Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Aug 17 - Draft Horse Braids, Another AAEA Accepted Painting

Here is the second painting that was approved for showing in the American Academy of Equine Art's Fall Showcase in Kentucky.
This one is 12 x 16, and comes from an image I took many years ago at the Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley, California. I just loved that the daughter was being taught how to do the mane braids on his huge Belgian draft horse.
The abstract structure on this one tells the story of what these folks do (wagon, semi-truck trailer for hauling it all) and this is just a slice of their life before the showing begins. Thats the "story" which matters so much to me. What I particularly enjoyed about this piece is the backlighting of the girl, mother and horse, with bits of sunshine sparkling up the braids, the back and the horse's tail.
That the woman isn't slender and beautiful is me saying "get real" than it is about idealistic painting. I think more of my work is about the truth of the moment, rather than fantasies or dreams, or what ought to "be". If there is any idealism here, it is in the rich colors that were nowhere in the source material. Thanks to the Color System, that becomes a reality.
This painting will be heading for Kentucky to the American Academy of Equine Art's Fall Show, since it was also accepted in the jurying process.

Technical Tips:
Some of you asked about the "abstract structure" thing from yesterday, so I thought I'd show it to you as it works in that painting from yesterday. I took it into Photoshop and tweaked it to show the value structure.
Even though we do not SEE the value plan as the first thing that catches our eye when we look at paintings, it is the structure that keeps us looking. With this image, it is relatively easy to see the darks, midtones and lights, and therefore the structure of the image. If your eyes still see a horse and rider on a road, then it might take some more study on your part. Try looking at it upside down.
Since this is SO important for artists to "get" as part of their painting experience, I'm bringing in the current painting to also show you its value structure. Check out the "small light, large dark in mid-tones" value plan of this current piece! Can you "experienced" Color Boot Campers tell me the value plan of yesterday's?
Using a photo editing program to SEE your value structure is a grand way to tell if your work is delivering the message you want. Not having a discernable value plan is the biggest flaw I see in student work. And it is so easy to fix, too. Just come to a Color Boot Camp! (See you all in Georgia in October. I can hardly wait!!)
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