Saturday, March 17, 2012

chiricahua scout: next painting.

in keeping with the western theme and things equestrian, i decided to use a copy of an old photo from the late 19th century of a lone apache scout for the cavalry on his bay as the inspiration for this project. i started out by my usual modified contour drawing of the subject on his mount and then roughly sketched in some background landscape shapes along with a butte at the far horizon on the right  on a 16"X20" piece of 140# cold press fabriano artistico paper.

with the painting i started out on the face and head of the rider using a #4 round and the flesh colors of cadmium red light, yellow ochre, and cerulean blue. i tried to preserve the white highlights and for the most part succeeded. i usually also try to vary the colors of this shadow shape as i move along without paying much attention to the order of use but more to maintaining the correct value. a bit of negative shape using pure cerulean blue defines the hat shape and gives a bit of a tie-in along the hat band so it doesn't seem too isolated.

turning to his muffler and coat, this dark shape was painted using a #8 round kolinski and ultramarine blue grayed with burnt sienna and a little ivory black. after working the color out a bit on the palette, i mostly mixed these on the paper. i created a release into the background along his *right* shoulder using burnt sienna. in turning to the horse, i started at the nose using the same brush. i experimented with a variety of warm, cool, and neutral grays made up by varying the amounts of cerulean blue, yellow ochre, and carmine. i am not sure i have found just the best way to do this or the best colors yet. some more thought is in order before i proceed. some of the splotches of color are burnt sienna which now that i see it dried is a little too....sweet?...raw? something. the tie-in you see on the right side with the background was accomplished by pulling some of the burnt sienna out from the top of the horse's nose.

that's all for today. off to environs  north to pick up our daughter and her friend from the airport in ontario, ca, for a 5-day respite from the cold and rain of the pacific northwest. unfortunately she is bringing some of her wretched weather with her for a day or two. oh, well.

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