View Full Version : Equine Challenge for Jan 2009

Pages : 1 [2]

12-11-2008, 04:17 PM
there was me thinking I was the last one to join in! :D
LunaMoth I really like that second one especially. Shiny bays are always nice.

Colleen, thank you :) the Whistlejacket looks lovely already, really nice values... I never knew that about having a white layer on your grisaille, I might try that next time, last time I did a grisaille underpainting the values were far too dark by the time I'd done it, and the colour did not show up very well.
can't wait to see some colour on him!

12-11-2008, 05:14 PM
Colleen: Grisalle to me achieves the most luminescent effect in oils. Interestingly enough, although you cannot 'glaze' in the same sense you get better quality pastel paintings by using a very similar method. Your Whistlejacket looks very impressive and it off to a fantastic start. An ambitous project but on that is looking spot on. You've come very far.
It was also noted that Whistlejack was a handful of a horse too! It didn't take much for him to show off.

12-11-2008, 07:07 PM
Welcome LunaMoth lovey watercolors....

Thank you! I have been working my tail off both at home and in the studio at school :).

12-11-2008, 08:31 PM
Oh, I'm loving all the new work! Welcome aboard Lunamoth and Moodymand! Colleen, this Stubbs work is impressive and I am enjoying the process! :)

I finished that commission, but, had to take time out to paint some small works to sell on ebay. I just listed these and have a couple more in the works. Then, I will get back to the mustang paintings! :wave:

Still doing horses....

"Light of the Sahara" 4x6"
"Dance" 2.5"x3.5" ACEO

12-13-2008, 11:44 PM
Hello everyone,
I'm almost embarrassed to post this after looking at some of the fabulous equine art in this thread, but here goes.

I'm not happy with the background in this one, but it's too late to change it now, so I guess I'll just call it finished and be done with it. Btw, this is CP (Prismas) on Bristol paper 8.5" x 11".

12-14-2008, 12:13 AM
Ok, here's another one that I did some time ago from a photo in the RL.

12-14-2008, 12:33 AM

Ok, last one, I promise...:)


12-14-2008, 02:00 PM
Kerry those Arabians are beautiful, especially for such a small size, those ACEO's can be a pain to get any detail in!

TABCgal, those are lovely, I especially like the second one, with all the tack, nice pencil work and detail. I don't know if you caught the beginning of this thread but the general aim is to set yourself a goal of some kind and post your progress in this thread, as you work towards it. Some people are just generally trying to improve their equine anatomy, a few of us are aiming to draw a set number of horses before a certain date :) I think the end date of the challenge is the 15th Jan.

here's my number 12 of an intended 100
charcoal on A2 paper, I'd been planning to draw this one for a while as a speedwork, it took a bit longer than I anticipated. But I'm happy with how it came out.
13 to 15, speedy sketches on A2 again. Anatomical issues aplenty here, it was getting late, I was tired and wanted to get the paper filled, guess I wasn't concentrating! At least I can see where the flaws are.

12-14-2008, 07:12 PM
Right Amanda,
to keep progress going is more important than how " good" the work is, and something with flaws can be as useful as a beautifully executed work,( like that wonderful #12 charchol sketch,) for showing the artist what needs more work and more understanding.:thumbsup:

12-14-2008, 10:05 PM
Here is the next wip of Whistlejacket,

I let the first grisaille dry, then put a coat of Doak Flake and Mica white over most of the work including the background. First I "oiled in" ie brushed a thin coat of linseed oil and wiped it all off, leaving only a very thin amount. I mixed the Doak white with my usual media of Spike of Lavender, canada balsam, sun thickened walnut oil, then brushed on very thin coat of the white. At the last I wiped the darkest areas, and added thicker white to the lightest. Now this will go in my UV light box to dry.

Snuzin Susan
12-15-2008, 01:09 AM
Colleen this is looking really good so far! The only thing I see that is of is the rear hoof closest to us....it doesn't look like it is firmly planted but that the horse is rocked back on the heel, which wouldn't really be plausible...i looked at the original and that does look firmly planted. Am I making sense. I do not know.


12-15-2008, 01:36 PM
Stubbs somehow seated this whole great lifesized horse with two small shadows, right now those are covered with my last layer of white, as I get to final details I will adjust them and the hoof...I work usually from the general to the specific esp when doing this kind of indirect technique where it is built up of glazes over time..so tiny details wait till the end, you can check then to see if it is resolved :thumbsup:

12-15-2008, 03:32 PM
Uh oh Colleen 15 days left to go now! ;) Looking good. I definitely agree with Susan's observations, the area of the fetlock is what is making it look positioned oddly. Once you get more into it though and ground your shadows as it progresses I feel it will straighten out. Looks very good.

MoodyMan: I really have got to take my hat off to your work. I thoroughly enjoy your sketches, they are flowing and really well done. A few anatomical errors as you noted, but well handled. I love that graphite piece as well. Terrific work!

