Sunday, October 28, 2012

Made a little more progress on my polo pony Thursday and Friday, building up the layers and adding more detail, though to be honest I'm trying not to get too fussy with detail.  It's difficult, as I find the horse's form, the sheen of the coat, the muscle and bone, so fascinating.

I'm trying to get color into the shadowed areas too, because if you look really closely, there are so many variations.  It's not just brown or grey, which is what you see at first glance, there's warm and cool areas, which translate into color.  There's quite a lot of information if you look for it.  I use a lot of purple and blue in these areas, as I often do in my paintings.  I love pure color.  I think that's part of learning to be a better artist - seeing things that others can't, and translating that to canvas in a way that's appealing to the eye and makes sense.

I've also decided to keep the background red.  I got hung up on the background with my first polo pony painting, and going on advice from an artist friend, think it's best to just leave the background essentially blank so it doesn't distract from the subject.  I actually always start my paintings with a red-orange base coat to give my paintings warmth, but in this case, I think it really accentuates the horse and provides added vibrancy.  I've always been fond of red in my paintings.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Website is here!

I've finally posted the new website.  As I said, it's not a massive change, though the layout is slightly different, and I've added some of my new pieces, and just tried to simplify overall.  Hopefully it's just as easy to navigate.

I consider this more of an online portfolio than anything, but all my work, unless otherwise specified, is for sale.  The internet's certainly a great platform to showcase artwork, and I enjoy playing around with the look and functionality of my website almost as much as I enjoy creating the art.  There's still a few tweaks to make here and there, and some art to add, but otherwise I've finished with this for now.  Onto the art!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Website Coming Soon...

Thought I'd also mention, I'm currently updating my website, and the new and improved version should up and running soon.  Nothing too drastic.  Just a few minor alterations.  A different layout, with a few less categories.  It's hard to add new paintings to my site the way it is now, so this should be an improvement for practical reasons, at least.  If all goes well, it'll probably be up in the next few days, so check back soon!

More Polo Ponies

Started a new painting today.  Thought I'd attempt an even tighter crop this time, to highlight the true beauty of the horse, and the incredible muscle tone in the flank.  I was a little nervous at first, wondering if this cut too much of the horse out of the picture, but I've since decided I like this close-up examination.  To look at the details that make this animal so beautiful.  I want to be looser with my brush stroke too, and eradicate the background altogether so the horse is the primary focus.  No annoying trees to deal with this time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Finding inspiration can sometimes be a challenge.  I often go through dry periods where I'm not motivated enough to paint.  That's usually when I write.  But thankfully a few weeks back, when the weather was still nice, a friend took me (finally!) to the polo in Portsmouth, where I got to see USA vs. Italy.  I say finally, because I've lived in Portsmouth for over nine years, and I've never been, which seems insane considering it's literally around the corner from me.

Anyway, it was quite an experience.  Wine flowed, copious amounts of cheese and deli meats were consumed (my friend is Italian), and the polo ponies rumbled past.  I understand it's a dangerous sport, which I witnessed first hand.  One of the Italians either got whacked in the chest with a mallet, or fell off his horse, I'm not entirely sure, but the poor guy writhed on the ground for a while until he recovered enough to carry on.  Ouch.  Obviously, I took my camera and snapped as many pics as I could (of the horses, not the injured Italian), and came up with a few promising compositions.  I completed my first painting last week, with hopefully more to come.

I've always been fascinated by horses.  I think they're beautiful creatures.  I used to draw and paint them as a teenager.  That's why my focus is the horse, and why I've partially decapitated the rider.  To me, he's not nearly as important.

Being very critical of my own work, I'm not entirely sure I'm happy with this piece.  I like the energy of the horse, but that huge expanse of grass to the left really bothers me.  I may take that into account in my next composition.  I might make it a tighter crop, so there's even more horse, and less grass.  My other gripe is that I wished I'd got a bit of blue sky in there somewhere.  It was a gorgeous day, but there's a huge wall of trees behind the polo grounds, and they became the backdrop instead of the sky, and I really don't like painting trees for some reason.  Perhaps next time I'll take a walk around the grounds and get a different perspective.  (That's the problem with drinking too much wine - I didn't think to change my position!)  That'll have to be next summer though.  The polo is over for the year.  I'm just glad I got to go the once.  It was fun.

Polo Pony - 18x18"