a painting for david

Posted on April 15th, 2015 by mountain girl  |  7 Comments »

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While David was away working at Master’s Golf for sixteen days, I made this oil painting for his birthday.  I was thrilled to obtain generous permission from The Wild Horses of Sable Island Gallery in NYC to use Roberto Dutesco’s beautiful photograph Tenderness as my inspiration.

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Sixteen days is a long time for us to be apart (we are one of those weird couples who don’t need much space from each other) and this photo expressed just what I wanted to convey.

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Here is the sequence of my painting:

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The White Elephant awaits!  There is always some trepidation at this stage.

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The rough sketch.

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First bit of paint: Burnt Sienna, which I quickly switched out for Burnt Umber.

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A few initial strokes.

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The monotone sketch. Whew–the White Elephant has been conquered!

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Putting in more tones.

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And highlights.

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Deepening the shadows.

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Sculpting with more highlights.

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Color!

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I seem to have a rather vague sense of color, so it takes lots of experimentation before it feels right.

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Putting color in, rubbing it out.

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Adding more lights.

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And more.

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I felt I needed an undertone of Raw Sienna for the neck and forelock.

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Defining more details.

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I liked the white background, but took a jump and brushed in a glaze of Cerulean Blue Hue.  Too blue.  I let it dry a day and glazed two coats of white over it.

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I love the end product–this very light blue with textural strokes of pure white going through it.  I highlighted the mane and forelock and added some movement to them, edged the side of the canvas in a deep black/brown, and signed it.

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From blank canvas to finished artwork, the painting took about 25 hours.  I worked for ten days, 2-3 hours per day.  It measures 24″ x 36″, the largest oil painting I have done, and I found it incredibly calming and non-tedious compared to my smaller works.

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I love many things about the way this painting turned out, including how it changes the visual feel of our home.  Most of all, though, I love the quiet joy and tender satisfaction these two horses find in each other’s company.

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With David home again, I know just how they feel.

7 Responses to “a painting for david”

  1. Your Lion says on :

    I love it! The photos of the process are amazing, mind blowing. Just wow, love you HUGE!/:O)

  2. Mom & Dad says on :

    Oh my God, honeeee…..this beautiful painting is just AWESOME!!!! We are so blessed to have such a talented daughter-in-law – you are very much loved 🙂 mom

  3. Mimi says on :

    Yup, very nice, Doll…I liked seeing exactly how you did it, one step at a time! Beautiful!

  4. mountain girl says on :

    Mom,
    Glad you like it! I am very very very happy to be your daughter-in-law,too!

  5. mountain girl says on :

    Mama,
    Zia wanted us all (her, Caleb, Cash, and I) to sign it in BIG letters all over the blue background, haha!

  6. Jennifer Miller says on :

    That looks amazing!

  7. Poco Mountain Girl » Blog Archive » a trip to aspen says on :

    […] This spring, I received permission to make an artist’s rendering of his work, and made an oil painting of […]

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