View Full Version : The Yearlings

steph G
08-11-2009, 05:55 AM

Title: The Yearlings
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 20 x 16
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is a painting depicting some of the yearling fillies at the tb stud where I live. Apologies for the terrible photo but my camera always blurs greens. The image is sharper in life.

I have always disliked this painting. Others who have seen it reallly like it though. I really want some open, honest crit. <br>There is a horse art exhibition coming up where I can submit 3 paintings. I only have one other aside from this. Do I give it a shot or not? Am I on my own disliking this (and wanting to bu<br> it, lol) <br>What do you think of the style? Too tight? too pretty? <br>As I already dislike it please be honest!

steph G
08-11-2009, 05:55 AM
Looking at this terrible pic I will try to take some close up. Yuck!

08-11-2009, 07:53 AM
It's got some problems. There is a lot to like, but if you are contemplating entering an equestrian art show with high standards, this one isn't going to be your ticket in. I think you painted the first closest horse's head nicely, but the second and especially the third one's heads don't look as convincing.

I'd also have you look at the necks where they join with the chests. You have made them too simplified and wide. there is little sense of musculature there. The hooves also look a little peg-like. It's hard to get them right, but the sense of structure between them and the pastern and fetlock is missing. Watch also how the legs integrate into the body. There is some confusion there as well.

I think these things are all fixable, if you want to take the painting further.

I'd also look at the background. How is it supporting the subjects? I think it might be stronger if it were maybe more blurred far away, and then had more value difference behind the horses. I've played a little in Photoshop and tried to give you one idea that might unify it more so the horses stand out better.

You obviously paint very well. You mentioned you wanted honest feedback, and that you were not happy with it, so I hope my critique isn't too critical.

08-11-2009, 04:25 PM
Hi Steph, I don't know much about painting animals, but I have one observation, that you could add some drama to the painting by not having all three horses looking lazily in the same direction.

D.W. Flint
08-11-2009, 08:50 PM
Not withstanding all the technical rigamarole, I just love this painting. If you're feeling agitated at all, you won't be after looking at this painting. What a sense of peace it gives. I like the perspective too, and that tree on the right side by the fence line nicely stops the eye and directs your attention back to the horses. Beautiful painting...

08-12-2009, 12:42 AM
I think you've set your own standards so, so high. For those of us who don't paint horses, pulling off a painting like this would be a miracle, yes. But you're so, so good in this field. I think what bothers me the most here is the feeling of the painting being staged. The horses all look in the same direction (I know that they could, but this is art, not real life) and there's just no drama in their expressions. You're a great painter of horses, so I think you owe it to yourself to submit a superb painting to this show!

08-12-2009, 10:47 AM
Your composition is good, but there is no animation. It looks like you captured them at the point where they have recognized what they see and have relaxed. Maybe if their bodies were more tense, nostrils more flared ears strained forward, young horses are so animated, that could be what you don't like about the painting.
It may just be the photograph, but the furthest filly's face seems to have more detail than the middle one, my eye goes to her more than the other two.

08-12-2009, 12:50 PM
I think they are all looking at the farmer coming with carrots.......

08-13-2009, 06:30 AM
I agree with the previous posts - but, I'd like to say that I really enjoy the painting. It makes me feel that I could jump into the painting and pet the horses....it brings back childhood memories and makes me feel like I've been in that scene. My attention definately draws to the first horse and the shrubs to the side. I'm not too keen on the grass edges on the side where the horses stand. But overall - great job!!