Monday, August 26, 2013

"Relax, Cowboy"

I heard myself tell my friend Anje "Cowboys make me drool."  
She answered "So maybe you should paint cowboys." Tsk.  Anje was right again.

I had taken my good Nikon Cool Pix camera to the fair this year.  It was VERY hot and sunny, and there was a working horse event in the big arena. I wanted reference photos of western horses in tack, so I wandered around shooting horses and their riders from lots of angles, hoping to get some interesting horses for painting. One thing that I have learned is to take LOTS of photos, because you never know what detail you may find on one that you may need in a painting. When I got back to my computer and started sorting through these images, I was so excited about what I had captured! I found several different horses of interest, and I especially loved the face on this mare.  I sketched her out three different ways but was not satisfied with the results. It took me a few tries to see that the mare needed her cowboy! The two of them together made a much more interesting painting. 

I was intrigued by the way this guy was resting his right hand on the saddle and holding his beer and reins in his left hand. I liked the folds in his jeans and the light falling on his boots. I liked painting the tooling on his saddle...his hat is perfect....

While I was painting this, I played with a new technique that I had learned from the fabulous Jeannie Vodden, lifting out color to add highlights. It was really fun to paint different areas separately and watch the image come together. I turned up the color on the mare and and once I got my painting down, it was time for prismacolor!!! 

...this cowboy is entered in the Stockton Art League show...