View Full Version : opinions needed -- horse pastel on suede

07-06-2007, 08:58 PM

I haven't been able to hang out as much as I have wanted too here <sigh>... guess it is time to get my WC fix!

Alrighty, I need your help. Here is a painting that is close to completion, but just isn't quite there. I would like to enter it in a show, but the background is having difficulties -- not looking like the image in my mind!

I have gotten mixed opinions whether I should go further impressionistic or if I should provide some definition. So what do you think? Should I add some foreground grasses? Some streaks of more crazy colors (like violets and blues to show off the oranges)? Do I need to do something different entirely? Have at it!

soft pastels on suedeboard, 9x20

Unfortunately the photo is less than desirable, but I attempted to do some color adjusting -- as always, colors are much deeper/richer in realy life. Thanks so much!

07-06-2007, 09:41 PM
Wonderful rendering of the horse, really lovely. Perhaps the realism of the movement is at odds with the background? If it was an obvious portrait of say just the head then a non realistic background would be more easily accepted. Just a thought that maybe that's what is concerning you. I am not sure I would wish to change anything

07-06-2007, 11:05 PM
Hiya Catherine. Good to see you around again.

I love it. The horse is fantastic. As far as the background is concerned, if you add details, find a way to smear them to the left so that the movement still happens. I'd probably agree with you in that I'd put a very vague semblance of detail there. However, even as it is, it's lovely

07-07-2007, 05:46 AM
Beautiful geegee! I love the soft light on his coat.

Hmmm, it's gorgeous as is, but I kind of like the idea of your lilacs and violets shading in the background, suggesting movement... maybe you could whack the image into Photoshop and try it out roughly there first?

07-07-2007, 09:21 AM
Beautiful geegee! I love the soft light on his coat.

Hmmm, it's gorgeous as is, but I kind of like the idea of your lilacs and violets shading in the background, suggesting movement... maybe you could whack the image into Photoshop and try it out roughly there first?

I agree, I would play around in the photoshop first, this way if you don't like it
you will not mess up your beautiful painting!
I love it as it is now, but I do like the ideals that everyone has already suggested.

07-07-2007, 10:58 AM
WOW, you have done such a beautiful job on this so far, I would trust you entireley to go with your gut and try to achieve the final effect you have in your mind. Playing in photoshop is a grand idea. But don't overthink it too much and please promise to post your final version...!!

07-07-2007, 11:43 AM
I really love the sheen you got in his coat! I think the background looks pretty good, although maybe you could put some darker streaks in there. One thing bothers me a little bit, the back end of the horse doesn't look right to me.. should he have more of a rump or should he be thinner in the waist? I can't tell, I would have to see a reference photo or play around with it. When I cover the back end, everything reads right to me. But when I cover the front end and look at the rump, something is not right.
I really like this though, don't get me wrong! Your colors are nicely chosen and the movement is evident. The head is well defined as are the muscles and the coat.
Keep up the good work, suede is not an easy surface to work on!
~Fae Lynn

07-07-2007, 04:03 PM
Wow! Thanks y'all for your thoughts -- it helps so much to have more eyes look at it!

:eek: My computer screen is making the photo look very green... hmmm :confused:

Gary -- you are right, there is a bit of tension with the realistic/impressionistic styles. So far if I have done full body, the background has remained realistic, so this was a stretch for me. Would some foreground grasses make a difference?

Patrick -- I'm glad to be back! Do you think more of a horizon line would be important?

Ann and Jody -- good idea to play with photoshop! I am still quite intrigued by having a loose and more free bg with some fun color... time to experiment :evil:

Suz-lyn -- thanks so much! I will definitely post a better final photo!

FaeLynn -- Thanks, I will go back and check. This particular horse had both a larger barrel and a good sized hindquarter (for a Thoroughbred), so I could have cut her short.

07-07-2007, 07:48 PM
As is. Gorgeous

07-07-2007, 09:19 PM
I like it as is--I think the blurred background really adds to the sense of motion--really nice

07-08-2007, 01:07 PM
Exquisite looking horse! I really love it, and the sheen is gorgeous. Maybe it's my monitor, but the mane and tail look green with that backbround. Perhaps if you added more blue in the mane and tail. Like I said, it might just be my monitor, but that horse is really beautiful! I just love it!

07-09-2007, 12:42 AM
Wowee, beautifully rendered, Makana! She has a look of afternoon/evening light on her gorgeous glossy coat, love it! Personally, I wouldn't want too much detail in the bg, maybe a bit more but I would keep that horizontal streaky look to keep the feeling of fast movement. Beautiful work!

07-09-2007, 01:52 AM
for my two cents, sign it as it is as it's beautiful.

07-09-2007, 03:34 AM
The highlighting of the musculature just makes the horse. Wonderfully rendered. Certainly has strong movement. If my piece I would put some small but expressionistic details to blend the backround style with the style of the horse, Maybe just the hint of hills that have been smudged to the left a bit like the appearance of backgrounds in photos where the camera has stayed on the horse and the bg is smudged and blurred.

07-10-2007, 03:07 PM
Hi Catherine, :wave:

It's a beautiful piece as is - I would try to avoid adding to much detail to the background or anything that would take away from the drama of the horse. All it needs is a signature. :)

Your work keeps getting better and better with every piece and I'm looking forward to more posts! :)

Bonnie Latham

07-16-2007, 12:54 PM
Thank you all for your thoughts! I had to be out of town for a week, so I am looking forward to finishing it shortly.

mshuler, ARTMUTT, pinups -- thank you very much!

firehorse -- yes, you are right, more blue! That should contrast well with the orange too.

Ali, TJ, Bonnie -- I appreciate you taking the time to look! I am going to play around and hopefully get something posted soon.