12-16-2008, 04:42 AM
I have 30 more days,:p since the challenge goes to Jan 15, but I've already started on #100, so I'm sure I'll finish early:clap:

I've started the glazing here, Naples yellow, Mussini natural BT Umber, Doak Cad Brown, did a bit of redrawing, but leaving the front feet where they are tho they are not as close to the back feet as the original, and the head is slimmed down can quite get to the bulgy eyes..all in all there are small nuances of his that mine lacks and so it's not quite as lively in the drawing...

color is off and there is glare, maybe get a better shot later

12-16-2008, 04:05 PM
Colleen I agree, I have a habit of being very nitpicky (with myself at least) on anatomy, that is something I am trying to work through with this, for instance I would usually just bin those sketches for being 'off', certainly not post them on the net! But they serve as a reference for improvement, and actually I've even discovered a recurring flaw as I've been doing these... it seems I have a tendency to draw bodies that are not long enough! I don't know if I would have picked up on that, had I not done a number of sketches in a relatively short time, and in a media that I cannot easily erase and correct.

...your Whistlejacket preparation makes me realise I still have a lot to learn about oils!! The colour looks gorgeous already, the glazing is worth the effort and time, I love all the variation you can already see in the coat. And I think the hind hoof that Susan was referring to definitely looks fixed now!

Kristen: thank you! :) 'Flowing' is one thing I'm definitely aiming for with these, I'm finding this challenge is really helping with my speedwork, which is what I wanted. Just got to watch those anatomy niggles...

here's numbers 16 through to 22, the paintings are oils, the rest is a mix of charcoal, pastels, colourpencils and some other kinds of pencils
I sketched it out a second time to try and correct myself, but I still made the body too short and generally didn't capture the stance that appealed to me in the reference image. I will have to go back to this one another time :D
LOL at the arabian's anteater muzzle... I shouldn't work past 11pm! :lol:

12-16-2008, 07:11 PM

This is a work in progress commission I am currently painting. I want to go back over the horse on the left with a light brunt seirra glaze to unify his head and body but that will have to wait until the paint dries. Up to now I've been working wet into wet. This is 12 x 18.

12-16-2008, 08:10 PM
nice start Sue, like the casual pose
Amanda, love your charcoal work, and the easy way you have with the various perspective angles. Are you working from references or out of your imagination or both? IMHO both are good, when using just imagination all the gaps show up and all the automatic tendencies too.

WiP 5 , have most of the glazes on, starting to refine some details, still glazing the head, tail and mane, now's the time to nip pic:lol:
Next it will dry a bit then I'll put my crappy internet photo into PS and really goose the brightness to see if I can get more detail in the dark areas.

I'd say I have at least 2 more passes to go on the glazing. Took this in good light but the color is still off, it's more warm yellowish, and bronzy

12-16-2008, 08:48 PM
before you start, I noticed the hindquarter and gaskin area after posting and I'm already fixing it,:lol: go ahead tho if you want to show an alteration I'd love to see what you do

12-17-2008, 04:15 AM
I have really enjoyed this thread, you guys are awesome :)

Here`s a few really quick sketches ive done in the past two days.. I need the practice..lol.

12-17-2008, 06:16 AM
Oooh, I'm drooling at all the wonderful horse art! I love these 'quick' sketches! I really think they have more life to them than the finish art (usually). I really need to do some of this, too! My problem is I'm always trying to produce stuff to sell and the sketches just don't, so, I find it hard to take out time just to sketch. :( Seeing what you all are producing is great motivation, though! We will have to keep something like this thread going all next year, too! Well, this is what I have done... an oil aceo of a black Quarterhorse. :rolleyes:

12-17-2008, 09:40 AM
Wow, I can't take the time to comment on everything right now, I took on a volunteer job at the spay/ neuter clinic here and also have my "real" job so I have been busy like crazy with the holiday stuff too!! But I want to say I am truly loving this thread, all the work is so awesome. I love all the sketches which are jaw-dropping gorgeous as well as Colleen's Whistlejacket and Kerry's lovely work. Keep em coming! Wish I had more time but I have to run!

12-17-2008, 10:23 AM
Sue, really like your two, are they Belgian drafts or something like that? I love the range of colours, working wet into wet is difficult sometimes.

Colleen, I am working completely from references at the moment, and I think I will do throughout this. Normally I tell myself off for relying on them so much, this time though I decided since I'm concentrating more on the way I'm working, and the anatomy issues, I'd be better to just go from refs to give myself one less thing to worry about. And also that will hopefully help me towards more of a solid understanding of muscles and form, so that further down the road I have a better basis for working without refs!
Whistlejacket is still looking lovely! I can't see anything to nitpick, the colour looks less vivid in this latest update but you did say the photo wasn't quite accurate to the painting.

darkangels, I really like those arabians, the fast but accurately placed pencil strokes of the first, and I always like seeing people's take on the photo you did the second one from! Such a striking pose, the anatomy is spot on.

