Jack & Red Horse

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My latest painting is of Jack, an Australian Cattle Dog and Red Horse - a toy he's not really supposed to play with. Jack belongs to someone I used to work with and either he or another friend (we all worked together) e-mailed the photo to me a while back. When I saw that photo, I just knew I had to do a painting of it! That look on Jack's face is priceless - resignation with an undercurrent of mischief in the making. Red Horse is a beloved toy given to Jack's owner when he was a child. As Jack's owner said: it's a love-hate relationship with Jack and Red Horse.

In situations like this, where the painting isn't a commission, but I use someone else's photo, the photographer/pet owner has first option to purchase the piece. If they opt not to buy the original, I'll give them a print and some note cards of the art. Happily, Jack's owner has purchased this painting.

"Jack & Red Horse" - 10" x 5.5" (this image is cropped horizontally) - watercolor and a touch of color pencil on Yupo

As you can see, I took some artistic license. I changed the proportions by adding more couch on the bottom. The original is actually wider as well, but I cropped the scan for a better proportion for reproductions. As for the colors - I knew right off that the horse would be red and Jack would be purple and orange, but had to think about the couch and background colors. After a little pondering, blue and blue-green made sense. I didn't want a lot of detail in the couch, so I let the paint do most of the work. I pushed it around a bit while it was still wet to get a hint of wrinkles in the fabric. Then after the paint was dry, I used color pencil to accent a few of the wrinkles and added some subtle cross hatching in places.

The background is simply a mix of blue and turquoise allowed to dry, although I hit it with a mist of water at some point during the drying process. The background has more blue than what shows here, similar to the lighter shades of the couch. Color correcting these brightly colored paintings is often a challenge and at some point, I have to throw in the towel and be satisfied!

The neat thing about working on Yupo - letting it "do its thing" - results in some really interesting patterns and textures. Iit all depends on the amount of water, paint and the colors I use. Each color reacts a bit differently to/with other colors. More water gives softer effects (as in this background), more paint (aka juicy paint) results in swirls and patterns (see the background of Julep in the previous post).

Reproductions of this painting (a matted print or note cards) are available in my Bonanzle booth and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Placer SPCA.

Magnets, t-shirts, mugs, mousepads and more are available from CafePress.


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