Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mustang Mountain

Mustang Mountain
19 x 44 Mixed Media on Canvas

Mustang Mountain was sold before it was begun. That is the wonderful part about a commissioned piece. I really enjoyed doing this painting because it allowed me an opportunity to work on the "flaws" in Meraki Mustang. An artist always sees the flaws. It is why Monet did Chartres Cathedral so many times. The minute the commission was enjoined I ordered the requisite stretcher bars and began working on the sketch.

I have done enough mustang or wild horse paintings by now that I have a cast of characters, as it were, which I get to modify and re-arrange and refine. And as the stretcher bars did not immediately arrive I got to modify more. I was at the end quite pleased with the grouping of the herd. I knew I wanted the sky more the same color as Mystic Mustangs, which the patron also owns, as they will be hanging on the same wall.

Sky poured and legs masked for foreground

Foreground and background and sun floated in, then masking removed.

This part goes relatively fast. A large segment of the painting can be filled in with background colors allowing only for drying time of mask. Now everything goes slower.

Painting in the mustangs

Meraki Mustangs was the inspiration and model for this piece. It was just too large for the buyer. So I knew what color my mustangs were going to be. Well, sort of. There were "tweaks" I wanted to do with that too.

Basic horse colors in

Watercolors are layered. Lightest colors go in first and then details are added with darker colors over the light.

Background behind the mustangs darkened and manes and details filled in

At this point I can pick up the oil sticks and add the desert flora. Colors are still changing somewhat on the mustangs and the background. I want to get depth between the foreground and the mountains. More work also done under the hooves of the mustangs.

 A white wash is added to the mountains to make them recede

I tweaked a couple more things between this stage and the final one at the lead of this blog. Then I put in the signature ravens. The hard part is always knowing when to let go of a work. One of the reasons I can do a progress blog like this is I photograph the process so I can stand back and look at where I am on a computer screen. I find this particularly necessary with bigger canvases such as this one.

I ordered stretcher bars for two paintings this size. Part of the reason for that is insurance. Do not want to be caught with a warped set of bars that has to be sent back when you have a deadline to meet. And this is a great dimension for tricky spaces to fill. I am going to use the spare set for another painting already hatched in my mind.

Below is the new painting installed with the earlier one it was to hang with.

Mystic Mustangs on right and Mustang Mountain on left

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