Kerry - I have almost the same problem as you. I'm usually too hung up on producing polished, 'finished' work. This challenge is really helping me change my perspective on things, I don't do nearly enough sketching.
As for next year, I think there's supposed to be a horse breeds challenge once this one is done... hopefully I will find the time to take part in that one too!
I LOVE your ACEO! Did you do it in one sitting or in layers? How long did it take? I really love the overall blue sheen.
Also do you find there is still a market for ACEO's? I tried it out a while back but I think I paid more to list them on Ebay than I sold them for :lol: Mind you they were not in oils, maybe those do better?

12-17-2008, 11:44 AM
Is there a link to this 100 horse challenge? I know i wouldn't finish by Jan. 15 but for a future reference or some practice, I might feel inspired. :)

12-17-2008, 12:16 PM
This is it :D

well, this is where we are posting our ongoing work towards a goal, ending Jan 15th.
Doesn't matter if you can't make 100, you can set yourself any number to challenge yourself (within reason lol), or just work towards a general goal without doing a set number... most of us are just working towards improving our knowledge of drawing horses. The aim is to just keep progress ongoing, and post the results here to motivate yourself (and others) :)

edit to add - I would recommend reading the very first post in the thread, by winecountry - who has summed it up better than I can! lol.

12-17-2008, 04:39 PM
Welcome to the stable Portraithorse. This thread is dedicated to only this goal
The main goal here is to make consistant ongoing work within time frame, as a motivator for improving and producing more work.

You set the time frame and goals and state them so we can support you.

Only two of us are working on the 100, so you can set any limit or goal you like related to ongoing work. There is a permanent link listed under the "Animal and Wildlife Forum Hall of Fame"

IMO, this thread should close at the date set in the beginning Jan 15 2009.
If someone wants to continue, then a new thread can be started, and on it a link to this one could be put as a reference.

I plan on starting the Breed Challenge, that one will result in at least 52 for the year, and will keep me focused on different core values than this one. When I started the thread I also took some responsibility as "hostess", in other words to keep up with new people joining, keep the main goal of the thread active, and to be a go to for answering questions. So I do want to let someone else do that, in the Breed Challenge I can just be a participant.

In Jan if someone wants to take over they can, but since this is a long thread already, I'd really like to see it end, a new thread for new times I say:lol:

12-17-2008, 05:54 PM
thank you for the welcome! i saw so many people talking about the challenge, my head started spinning ("ah! what are these 100 horses they're talking about?!") i see it now! :D i might just watch from afar...so far, everything i've seen has been GORGEOUS (even little sketches.) the breed challenge sounds fun though...i'll see if i can make time! thanks again!!

12-17-2008, 06:05 PM

Here's where I left off today. Yes, these are belgians. Thanks for looking! :)

12-17-2008, 10:31 PM
Sue, can you explain why you used this crop? I've used it myself a few times, and it has a way of bringing you closer to the horse, but it is also problematic as it leaves a lot of little negative spaces right at the edge, and the area gets busy compared to the head...So I'm trying to understand it more, and see how others solve the problems it poses...

here is one Munnings did, 20 x24 is what he typically used for life work, this probably was done with the rider on a wooden horse outside or in his studio, later the the horse held by a groom from life in the light he wanted and a background from another study or imagination, occasionally he would do the whole thing on the spot, as this is def a study as can be seen from the loose work, he might have done it with the rider on the horse outside and added the background.
Notice how he has addressed the issue I'm asking about, by lowering contrast at the lower legs, letting detail go more, and ampping up to the highest contrast and most saturated color where he wants us to look, at the rider, and head of the horse.

12-17-2008, 11:27 PM
I don't know if I can help you Colleen. :) I choose this crop for several reasons. One, it is a commission that I just got last week or so and needed to finish it in time to dry and ship for Christmas. LOL!

Second , the pose was not overly complicated. I knew I could paint it fast.

On the plus side I liked the sharp contrast between the shadows on both horses necks and their faces and manes. I liked the interesting shadows and highlights on the left horse's shoulder. I liked the clear blues in the sky and the blue/icy snow (which doesn't show on the computer screen) in the background and the heather grey in the whiter areas of the horses. I liked all the purples and blues against the warm golds and burnt sierra. I liked how the horses felt BIG in this crop-- because they are-big and round. Their bodies feel very round and robust which is what I wanted.

What doesn't show well in the screen is the lower legs are less detailed with broader brush strokes and background showing by comparison to the horses face and trunks. I had not thought about the lower part of the painting being too busy. It doesn't catch my eye like that but it may be because I am drawn to the areas I mentioned above. To me the other areas have much more interest and I keep looking there but that is what I liked about these horses to begin with so my focus has always been there.

I really liked painting these geldings. This was a very fun painting for me to do. next time if I try this one again or one similar I'll give some thought to what you pointed out but this one doesn't feel too busy in real life but maybe I can't see it. Maybe I am too taken with the other areas like I mentioned before. My eye keeps going up to the more dramatic areas. LOL!

The owner is very pleased and I am happy I got it done in time and it turned out well. I am not sure I would of done it differently under the circumstances but if I had another pair of horses with less dramatic lighting or coloring, more time and choices I don't think I would of gone this route. For these two it seemed right.

