View Full Version : Dust Bath

05-17-2011, 03:27 PM
Hi All,
Well, my chalenge to myself has left the 1 per day attempt, as I'm finding it is taking me more like 1-2.5 days to complete these. But, that's fine by me! The real point here is to dedicate myself more to my art. And as I mentioned in previous posts, to allow myself more time to do one of my fav. subjects, horses!

I figured, since my goal is to paint horses is many poses, why not upside down too?:lol: As I was painting this one, there were several times I wanted to just chuck it, just couldn't get the movement I was after. Then it started to come, and I hope you agree, I can now see this horse moving, rolling in the dust.
The only things I'm unsure about are the values in the BG, do they draw the eye too much? Should I tone them down? Also...is there enough "dust" showing, or do I need to figure out how to render that better?:o Dust, as I have found out, is for me, very difficult to render!
Another 8 x 10 Pastel on Ampersand.
Thanks for any CC's!


05-17-2011, 07:27 PM
you did a good job with a difficult angle!

05-17-2011, 11:53 PM
The horse is lovely, I too can see it rolling...
I think/feel that if you want the sand in the foreground as it is then you should lighten the bg up a little, OR put some more warm highlights in the sand in the foreground, then the contrast between sunlit sand and background in shadow would be perfect.

KD Art
05-18-2011, 06:23 AM
Very appealing painting. The wild abandon and joy of an animal having a good roll is so engaging. I think you could afford to blend the dust a little more...but otherwise, really lovely! Kat

05-18-2011, 08:27 AM
Very nicely done Barb,very nice movement,agree with Kat about the dust though.

Best from mike.

05-18-2011, 09:14 AM
You've done a lovely job on this for such a difficult pose. Nice work!


05-18-2011, 09:22 AM
:clap: Excellent work and I also agree about softening up that dust!!

05-18-2011, 01:27 PM
Cathy- Thanks so much, yes the angle was quite frustrating, glad you think it came out OK!

Kyllikki- thanks so much for that feedback, I've made a few adjustments to the dust, added a bit more light to the foreground, hopefully it works better now.

Kat- I admire your work so much, your talent is amazing! Your work is one that inspires me to reach higher! So I hope you don't mind a question(also posted in your leopard thread)-
Do you spray your finished pastels, if so with what brand? I have tried so many with horrid results. I have stopped spraying my pastels, and just frame with spacers, behind glass(the ones on Ampersand Bord). As you can probably see in this revision, the spray has totally changed the color, wiped out some of the detail, and I now don't like this painting much anymore.:(
I felt I had to spray it, in order to rework the dust, but now looking at the result, I made a bad decision.

Mike-your opinion means alot, thanks so much!

Pam-Thanks so very much!

Bertoni-Thank you for your nice comment and input!

As I mentioned above, I have sprayed the painting, using prismacolor's workable fixative...bad mistake, as it changed the colors, detail, everything. I felt I had to spray it in order to work the dust more, which I think now looks better, but the rest...blah:crying: !


05-18-2011, 10:13 PM
Barb, I think that some good things came out of it also. The painting now has texture to the hair of the horse along the belly, added some dusty haze to the atmosphere around him, receded the trees in the background some. There is also a little more drama with the contrast/added light in the foreground. I put them side by side so to see them together (hope this OK). With the added texture and tones on the horse's body perhaps a little more light on the side of his face and uppermost foreleg? For the things you don't like you could change them because you used workable fixative.

I've read in WC elsewhere that when one wishes to use fixative just cover the areas one doesn't wish to spray with paper and leave only the area exposed which needs spraying.

I think I like the second with your changes, fixative problems and all. You can still add your lightest values, right?


Lisa M
05-19-2011, 12:32 AM
Barb--You did extremely well with such a limited time frame and including the background and all with a tough anatomy.

Re: the fixative--I'm no broad expert, but the last can I had was "Fixatif" brand and it was much better than the stuff I have now, in a green and black can (don't recall name, not worth it!!). I'll be looking again for the Fixatif brand next time.

Good luck and keep sharing with us your day or day+ horses!! They're great and freeing for you and us.

05-19-2011, 01:10 AM
I think you did an awesome job Barb!!! :clap: :clap: Nicki

05-19-2011, 05:28 AM
Think you finished this one very nicely Barb,your best Horse to date me thinks!

Best from mike,x.

05-19-2011, 10:10 AM
I think the updated one is better! The horse seems to be "down in" the dirt/dust now and overall it looks more realistic. I love it!

KD Art
05-19-2011, 11:40 AM
Hi Barb

Thank you for your compliments - I am underserving, I'm sure! Don't be downhearted - the painting is still lovely. It's only you who will know that it is at all changed and anyone looking for the first time will have nothing to compare it with. In any case, the changes appear minor and if there is anything really annoying to your eye, you can zing it back again with just a little touch-up.

The dust is a hundred times better and convincing dust now! Also like how you've been brave with the dark darks. It is sometimes that punch that is needed.

Finally, re the fixative. I never use it - even in the underpainting stage - as it just isn't necessary for my work. In my experience, even a 'fixed' painting still smudges if brushed accidentally and I do not layer my pastel work until the dust falls off indiscriminately - it doesn't even fall onto the mount when framed and transported, so I haven't needed to worry about this at all. Some like to use it - but my personal vote goes to 'don't bother if you don't need to' because without a doubt it dulls my work, darkens all the colours and destroys much of the subtlety, even when used sparingly (and sprayed from a good distance away).

When all is said and done, I think the changes you made were the right ones and what happened with the fixative isn't as horrid as you thought. Now I'm really looking forward to seeing your next piece :clap:! Kat

05-19-2011, 01:05 PM
You ALL are the best!:) I was ready to trash this painting:o , but after reading all your replies, I think I'll try to fix it! I've lost so much of the highlight, but as pointed out by Nell, I can still add more to top of spray. Thanks Nell for putting them side by side, gave me a good visual. I'll work on it a bit more after I finish my current 'horsey' project.

Thanks to all for your ongoing encouragement and replies, they help me so much as I don't have anyone here to give me any input on my work.

Kat-thanks for the info re the fixative spraying. I thought twice about spraying this, as I mentioned I've had bad results in the past. But, I thought I need to "fix" the bottom layers in order to work the dust more. I can now see how it wasn't at all necessary....lesson learned!:rolleyes:

05-19-2011, 11:04 PM
I am with Nell: I really like how the result came out with the dust (which looks really amazing now!) and fixative problems of color change and all... I also think that the contrast with sunlight and shadow now gives a really nice depth to the picture!