Creating Equine Art
The first things you need to know about becoming an equine artist are some basic rules about image use. As an artist you must learn to work using live subjects, capturing your scenes, or using a camera to take your own photos. Your unique way of seeing the world of the horse shines through when you use your own reference materials. Another way to create an image, is to call upon your imagination. Let it flow and see what appears on the canvas or paper.
Artist's also find images, by purchasing the rights to photos or pictures that belong to someone else. It's perfectly acceptable and legal to use images if you purchase rights. You may also ask permission when you find a photo you like, some people will allow you to use their photos for free. Becoming a member of certain organizations and contributing to their member reference libraries gives you the right to use other members reference photos. Two such art related organizations are the Equine Art Guild and Wet Canvas.
There are other sites on the web, where you can receive help in your quest for learning to paint, these two above, happen to be the two I belong to at this time. At both organizations, you'll have help with any problem that arises. Artists there are happy to assist you with information about supplies, mediums, techniques and encouragement. There's a fee to join the Equine Art Guild, Wet Canvas is free at this time. Both organizations accept you at the skill level with which you paint at this time. You don't have to be famous or skilled to join.
If you choose to paint human subjects with famous horses, be sure to obtain a model release. Images of some people and horses are legally protected against use. It's wise to ask permission before you begin to paint these subjects.
Copyright law might seem complicated. It becomes very simple if you remember this basic rule. Don't copy another person's work. Use your own reference materials! You'll hear from some sources it's permissible to copy a work if you "change it 10%". Don't do it. It isn't legal. Use your own materials! I can't stress this enough. Think of it this way, would you want someone else copying your work? You won't be considered a serious artist, if you don't gather your own sources for your work.
You don't have to own a horse to become a great equine artist. Perhaps you work with horses and have endless ideas coming your way for your art. Many artists I know go to the track, parades, rodeos or other equine events to gather material for creating their paintings. Perhaps you have a friend or neighbor who's willing to allow you to photograph their horses. I like to drive around the countryside taking photos of horses I find along the way. I'm careful not to disturb the horses or try to get close to them, I take the photos from a distance. This method gives me natural looking poses of horses in their environment.
Many factors enter into becoming an equine artist. First and foremost, is the image you create and how you come upon it. In following articles, I'll post lessons, with examples, on how to draw and paint horses.