For you to bring it up you must disagree? If so I would be interested in hearing why from a purely academic standpoint. I am not interested in changing anything on this one because there is no time and I think it says what I wanted it to say but I am always up to learn so if you care to elaborate I am open to it.

12-17-2008, 11:45 PM
those are good reasons, and I think you pulled it off well, if you will post the final I'll use it to make some points, that may help us all in the future. :thumbsup:

12-19-2008, 12:11 AM
Getting there now. Using smaller and smaller glazes to modify the larger areas defining muscles and shine. This kind of painting is very slow, and painstaking, sometimes nerve wracking, but must say the result of color and depth is really beautiful. sorry you can see it in person.

Still have more to do on the head, refining tail and mane, a few places to bring together on the body.

12-19-2008, 06:44 PM
#99 Copy of Whistlejacket by Stubbs
12x16 oil on panel

Because my ref is so bad, this is probably enough, I would so love to see this in person someday, but would probably never be able to look at this one again, I'm sure it's way off, but I'm glad I tried it. I'm more appreciative of Stubbs if thats possible, and wonder why when he could paint like this, when he did commission work his horses are so different, probably he had to please is patrons and they had a very conventional vision of what a horse portrait should look like:lol: When he got freedom to paint as he wanted then this kind of magnificent work came, or one of his 17 Horse attacked by a Lion works( he actually saw this happen once in Morroco)

One thing about this kind of painting is one can go on and on and on, so I'm calling it done, I sure learned alot about glazing and patience
I would have to charge a lot more to do a commission this way, but it really isn't hard, just time consuming, it seems to me harder to do a good direct piece since one can't fuss over an area much, but has to get it right with one touch. I do like the glow and richness of the color very much...so wouldn't mind doing things this way now and then.
Thanks for looking in and encouraging me on this.
#100 is in progress:clap:

12-19-2008, 06:47 PM
Wow, it is absolutely gorgeous! You should be tickled with it, I know I'd be!
Can't wait to see #100, I congratulate you for sticking to it!!

12-20-2008, 05:43 AM
Very nice! I think you did a great job on this Colleen! This style of painting is VERY hard, IMO, because of the time and patience involved! I tried it once...yup, 1st and last attempt! It is certainly worth it for the experience, however.

12-21-2008, 06:23 AM
Here are a couple sketches done this week. the unfinished one of the arab was one I did while sitting around waiting for my mother. Doubt I'll get back into it to finish it. I'd really like to say that that racehorse sketch is really a racing mule...lol! Fact is I just got the head too darn big. Oh, well, I never considered my sketches any more than rough tools for working out ideas...:rolleyes:

12-21-2008, 06:52 AM
OK, I got back to work on this mustangs in the lava fields painting, finally! I'm thinking of calling it "In the Valley of Fires". :D I've made a few changes to the horses, specifically, changed the positions of the legs for a more natural looking stance and shortened/reshaped the heads. Here is a series of photos showing the steps I've taken so far.

12-21-2008, 06:59 AM
some more...

12-21-2008, 03:28 PM
Kerry I really like the revisions, especially the stallion, his stance is beautiful now! Powerful but contained, I like it. They are much more convincing this way.

portraithorse, yes on DeviantArt I mentioned taking part in this thread and challenging myself to 100 horses, and it has taken on a life of it's own... lol. Lots of people have taken it up, but it's not really connected to this thread! I just started something! :lol:

Colleen the latest update on Whistlejacket is gorgeous, I love the darker browns on the head and neck, it could pass for the real thing! You nailed the expressive look on his face, I think.

Did a fair bit over the last few days, I've done 36 in total now.
I have noticed that I don't find these kind of sketches so daunting anymore - whereas I used to have a fit if I hadn't planned out every little detail in something erasable first. I seem to be getting a bit quicker at them too. Learning to let go a bit!

12-24-2008, 02:02 AM
Amanda, I just love your work. I look at your sketches over and over, you make them look so easy! You have so much movement in your sketches, I always struggle with that. Yours just flow with motion. I'll be watching for more!

12-25-2008, 08:19 AM
thank you FaeLynn :)
I've definitely noticed an improvement in the way I sketch just in the past few weeks of doing these. I'm really glad I found this thread!
I'm still aiming for fluidity, motion and speed combined with accuracy... not always succeeding but definitely getting there faster than I was before :lol:

here's 37-40. These were done from my own photos, taken at a point-to-point meet. The horses were mostly hunter-types, a mix of TB and ID probably. But I have a sneaking suspicion the top left horse must have had some Arabian in him!
Notice I slapdashed with the tack... I really dislike having to draw bridles etc! lol

(Merry Christmas everyone! :cool: )

12-26-2008, 02:43 AM
Beautiful sketches Amanda! :)

12-26-2008, 06:35 AM
Beautiful sketches - I agree, lovely work. Do you find these have really helped with anatomy etc?

I am doing some Weimaraner sketches, but have done no way enough yet to feel I understand the dog any better :lol:

I shall post them all in a new thread when I have done some more.

Are you using refs you find off the internet as well as your own?


12-26-2008, 08:26 AM
thank you Kerry and Sarah :)

Sarah - yes they are helping with anatomy too. I'm still making mistakes as I always have done, but I'm finding the shapes are starting to come easier to me, I'm noticing and looking for the same muscles and lines. Plus I've found I can pick up on recurring mistakes this way. I have never really seriously sat down and studied bones and muscle structure of the horse, planning to invest in George Stubbs' anatomy reference soon though!

apart from my own refs (I don't have many, varied photos of my own) I am using stock photos from DeviantArt - there are loads of stock providers on there, the vast majority are fine with people referencing from their photos for things like this. Of course I check first, and show them the finished sketches, no-one has had any problem with me posting them here yet (you can find linkbacks to the stock providers in my artblog - maybe I should mention that in future posts!)

ahh, dogs are one thing I would love to get back into drawing, I used to love sketching them, especially those lean hounds - I love all the sweeping lines! Look forward to seeing your sketches!

12-26-2008, 11:45 PM
Amanda, what media are the last 4 sketches? they are wonderfully fluid and plenty accurate for sketching.

12-28-2008, 01:28 PM
Colleen, the last 4 are: pencil, charcoal, and sanguine oil pencil (which I LOVE! I have never really used it before I started this challenge, it is pretty uneraseable and fairly soft, but I've found it perfect for flowy sketching.)

I have got up to 50, and somehow I've managed to time it perfectly in the midpoint of the challenge since I started! So hopefully 100 will be do-able.

I was trying out something similar to what Colleen did back on Page 15, with the red chalk... it didn't really seem to work for me for some reason, I was aiming for small studies and I ended up with larger ones, and I was getting frustrated with the method (and I snapped my pastel stick applying too much pressure lol) so I abandoned it and went back to something I was more used to!

46-49, studies of a Peruvian Paso in oils, and pencil

Number 50, the same Paso, in acrylics.
(inspired by a Swedish artist friend of mine who sent me a lovely little monochrome acrylic painting of an Icelandic a few years ago, though a lot more time and effort was put into that one than into this!)

as always the providers of ref images are listed in my artblog, see link below - if you want to know where I got the reference for anything specific, let me know.

... is anyone else still posting their ongoing work in this thread? I feel like I'm on my own at the moment :lol:!

12-28-2008, 09:40 PM
Not alone Amanda, and damn fine work here! you are a real inspiration, I have a ways to go to get to the place you are.:wink2:

My #100 is almost done I took a few days off for a Christmas rest

re the red chalk, I used sanguine conte, harder than pastel, and the idea is to use a broken off section on it's side the size that fits so say the whole body can be done in one sideswipe, and each leg, head etc is the same piece swiveled slightly so the whole area is laid down at once, it won't break that way and it helps in how you "think" about the forms. you may want to review that page and try some more, as this way also creates the light and shade needed with very economical means.

12-28-2008, 11:28 PM
Here is #100 oil on panel 11x14 titled THE END

it's not quite done yet, and my first attempt at any tack which is really fiddly stuff, and my photo is not clear, plus I changed things from the ref, so I took a few liberties to make things more readable.

These are clydesdales from a fair this Fall. I will be glazing things and tweaking a few places yet. I'll post the finished work soon.

12-29-2008, 12:28 AM
Nice work Colleen! I really like that straw on the ground too!
Glad you had a nice Crhistmas break. Congratulations on getting to your goal!! What a great inspiration. :-)

12-29-2008, 05:32 PM
ah! I understand much better now, re the red chalk/sanguine! Thank you :D I think I was using a conte too... just a random stick that came in a set of different materials, just the one red one... but it's harder and shinier than a pastel. I think I will give this method another try and see how it goes!

Ok, anyone else apart from Colleen and me still posting art in this thread? :lol:
(I realise I was probably the only sad person on the internet over the Christmas period!)

and a great, fitting finish that is Colleen :D Surely you can actually say that is 100, 101 and 102? LOL look forward to seeing it complete!

12-29-2008, 07:13 PM
Amada, maybe this is the loneliness of a long distance runner:lol:
thinking about the number, I'd say 1/2+1/2 makes one horse and then 1/4 of one more so is that a one and quarterhorse?

here is a clearer copy of the red chalk exercise, as for the conte, you may have to sand the sides a bit to rough it up so it doesn't slide, at first.

Thanks Fae, you've been there from the start so you know what it took!

12-31-2008, 02:09 PM
Thank you for that repost of the exercise Colleen, I gave it another go and I think the idea was there this time. First this is 51 to 54
I was not really feeling very inspired that night, which sort of shows, I was getting frustrated with them and not really in the mood. But I worked myself out of it.

The chalk exercise again, it worked much better this time, although it took me a few tries to get a feel for it. It's a lot harder to keep things in proportion this way! So me being me I had to do a little sketch beside each one, a bit more proportionally accurate.
I will probably do some more of these, maybe with a smaller piece of conte, and on a larger piece of paper (I'm already using A3 and I'm finding even that is becoming too small! I'm finding fitting 4 or so sketches onto it more and more restrictive. I'm also running out of paper fast. :lol:)

40 to go, might have to speed through some of them so I can free up some time for the Breeds challenge!!

