Saturday, April 25, 2009

Today's Equine Art - Brumbies in Pastel

I don't know if these are actual brumbies. In fact I am not sure of the definition of brumbie. I just wanted to say brumbie because I like the word. But I was so excited when Gecko, who lives in Australia, asked me to paint her three horses. Gecko has been following my blog for a good spell now. We discussed how to best paint her darlings and decided to do them on black. Since there are three horses featured, I wanted to do it fairly large, about 12 x 18". She provided me with an excellent photo and I did an outline in white pencil.

Since I am left handed, I've found that the best way to work in pastel is from right to left, bottom to top, since I will smear everything otherwise. So rather than blocking the whole thing out, I start on the farthest right horse.

The horse is a nice red bay with dramatic white star. Since he is on black, I have to invent my own sort of backlighting, which I do just by exaggerating the light from the original photo. I rough him in with conte crayon and then do the detail work in oil pencil. The colors go on in red, brown, terra cotta and yellow. I draw some of the hairs individually and add some blue and bright white highlights.

The center horse is darker in color, and I use the opposite technique on him. I begin with a grey oil pencil, and then go over it with a conte crayon.

Now I am roughing in the lone chestnut. I begin with a terra cotta conte crayon and then do the next layer in oil pencil to detail the face. The neck and mane is highlighted in varying shades of conte, with a bright white along the top of the neck.

The black background adds a dramatic touch and some depth to this finished portrait. Big thanks to Gecko!


Anonymous said...

Loved seeing how this work progressed. It's beautiful.

Gecko said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE it Nancy!!! Thanks so very much!!!