of things to fit into the left corner. I hope they'll be subdued enough ;)

I would recommend any animal painter to check out this classroom thread in Acrylics forum:
Tami is sharing a lot of pointers from her experience there; most are regardless of the medium. She's outstanding equine artist to say the least.

Becky Foster
07-16-2005, 03:56 PM
Thanks Pat, Carly and Alex!

Carly, I think I'll frame it in gold metal, under glass, but I need to check with the client first. My animal paintings always seem to look better with metal than with wood, I think it's the organic/inorganic contrast. I always like wood for my people portraits, though.

Thanks for the link Alex, I've already read a bunch but still have a ways to go - lots and lots of good info there. And don't worry, I'm going to keep the mountains very plain and far away (and they'll be a bit lower than the blob looks right now). These are Maine horses, and I'm kind of using the view from one of my hiking spots for the background - around here all the mountains are pretty small and rolling. I'd like it to give a little indication of grandeur and to give the idea of these horses height and massive size. Hopefully the background will just be a nice simple resting place for the eyes amid all that horsey clutter. The harnesses are soooo time consuming and boring to do - I'm rubbing all those rivets out with paper towel and then painting them with like 4 different colors and then cutting them all back in, ugh. Almost done though, and the rest of the painting should be fun.

Thanks again, happy painting,

07-16-2005, 04:21 PM
Wow, this is amazing. And I would have called the horses done! Can't wait to see what you do to them!
Thanks for sharing this.

Becky Foster
07-17-2005, 07:04 PM
Thanks Ann! I really appreciate the encouragement :wave: My paintings take me so long that after a while I feel totally unproductive - I think seeing my half-done wip on wetcanvas helps remind me that I am accomplishing something, however slowly :o

Take care,

Becky Foster
08-23-2005, 08:03 PM
Here's where I'm at now...the right horse is just about done - need to get some darks and highlights in and fix the mouth. You can see where I'm starting to put some final layers of yellow in the left horse. The background will be next. This painting's on hold for another week while I get ready for the wildlife art show I've got coming up - torture stopping when I'm soooo close to finished! C&C's welcome.


Pat Isaac
08-23-2005, 09:04 PM
Looking great, Becky. I know how that is. You kind of get on a roll and don't want to lose the momentum, but you can't always stay with it.


08-24-2005, 12:16 AM
this is looking awesome. The tacks (or whatever they are) on the halters look just like metal! Your idea of a gold frame will really complement this piece.

I see your purple corner is still there...not sure if you want to really bring emphasis to that area. Might look better to just use the background color in a darker shade to play it down.

I know the owners will be so excited with this!!

Becky Foster
11-17-2005, 03:09 PM
Almost finished! I hope to finish by this weekend. You can see I've put a bright orange over the bright blue in the left horse's harness, final layer for that harness I think. Just need to put the orange on the right one's and some pink on their noses and some polishing up...


Pat Isaac
11-17-2005, 06:08 PM
This is an awesome piece, Becky and you've done a wonderful job. :clap: :clap: :clap:
They are going to love it.


11-17-2005, 07:59 PM
What an awesome painting Becky! I really love what you have done with the equipment too! Just gorgeous!

11-17-2005, 11:18 PM
Hi Becky
I just noticed this thread. WC is going to drive me crazy there's so much here! Your piece is fantastic and in your final post you covered what I was going to suggest: varying the color or value between the blinder on the right horse and the collar on the left horse-to separate the two a little. Also, did you consider a bit of sky in the far upper right corner, behind the horse's ear? It's beautiful.

11-18-2005, 03:57 AM
I love this, Becky. The close-up gives a wonderful composition. The owners will be pleased!!

11-18-2005, 04:24 PM
Hi Becky! Good for you to be finishing it! Such a great job done!
I think you were going to touch up the noses so you'll add more darks into the right one likely. I wanted to put into question whether you need those mountains on the horizon.
It's interesting how you are alternating cold and warm layers in the harnesses. Would you post a close-up of those finished pleeese! :)
Wonderfull portrait! I think the horses look merry! :)

11-21-2005, 06:16 AM
Hi Becky, Just found this thread. Love the horses, great work. I am fairly new to oil pastels and have a question...how do you achieve the fine detail in the harnes and the bits? I would love to try my hand at horses but cant seem to get the fine detail needed.


Becky Foster
11-26-2005, 01:21 PM
Finished! And my deadline was Christmas - hooray! Of course now my next client would just LOVE if I could finish hers by Christmas...lol, lol, lol (maniacally).

Close ups to follow...

Becky Foster
11-26-2005, 01:32 PM
Thanks Pat, Amber and June for the kind words :wave: .

Dave, I couldn't get any sky up in the top right corner with my tight crop, but I did try to keep the value in the mane rather dull so as to pull that area back...thanks.

Alex, I don't know why I need those mountains, I just do. Plus they made a good place to carve my initials :cool: .

Bev, hard to explain how I get the details because I do different things depending on the situation. For the rivets though I put the black in first (Sennelier, Holbein black is way too messy), scraped and rubbed out the area for the rivets, and put in Sennelier white, cut it in and added lots of colors.

Thanks for looking!


11-26-2005, 01:55 PM
WOW! This is just fantastic!

Pat Isaac
11-26-2005, 02:42 PM
This is a perfectly wonderful piece, Becky. The client will be absolutely thrilled. :clap: :clap: The detailing and colors are perfect.

Soooo....what is your next commission???


11-26-2005, 06:04 PM
Congratulations on finishing Becky! Thanks of the close-ups! They show that there is more then meet the eye on the whole picture view. I like the texture and fethered edges. I think a proper craftsman can make such harnesses only looking at your painting :D Great detail :clap:

11-27-2005, 09:23 AM
I missed this earlier and am glad to find it now! You can just feel the power in these big fellows.... outstanding!

Becky Foster
11-27-2005, 10:28 AM
Thanks again Mel!!!!!

Thanks Pat :wave: , my next commission is of a house :o . Guess we'll just have to see how that one goes, not my usual type of subject, at all.

I am humbled by your kind words, Alex.

Glad you like it Wendy! :)

Take care everyone,