Monday, March 26, 2007

Properly Equestrian

Welcome back, dear reader. I'm pleased to report that I ate way too much cake on my birthday and I even got to sleep in, it doesn't get much better than that does it?

So I decided for the first WIP (work in progress) this week I'm going to show you a "proper" equestrian ACEO...that is to say, the horse is actually doing something other than looking stunning. Let's get right to it, shall we?

So here's the first step. What I failed to show you the last time was my initial drawing in all it's glory. Not much to look at is it? I like to keep it simple because I find overly detailed initial drawings a huge buzz kill. I've marked out certain things like eyes, nostrils, the bridle and reins as well as the shadow. It's enough to get me started and enough of a guideline so the final image will look like a horse as opposed to a three-toed sloth. Onto step two:

In this one I've marked out where my lightest lights are going to be and left the shadowed areas alone for now (for the most part, I almost got ahead of myself on the nose there). With smaller pieces I tend to mark in my lightest and darkest areas first because I want to establish those right away so I know where I'm going with the rest of work.
I find grey horses interesting to do not just because I'm partial to them but because you can get so many interesting colours on them if the lighting is just right. Blue, purple, peach, yellow and so on, and that's not counting the colours that might be reflecting onto them off of other surfaces! Some of this can be seen in the final step for today:

Now it's time to start fiddling with shadows and colour. I've thrown in a good bit of blue as well as some violet, peach and clay rose. To dull down some of the spots I've used grey although I can't remember which one, if it comes back to me I'll let you know.
One thing that's worth noting with equestrian pieces (and many an equine artist will tell you this) is that you must pay attention to horse anatomy. If anything is "off" with your drawing, painting, sculpture, whatever, you will hear about it. Not just from other equine artists but folks that work with horses, ride horses, sell horses, groom horses, tack-up horses, look at horses from the side of the road...well, you get the idea. You can toss all that out the window if you like but if you're going for realism it would be ill advised to do so. Horse people are a finicky bunch.

So that's where I'm going to leave it for today. Tomorrow I'll go through the rest of this ACEO and once again you'll get to read how I waffle over backgrounds, it's exciting stuff so try and contain yourselves until then!

No comments: