The Horse Gift - Le Cadeau du Cheval - Equine Mural Project

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Now that my panel is posted on-line, I can tell you about a great project I've been involved in. I had seen one of the projects by Mural Mosaic some time ago and thought it was a very inventive idea. I always thought it would be fun to participate in something like that. When I found out about a new Mural Mosaic project, Le Cadeau du Cheval (The Horse Gift), I applied to participate and was accepted along with 172 other artists. The Cadeau mural is composed of 238 individual 16" x 16" panels. The overall mural is huge, coming in at 18' x 22'. The full mural has yet to be seen by the public, but it's a painting of a horse. It will be unveiled at Spruce Meadows in Alberta, Canada on September 3rd.

The panels were shipped from Mural Mosaic's home base in Alberta, Canada to artists around the world and we painted our own stand-alone equine art on them and sent them back (in pre-paid packages no less - this was a very well-organized project!). When we received our panels they were already painted with a portion of the overall image (see the first image below), so we had to stick to that overall tone and pattern for our individual paintings.

My panel as I received it
This is how the panel looked when I received it.

I had decided to paint "Clever Hans" after reviewing the list of famous horses posted on the Mural Mosaic site. You can read more about Clever Hans on my page of the Cadeau site (there's a link at the bottom, cllick on the image of my finished panel).

My design for the panel
I couldn't find any terribly helpful reference material of Clever Hans, so I decided just to use my Quarter Horse mare, Bess as my model. I found a good reference photo of her head and worked with that. Then I added numbers and mathematical symbols to the design and printed that out at 16" x 16", the size of the panel, so I could transfer it directly.

Design transferred to my panel
At this stage, I'd transferred my image to the panel and outlined the numbers/symbols with a pen.

Acrylic paint added to the background
I used acrylic, not my typical medium, but it was the perfect paint for this type of project. Most of the artists used acrylic, but I believe a few used oil and at least one did pyrography (wood burning). Artists were asked to completely cover the existing paint on the panels.

More paint
Here I've painted the numbers and started work on Hans

My completed painting of Clever Hans - click to see the panel on the Mural Mosaic site and find out more about Clever Hans
And this is the final painting, panel #153 of Le Cadeau du Cheval.
Click on Clever Hans to visit my page of the Cadeau site.

Having never done anything like this before, I'm very pleased with the result. But there are some absolutely stunning paintings in this mosaic. Two of my favorites are Panel 137 and Panel 130. You can easily spend a lot of time looking at the mosaic and the individual panels - it's fascinating! And check out Horse Gift's YouTube channel for videos about this mural.

Books of the mural are also available, click here to find out more.


DianneVdC June 29, 2009 at 1:24 PM  

Once again Ann, you have blown me away! Bess is beautiful and the entire project is amazing. Good on you!

Zafran ali November 10, 2010 at 10:57 PM  

Great development i like your pretty work nice done.Send Flowers Pakistan

- - - All art and images ©Ann Ranlett, unless otherwise credited. All rights reserved. - - -
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