In stage 4 (see below)of this custom horse painting of ‘River,’ he was coming to life but still looking a little naked – definitely bald – without his tail an mane.
I had been wondering how the entire painting would alter in feel once they were added. However, before I added his flowing tail and mane (and it was difficult resisting from doing so. I wanted to see the cherry on top too! LOL!), I had to make several adjustments in the background and on his body. I like to call it fine tuning. By the way, fine tuning does take several hours. Much of the time is standing back away from the painting and assessing what needs to be tweaked. I also walk back and forth fairly often.
Painting his tail and mane was definitely the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae! Even though I had to be accurate with my colors and brush strokes because I knew I could not go back into the area, they sure were fun to paint. Doesn’t River’s energy really show up now? Of course, the diagonal lines also contribute to this feeling.
I do need to know if his tail is too feathery and if his mane is too short. I can lengthen his mane but is would be difficult to shorten it at this stage of the game.
Since we are at the final stage of this painting, I also need input on any other areas that need to be altered to make sure that I have transformed Beth’s vision onto canvas and too her satisfaction.
The edges around the canvas are another finishing touch that needs attention. As you can see below, I tape the edges with green painter’s tape during the painting process.
Now we need to determine what the best neutral color would work best for the finished piece. Below, after I have removed the tape, you can see that I started out with a middle gray; this was painted back during the canvas prep time. It could be a lighter gray or a warmish brown or a dull purple gray. Often it is the wall upon which it will hang that determines the color. Beth, what would you suggest?
Is River finished? Are there any physical features that need to be altered? Are the colors okay, too bright, need to be calmed down anywhere? How about the golden colors behind his hind legs?
Thank you for joining me on this ride with River. Please feel free to share this demo with others who may be interested in my artistic process. I have enjoyed the challenge, particularly since I have never painted an entire horse before…only the heads of horses.