12-31-2008, 07:03 PM
I am! :cat: LOL! I just have not been able to do as much with my challenge pieces as I keep breaking away to do small stuff to sell! I do have an update though! Here are some recent small works too, just to show I have been painting! :D small stuff first!

12-31-2008, 07:10 PM
And the actual challenge piece... I have been working the background still and it is not quite done yet, but, it is to the point that I will be working the horses and foreground to bring them up to the same level now.

12-31-2008, 07:17 PM
Amanda, I love what you are doing with your sketches! I think your original style is gorgeous!

01-04-2009, 01:21 PM
thank you Kerry... I LOVE your little pieces! I think the arabian is my favourite, but I love the colour usage in the blue eyes paint, and the coat texture of the foal. They must be quite small as I can see the size of the canvas grain... do you prime and sand the texture out a bit?
I think I will start trying out smaller pieces for sale, up until now I've been going for big canvases, and I just can't sell them... which is not great when they take forever to paint.

and your mustangs are coming along beautifully too! Looking forward to seeing more progress on that one :D

01-04-2009, 06:46 PM
Thanks Amanda!

Those little ones are shown lifesize. The squares are 4x4" the rectangle is 4x6". They are painted on multimedia art board, a paper and epoxy resin product that is very thin like paper and smooth. I hate working on canvas any more because the texture of the canvas bugs me and has a way of domitating the image especially when it is scanned or photographed. I also like to work on wood panels, either hardboard or birch plywood and thin veneers for the ACEO and 4x6 sizes.

01-06-2009, 01:04 PM
They're lifesize! wow :D I love small paintings... they're so cute :D I can't believe how you can paint that small! I have never heard of that art board. I love the way canvas texture looks sometimes, but yeah it is a pain to paint on, I prefer smooth surfaces now but haven't found anything really suitable yet (other than priming and sanding down canvasboard, need to try wood as well)

Up to 74 now... getting there...
sanguine oil pencil again (can't put it down!)
some foals, because I never draw them and wanted to try something a bit different. The top left one, reference is thanks to Crias! :)
The 2 on the right side and the little one in the middle are all the same horse and it's actually a hermaphrodite... peculiar looking horse, you can almost tell by its appearance that it's halfway between mare and stallion.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/120645-067+068.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/120645-069+070.JPG
charcoal pencil and stick, series showing a shire on the lunge
little acrylic studies that I really don't like :evil: lol!

01-06-2009, 01:32 PM
Amanda you are turning me on to the sanguine oil pencil. I love how loose and flowy everything looks. Now I understand its the person behind it but the pencil also gives good results. I'm making it a point to break down and do exercises like you have done. I used to do it and loved it but have gotten out of the habit. Your anatomy is working out its kinks quite noticably. I am not seeing much in conflict especially in the oil pencil. They acrylics looks good, as does the charcoal as well. Nice studies! Come over and play in the breed a week, you can use some of them for the 100 challenge too!

01-06-2009, 02:41 PM
Amanda, you should put your first sketches( I wish mine were even this good) next to these... there is a big difference...the beauty of the lines and freedom of expression while maintaining such tight control of correct anatomy is awesome.

I for one would love to have you do a wip of the "sketch" and tell us how you start, what your thinking is, how you go about analyzing the form, like what major parts do you start with, how do you create the points of action, etc. I know all this "thinking" stuff annoys some artists, who just do it, but the line you end up with shows some deep understanding and lots of practice...I'd just like to know more about how you are doing it.

01-06-2009, 03:26 PM
Kristen, yes definitely I would recommend the sanguine pencil! I don't even know what it is about it, I just wrote it off as a glorified coloured pencil at first but there is something about the quality of it. I actually prefer it to pencils now, for sketching. Maybe it's just in my head but it seems to make some kind of difference to what comes out on the paper!
And thank you, and yes I fully intend to drop into the breed a week thread! I am going to make a start on the Przewalski's. :D

Colleen, thank you :) I definitely feel like this has helped me loosen up a lot, both in the way I draw, and the way I think about drawing. I'm glad I found this thread.
I'm one of those who falls into the 'just does it' category :lol:! I will try and make some sense and order out of it next time and see if I can put some kind of explanation together. I would do it right now but I have to run!
Thanks again ladies :)

01-06-2009, 05:16 PM
I love all your sketches Amanda. I may yet get the hang of them! Watching your work makes me want to try harder! :-)

Lisa M
01-06-2009, 09:08 PM
I just got for a late Christmas gift the Bammes The Artist's Guide to Animal Anatomy, and want to let everyone know it was a great recommendation by, if I remember correctly--Colleen! :) (Especially for $7.) It features a number of animal types, but mostly horses. It will aid greatly in the Breed a Week project!

01-08-2009, 07:09 PM
It's a great book isn't it Lisa...

I took 10 days off this challenge to finish a commission, Aunt Wally, which I posted in the regular forum.

