View Full Version : Simeon Safsal (Arabian Stallion)- WIP

01-30-2009, 12:26 AM
I'm back again, but this time with my latest piece: Simeon Safsal. I came across this Nicole Emanuel photo (used with permission) of Saf and fell in love with it, but I had always admired Saf too, so I thought why not finally draw him!

Medium: Charcoal
Surface: Black Stonehedge
Size: Approx. 11"x14"

I have been greatly inspired by a Robert Vavra photo, (the way in which the horse seemingly 'emerges' from the dark, with just a few areas/features/highlights showing for form and balance) and one of my own recent pieces using black paper and white charcoal.

Although this piece is yet unfinished- any C&C is always appreciated. I have yet to add more shine on his shoulder and a touch more to the parts on his mane that the sun is hitting, (his mane reminds me of a Friesian!) plus fix up some details on his head...


01-30-2009, 05:01 AM
Another beautiful piece Ainslie, just gorgeous :)

01-30-2009, 06:23 AM
Looking great! :clap: Love his eyes, that typical Arabian look. :thumbsup:

01-30-2009, 07:52 AM
wow, lovely job. I love painting with the dark background.

01-30-2009, 08:54 AM
Wow this is going to be magnificent! I love it!

Margaret Dent
01-30-2009, 09:56 AM
Gosh Ainslie, this has so much energy and impact already you could almost leave it as is. I have no suggestions other than, thank you for sharing this with us! I too admire this kind of style and would like to try it again. My first attempt was, well, let's just say I won't be showing it to anyone... LOL


01-30-2009, 10:34 AM
Gonna be stunning! I actually thought it was scratch board at first.
Wasn't it Johnny Johnston (http://www.pointernet.pds.hu/lovaglas/lovasfotogaleria/horsefoto.html) who originally did the Horses with the black backgrounds? Mostly Arabians? Love his work. Love Vavra too. I have all but two of his books!

01-30-2009, 11:26 AM
Love it already :) the only thing that my eye goes to is his chin, it looks a bit like he's poking his bottom lip out in defiance, that part where the highlight hits... the shape doesn't read as quite right to me. Then again I have not seen the reference lol. I love the mane and expression though! Looking forward to seeing progress on this!

01-30-2009, 01:52 PM
Wow, that is dramatic! I hope to someday do that well!

01-30-2009, 10:36 PM
Hey! Thank you to everyone for having a look and for your kind and generous comments.

Amanda: I know exactly what you mean and I agree: his lower lip doesn't look right, but I have studied the ref photo and other photos of the same horse and this is actually the way in which he holds his lips and I felt that if his owner is going to purchase the drawing; I best stick to Saf's true self!

Margaret: I am leaving it just as is, although his shoulder will be worked up a bit more as will his mane; but the focal point is his eye, so I want detail there and as you get further away from his eye, there is less detail. It has been such a dream and goal of mine to create an artwork using the black paper and having the horse 'emerge', but without all the detail there: I want the viewer to 'fill in' the other areas!

Ironhorse: Yes, I do know what you mean about Johnny Johnston, but this particular photo of Vavra's is the inspiration behind this artwork of mine. I too collect their books and I'm pretty sure I have 'em all too! :)

Can I ask all who have seen this artwork:

Does your eye go straight to Saf's eye first? If not; what is distracting you first? My aim for this piece is for the viewer to immediately go straight to his eye, then start taking in the rest of him... have I achieved this or not?

Many thanks again for everyone's input and feedback; WC! gives me such support, guidance and motivation (and inspiration) for my art...

01-31-2009, 12:03 AM
I think this is looking pretty good, but do agree that the chin area looks a bit odd. If it were mine I would knock back the values in the muzzle just a touch. My eye is attracted to the areas of the most contrast and I find all of the highlights in the muzzle area catch my attention more than the eye, though it is a close 2nd.

02-01-2009, 09:26 AM
ah I see... well if that is some kind of characteristic of him then yes maybe it's best to include it!

My eye seems to go to the highlighted areas all down the front of the face, from the muzzle up to the eye. I agree with Cathy, it's the strong highlights on the muzzle. I asked my mum too who was standing behind me at the time and she also said the muzzle. I don't think that's neccesarily a bad thing, and like Cathy I find my eye very quickly darts to his eye as a close second!

02-02-2009, 04:45 PM
Hello Ainslie! I love where this is going. I can reach out and feel his silky skin. I love how you do that! I agree that the eye isn't getting the impact you are after. I actually thought that the offside or lefthand side nostril is looking a little flat and maybe that is adding to the distraction from his eye. Maybe too much highlight on this is the problem. Use your artistic licence and tone it down a little. Maybe try and look directly at the ref pic's eye and with your peripheral vision to 'see' the nostrils. And you can adjust it then? Hope this makes sense???:lol: Love it Girl!

02-03-2009, 12:39 AM
I love this...his eye is what captivates me! You really nailed the arabian look !


Night Horse Studio
02-03-2009, 02:30 AM
Beautiful work! You have such a cool, unique style!


02-03-2009, 08:49 PM
Thanks Tammy and everyone else too!

I agree: his muzzle/nostrils are just too distracting, so the viewer's eye is led to that area first and not his eye, so I have gone back in and adjusted his muzzle, by toning down the highlights with a kneadable eraser, just dabbing gently, as this paper is so soft and fragile. When I look at it now though, his eye just 'pops' out at you first- which is what I am aiming for!

I will work a little more on Saf, then will re-post for more feedback before I finish him and send a pic to his owner.

Thanks Steph- I have always striven for my own unique, expressive and personal style as an artist and I think, just maybe, I have finally 'nailed it'!?

02-03-2009, 10:20 PM
Ooo, can't wait to see!