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'In any land what is there more glorious than sunlight! Even here in the desert where it falls fierce and hot like a rain of meteors, it is the one supreme beauty to which all things pay allegiance ... The chief glory of the desert is its broad blaze of omnipresent light.'
-John Van Dyke

Monday, January 20, 2014

Horse portraits in black and white

When I was in my teens I saw the work of Rainer Blutke - Arabians and Lipizzaner horses portrait in charcoal. Inspired by those drawings I did a whole series of portraits using just black watercolor. Those paintings generated a lot of interest and sales among my dressage riding friends. 

I now went back to that technique and topic matter. Mainly I want to explore some painterly problems without dealing with the added aspects of the human face, as whether the depicted person is attractive, or whether the expression is appealing. 

For example, I want to test the eyes dominance of eyes by covering one eye with the mane, or how the impression of three-dimensionality is supported or destroyed by the value distribution inherent to the horse's color. I also want to find out how colors translate into black-and-white value systems....will I be able to express the warm glow of a chestnut with just black pigment? 
So there may be more of these portraits as I go along and I'll add them to this blog. 

 I just framed the first pair so I can present them at my next show at the Mountain View Country Club in SaddleBrook, AZ, on February 8 and 9. The two 7x11 in watercolors are mounted as a diptych. They are floated in a shadowbox mat and a wood frame with integrated canvas liner. To see more of my equestrian paintings go to this link

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