So now this is the final of "The End" I added glazes to darken areas, and repainted the horses alla prima one more time to get a bit more definition.
Finished one week before the deadline. :smug:

on the photo the upper corner is too light, the rest is close.
And now TA Dah

#100 THE END 12x16 oil on panel

So this really is The End:lol: of one wonderful ride, where I accomplished all my goals which can be wrapped up in one statement, I'm not intimidated about horses anymore:D I know what I know and don't know, what to look for, how various media will work, several types of horse I didn't even know existed, and what I need to work on more( sketching, more fluid work) I feel competent to take on a commission if it's offered and have a variety of styles and media for working to offer my clients.

Thanks to all for the help, support, c and c and just in general for keeping me on the up and up. I've joined the Breed Challenge in our brand new Equine Sub Forum, which is the outgrowth of the tremendous interest and participation that came from this thread...:clap:

Happy Trails to you, as Roy Rogers and Dale Evans(one of the first cowboy shows ever put on that new fangled thing called TV) used to say, I only had eyes for Trigger and Buttermilk, their horses:lol:

My Best

01-10-2009, 12:42 AM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Yay Colleen!
What fabulous work you have cranked out, too! What an inspiration you have been. Your "stick-to-ativeness" has really been a treat to watch and learn from. Congratulations on getting through this and taking so much with you (and leaving so much behind for us!)
However, I am glad we aren't done with horses!:D
I will do my Przewalski's horse tomorrow. So I will see you in the Breed a week challenge!:wave:

01-10-2009, 02:25 AM
Thanks Fae, you've been such a friend in this:heart:

I'm going to branch out this year to the figure, portraits, still life and plein air, so I won't be around much. I'm addicted to the horsies tho and so the Breed Challenge will let me indulge myself. Later in the year I hope to tackle birds, but that's alot on my plate, so see you and the others over on Breed Challenge right here

01-11-2009, 01:34 PM
:clap: CONGRATS Colleen! And thank you for starting up this thread, and keeping us all spurred on (bad pun, even worse of me to point it out)
and congrats on accomplishing what you set out for! :D

Sounds like you have a lot planned for this year, artistically! Horses are addictive definitely, once you start you can't stop! There's just a sense of satisfaction you get from drawing them that is weird to explain. Don't know what it is but we keep coming back to them! I'd like to tackle birds too, I have much to learn about wings and their anatomy and mechanics (stupid me has been trying to combine horses AND wings of late, yes the Pegasus... not really succeeding so far!)

Congrats finishing a week before the deadline too :D I think I will make it by the skin of my teeth... I have 10 left to go. Here is 77 to 89. (Yes I have missed out 75 and 76, they can be found on the Breed a Week Przewalski thread! Also number 90 is missing, I haven't photographed it yet.)
Pastel and sanguine oil pencil
Quick oil studies, a couple of hours apiece. I'm aiming to get better at working fast and 'wet-into-wet' with oils, I have found this difficult in the past and prefer doing it 'the long way' in layers, but I'm getting better with this way.
Random assortment! (The arabians in the top right, and the bottom middle, references again thank you to Crias, from the reference library thread!)
oil pastel and acrylic
conte crayon (I found some lingering in a box that I'd forgotten about!) and charcoal/pastel pencil. I tend to overwork things, I left the bottom one fairly loose and suggestive of the muscles.

01-12-2009, 02:05 AM
Thanks Amanda:)

No sweat Amanda, you can do that in 2 days!

[QUOTE]Pastel and sanguine oil pencil
This one fascinates me:thumbsup: Pastel and oil pencil what is which here... is the white pastel, how did it react to the oil pencil

I love the sketches with the side of the conte and the line, just so lively...you are just the best!

01-14-2009, 01:05 PM
Oops sorry, I should have made that more clear Colleen! Those are oils, wet-in-wet... the ones above that were pastel and pencil!

now... I can breathe a sigh of relief (and maybe find time to clean my house :lol:) because I have finished my 100 also :D (I actually finished them yesterday, 2 days before the end of this challenge's duration!)

here's the last 11!

assortment of pencils... I'm not keen on the shire, I gave him funny legs.

oil/acrylic studies of a Standardbred and Friesian, and the same Welsh Cob stallion I sketched earlier

page of a Lipizzaner (never sure how to spell that one) stallion who I just love, he is so expressive and proud-looking. The galloping one looks odd, it was the photo distortion... I purposely chose that photo as it emphasised his compactness, despite the weird angle. The head/neck shot on the left, I realised I had sketched out the head at a bit too extreme an angle, so what did I do?... I just turned the paper a bit and did the whole thing at an angle :lol: nothing to say I can't do that! LOL

Number 100, which actually I like probably the least out of all of them... but no matter. They're done!

