Saturday, November 17, 2007

How to begin your painting.

This is the easiest, fastest way to begin painting. Place your primed or gessoed support flat on a table. Dip a large round oil painting brush in your turpentine or odorless thinner. Dip your brush into any color of paint on your palette. I like to use colors that will be complimentary to major colors in the painting. This gives the painting a glow you don't achive otherwise. Smear the paint and turpentine around the canvas. Your goal is to cover the support with some color. You want this color to be loose and what a painter will call "washy". The color doesn't need to be dark.

Beginning your painting, by DAW

While I'm finding my image on the board, I'm constantly thinking. How far away from the edge should this line be? How does this shape curve? Where does it meet the next shape? Is this line half way across the painting horizontally? Where does it cross this vertical line? You can see in the image above, you might call this a complicated painting. It really isn't. While you're drawing, never think about horses. Don't say to yourself, is this horse's neck long enough? Is his head big enough? Gosh, I don't know how to draw horses. I can never get the eyes right. Toss all of those thoughts out of your head and think about your lines and shapes and where they need to be on the painting. You'll be surprised at how easily your drawing will appear.

Coming along with your painting.

This method of drawing the image right onto the support will save so much time and energy for you. You don't have to bother with drawing an image on paper or transferring it to canvas. It's there on the painting as you go along. When you make a mistake on your drawing, dip your brush in some more paint and turpentine, and smear paint over the area you wish to correct. Dip your brush back into the turpentine and begin to find your image again. Keep the drawing light in color and you can paint over it and redraw it over and over until it looks right. When you grow used to this method, you'll find it easier and easier to create each painting.

I read many books on how to draw before I found one that made perfect sense to me. I didn't like methods where I learned to draw circles, put the circles together and try to make them form the shape of a horse. I didn't like other methods I found. Nothing seemed to work for me. Then I took a drawing class put on by an artist friend of mine. She used the Betty Edwards book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". It was like a light came on in my head! After I studied this method of learning to see, I could draw anything!

Save on Art Supplies at

I hope this lesson was helpful to you. You can see some of my horse art on my website. I've also posted pages of Christmas gifts there. You'll find gifts you can't get any where else for a horse loving person.

The Support Beneath your Painting

The support is what you actually paint upon. Some artists use prepared canvases. You can purchase them in online stores, craft stores in your town, and from art supply catalogs. If you want longevity in your work, use the good, stretched canvases. They come on wooden stretcher bars. For practise, the canvas boards are fine. Gallery wrapped canvases are wonderful as they don't require framing! As soon as your painting is finished, it's ready to hang on the wall.

Other artists prefer to use mdf board or masonite boards. Unless you're planning on doing very large paintings, 1/4 inch board will work for you. Lumber yards will cut 4X8 sheets of this board into sizes you require. They usually charge a small fee for this. You can also cut your own boards if you have the tools.

If you want to get extremely creative and find your board at the best possible price, (which is free) find a friend who has a cabinet shop, a contractor, or woodworker who throws the scraps away. They'll be happy to have you pick the scraps up so they don't have to haul them off. You'll also find this material in dumpsters where general contractors have thrown excess materials away. Choose only the good fresh boards that are clean.

Once you've aquired your board and cut it to size, it needs to be gessoed. Gesso is a special kind of paint that covers boards, sticking to them and giving you a safe surface to apply your paints. I use several coats of gesso on my boards. (4-6 coats) I paint both sides so the boards don't warp. Some artists like to sand between the coats of gesso to get a smooth surface. (Let it dry thoroughly between coats.) I like the texture of my lines and lumps to show through, so I tend to slap the gesso on with abandon. Many artists use house paint or primer for this application. There are pros and cons to this line of thought. You might want to do more research on this method and decide for yourself which way to go. I've done it both ways and it hasn't seemed to make much difference. Gesso can be found in art catalogs or art and craft supply stores.

You can also gesso mat board and other surfaces before you paint on them. Don't be afraid to try new things. If you watch House and Garden television, you'll see how any surface can be painted! A word of caution. To create fine art, use only the best methods, materials and preparations. For other painting, you can get as creative as you wish.

When I purchase supports, I like to use the Fredrix Stretched Linen Canvas I find on Mr This canvas is so smooth and rich! When you see it, you can't wait to start your next painting. I've bought supplies from Mr Art for less money than I'd pay buying them in a local craft store and I saved the gas it takes to make a trip to town.

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You can see horse art on my website and purchase Christmas gifts on the special pages I set up for the holidays. Thanks for stopping by....

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 to capture 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 reference materials you've gathered yourself. 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.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this article on learning to be an equine artist. You'll find horse art and gifts on my website. I've put up some special pages for Christmas gift giving.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another quick draw.

This project was a 40 minute drawing. Such a cute baby. I didn't use anything special, just copy paper and a normal pencil.

Remember there's great Christmas gifts on my website, horse art and more. Sign up to have this blog delivered into your email box while you're here!

Thank you for stopping by and please recommend this blog to your friends who love horses.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Quick draw

One of the online groups I belong to is having a weekly drawing event where we choose a photo from one of 12 posted by a different member each week. You can choose your medium. Then you have to limit yourself to two hours and quit, then post the image as it is.

We've been doing so many shows lately, we haven't been home much. And tonight it was late when we got here...but I decided to spend some time at this as it's so relaxing to sit and draw a subject you love. I chose this horse as I liked the look in his eye.

I didn't have two hours to work on this as headed for bed instead. :) But I did spend an hour drawing and although it might need some corrections, considering we've been spending 10 hour days at a show this last week, I'm happy with it.

Stop by my website for some horse art Christmas gifts, I've set up two pages of quick and easy shopping!

Thank you for stopping by!