View Full Version : Curiosity

01-27-2006, 09:20 AM

Title: Curiosity
Year Created: 2006
Medium: Pastel
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 13 in x 17 in
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

I consider this finished unless there is something drastically wrong. I did have problems with the background. I'm better at painting animals than shrubbery.

I was frustrated by the lack of critque in the general forums (such as Animal & Wildlife). I would like something a little more substantial than "good job." That's the only way I'm going to learn!

01-27-2006, 10:41 AM
Hi..... I'm not really into horses but to me your horses look rather flat as thought they have been "cut and pasted" there by the fence. a little lighting coming from some where with the resulting shadows would give them some contour. It's a pleasing composition... and would be very suitable for an illustration in a children's book or some other publication and certainly has it's merit. Donna

01-27-2006, 10:44 AM
The eyes have it in this one!
Great job!

01-27-2006, 12:26 PM
Constellation - Thank you! :) This is what I need, someone to say "hey your horses look flat". In all the other forums, they would never tell you what they thought was wrong! I was thinking maybe some yellowish highlights on the chestnut (orange) horse and some deeper shadows on the grey. Do you think that would correct the problem a little?

Tracy - Thank you!


01-27-2006, 12:44 PM
The composition is nice, some aspects of it seem generalized such as the fence and background. Highlights would seriously help and adding specific details on the horses would make it more shphisticated. Overall the most important aspect is the emotional quality which you have achieved.

01-27-2006, 12:51 PM
Crit as requested - what the others said plus I'm not familiar with horses as you are so I may be wrong - the one of the left looks as though he/she has had some sleepless nights :) is the eye socket just a touch toooo dark?

You really do need to work on the background as it lets the painting down and doesn't 'gel' with the horses - if it was painted equally well and there were lost and found edges between it and the horses, they'd sit in their environment in a much more satisfying way and you'd have a very nice painting.

If you don't want to work on backgrounds it would be better to have the studies of horses on a plain white or toned background with no attempt at scenery. It isn't compulsory :)

01-27-2006, 05:43 PM
Dantys - I'm going to try to work on those highlights tonight. The photo reference I loosely based this on wasn't that great. So, I had to make a lot of this up as I went along. This will be a good challenge for me.

Vhere - Yes, you're wrong about the eye socket. This particular breed of horse (Arabian) has big, beautiful eyes often made to appear larger by applying baby oil around the eyes. I used to show Arabians so it's habit to depict them in their "show form".

But you're totally right about everything else. I'm horrible at backgrounds and I probably shouldn't have attepted one. BUT this will be a good learning experience. I'm going to go look up some trees and bushes in the RIL. :) I'll see what I can come up with!

Thank you both! I appreciate the help!


01-28-2006, 02:55 AM
Enjoyed looking at your horses. A couple of things caught my eye, similar, but not quite like what has already been said. I like the soft non-descript background. It reads well for what it is. My only problem with it is that it has not been given a consistent orderly texture. This shows especially in the pasture. The grass flows one way and then it flows another and another. While grass may appear higgledy piggledy (technical phrase, sorry) it is pretty much consistent when presented in uniform settings.

The other thing is the ears, while horses ears do not tranmit light through their membrane, thes seem unnaturally dark, and there edges are very hard. I like the softness you got on their muzzles. A pleasant painting!

01-28-2006, 09:15 AM
I have horses and this reminded me so much of my own. I love the expression you captured. you are right about the arab and the eye-- I have an arab chestnut! One of mine is in the painting in my avatar. I skipped the background too. After working on the horse I didn't want to do anymore! :)

I agree with whats been written as far as adding more shadows and highlights. I think what I miss on the horses is the sheen or satiny texture of a summer coat. Maybe texture is what I am missing-- texture or more feel of a super smooth coat and the windblown mane??? The knobby feel of the fence? The contrast of textures between the wood and the coat? The soft muzzles?

I like this very much and like someone else mentioned would do very nicely in a book as an illustration. It has a lot of appeal. What are your goals in this painting? Do you have something specific you want to convey or achieve?

01-28-2006, 09:48 AM
The emotion you captured in the eyes is wonderful. I agree that the background could use some highlights to punch it up. What caught my eye immediately was the mane on the brown horse. To me, it suggests a lot of foreward movement. I dont think it is the mane of a horse standing at rest. (Forgive me, I have to say this: " it appears a little higgledy piggledy".) I think it would make a marvelous illustration to a children's book. That is how I read the picture.

01-28-2006, 10:48 AM
I think that you have done a very good job, however, you need to look a a photo of a horse to be able to capture certain characterictics.
For example, the ears of the horse in the left need to be bigger so, do his nose.
When you look at the drawing you want the eyes of the viewer to go straigh to the horses and not to the background.
You will be better off to keep the background completely green to give the illussion of the outside or grass.
Keep up the good work and thanks for letting critique the way I'm used to!!!

01-28-2006, 07:59 PM
Horses are my favorite subject. I feel also the inside of the ears need some definition. What I really like is your eyes or expressions. The noses on the horses need to sofened and they are a little big or wide. Many people seem to make this same mistake with horses. I sometimes make the nose even smaller, when working with photos it distorts them and makes them seem bigger than they are. Very nice job.

01-30-2006, 09:29 AM
Corvus - Thanks for the note about texture. I did work on the background a little. I'll have to look into the ear issue.

Colors - I did go through and add some more highlights, particularly on the chestnut. I'll have to post an update, so you can see if it's enough or not. I, too, have a chestnut Arabian and also a bay. This isn't a drawing of her though. As far as goals....none really. I wanted to prove to myself that I could still draw horses. I've been drawing/painting dogs for too long!

Zap - Thanks for your comments! The mane was actually blowing in the wind, hence the movement.

Artbynan- You made me giggle. This was done from a photo! I've looked at thousands of photos of horses in my lifetime. In addition, I have my three horses in my backyard!

Iaartist - Interesting observation on the noses. I've never noticed that before. I'll have to measure the reference photo to see if I'm that far off.

Thanks again everyone! :) I'll try to post an update tonight!