And, since Colleen asked if I could do some kind of work-in-progress to show how I sketch, well I have attempted to document it in some way... excuse the terrible nighttime photos!
I break everything into main shapes, and rough them out first. For some reason I seem to usually start with the chest/shoulder area, I just find it easier to build things up from this starting point. I mark it down as a roughly three to four-sided shape - a curved line for the point of shoulder, a slope down into the chest, then round off the bottom of the chest, finishing with a line coming down off the point of shoulder and connecting at the 'elbow' behind the foreleg. From this starting point comes the neck, then I'll usually block in a roughly rectangular tapering shape for the head, along with the cheek/jawbone, and mark in roughly where the eye sits. Then back to the curve of the belly, the back/topline, and a squareish shape for the hindquarters. While I'm doing this I'll mark in whatever forms stand out in the reference, I'm at a loss to explain what exactly I mean lol... but if you look at the first picture, you can see in the hindquarter area the shapes I've marked in. (I like putting in lots of curves and suggestions of form and muscle, anything I can pick up from the reference... after a while certain things stick in your mind when you see and draw them all the time, certain muscles that are always visible or well-defined such as the ones in the hindquarters or shoulder.)

For the legs, I start at the top trying to concentrate on how they 'grow' out of the shoulder/hindquarter, and then roughly mark down to the knees. You can see in the picture I make VERY rough marks for where the knee/hock sits, then a simple line down to the fetlock joints. I make a little circular mark for the fetlock joints, then mark out the angle of the pasterns, and usually make some kind of indication of where the hoof will make contact with the ground - sometimes I'll extend these into horizontal lines if I need help lining up the legs.

Once you've got that far, pretty much all you need is there, in basic shapes. Then I just define where needed, fill in the details, and draw in the legs (I normally leave them til last, apart from the tail). I've been using the sanguine oil pencil for sketching lately, which is fairly un-eraseable, so I've just left my mistakes. The hindlegs are slightly off (they are angled a bit too far underneath him compared to the reference).

One thing I've drummed into myself to do when sketching is to always see 'reference points' in my ref photo, and compare them to my sketch, checking angles and lengths against each other. I do this as I'm sketching - checking the angle of the head against the slope of the shoulder, etc. Also if I run into trouble with a certain area, for example where the knee sits, I mentally draw lines between points in my ref photo, for example a horizontal line from the knee back to the hindleg, and then do the same for my drawing, to check I have things lined up.

I hope that made some sense. :D

Thank you for all your encouragement during this, I have to say it has helped change my thinking a bit, improved my sketching technique... and pulled me out of an 'art block', I am very glad I took part in this and I have enjoyed seeing everyone else's progress too. Thanks to all of you for the inspiration, and to Colleen for setting up this challenge!! :) :)

01-14-2009, 01:35 PM
Yay! Congrats to both Colleen and Amanda for making it through the challenge!

Amanda~ Your wip is really interesting! I usually start a horse from the head and work my way down, however, this leads to some very interesting mistakes most of the time. I think I'm going to try starting with the body like you do and see where it gets me :)

01-14-2009, 02:36 PM
Whoo Hoo Amanda:clap: :clap: :clap:

what a beautiful series you've put up here, and I'm so grateful for the wip, I esp like the "grow the legs" part and I'm going to learn from you how to really sketch well....I can't really put into words what your art has added to this thread. I'm def going back to study your work:heart: :heart:

Pretty much everything anyone who wants to do horses needs is all right here now, most every media, anatomy, technique, even sculpture, if I remember right. So now instead of long crits I plan on just pasting in the url for this thread for all the ones who are trying horses and want better results. And I plan to visit now and then for a refresher too.

Everyone who posted, thanks for making this thread happen!

My Best,

01-16-2009, 05:55 AM
I haven't been able to get back to my mustang one, but, I will post the finished pics in here when I finally get it done. This project was a great group effort! I really enjoyed participating and seeing everyone else's progress!

01-16-2009, 09:00 AM
many thanks Kusanar and Colleen :) Kerry I'll keep an eye out for yours!

Colleen I'm glad you got some sense out of my wip :) I agree this thread will be a great one to come back to every now and again!

01-16-2009, 10:25 PM
It's tax time...ugh! Gotta get 'em done first, then back to the fun stuff! ;)

01-17-2009, 12:34 AM
Well. I'm a late starter because I've only just found the Equine Forum!:wave:

I have opened a new notebook - 8x5 with 50 leaves and I am goin gto fill it with just horses. I have been admiring all the different styles so I am goin gto try to do a different style on each page.

1st page - coloured gessoed background with dabs of darker colour that I embellished with pastel and lead pencil to make into horses.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jan-2009/74891-notbook17Jan09.JPG :wave:

01-17-2009, 01:23 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap:
Congratulations Amanda!!! Your work is truly wonderful. I have enjoyed this thread so much!
I am doing well with my "own" goals, but watching your work and determination also keeps me motivated.
See you in the Breed a Week thread!:D

01-17-2009, 02:55 PM
Wonderful sketches Elain...welcome to the challenge...we may be closing this thread, if we do you can post in the regular Equine Forum, this one had been planned as only until Jan 15...I'm going to ask the others and see what they want to do...if you find it closed, start another for yourself so we can see your work!

01-17-2009, 04:04 PM
Elain, yes please keep going... I agree starting a new thread for your progress would be a great idea!

01-17-2009, 08:40 PM
Will do Amanda and Colleen. I will join in on the breed a week one and do those in my notebook. Plus others.

So at least one, if not two pages a week.