It is hard to find someone who is near by to me or willing to make the drive out this way to watch a 16 month old for a few hours a couple times a week. But regardless, I am managing and I think I am doing quite well with it.
This week I begin working on a large commission of a chestnut warmblood with a little girl for a client located in New England. She sent the following pics;
I am creating a larger 16"x20" colored pencil piece and have been brainstorming ideas in my head over and over. Since the reference shots are not ideal for compositional planning but still serve as a means to study my subjects' likelinesses, I sought out to take my own quick reference shots. Typically when I receive images from clients for fine art pieces and or illustrative/commercial work, I always end up shooting my own references or purchasing stock etc. In the end I want the best piece possible, one that the client will thoroughly enjoy forever!
I brainstormed a bit with the client over ideas/musings I had. I want to create an image that tells a story, in this case a bond between a human child and a horse. A moment captured! My mind envisions a young girl out in a scenic field with her chestnut gelding interacting in a very gently loving way. I feel having the horse depicted in the stall is too limiting and being able to see him entirely is a key goal. In my mind the image is mostly about the horse so I want him to play the larger role in the artwork and be the central/dominant subject.
My colored pencil work has been collected quietly by many clients over the years and as far as I know I am the only person who works with colored pencils they way that I do. I haven't met anyone who utilizes the methods entirely the way I do yet. Its been a process of trial an error until I perfected the technique that I have come to use. I will be sharing those techniques here!
I haven't a name for my technique yet and everyone is always shocked after seeing my works to learn that it is colored pencil I am using. Most people think its either oil pastel or acrylic until I tell them otherwise. I will be documenting my step by step progression on this piece here on my blog. I am really trying to make a valid attempt at documenting everything and showing everyone what I do.
Since leaving the teaching world I have been able to focus entirely on my art and photography and for the first time ever I am doing what I love and loving every minute of it. While I was teaching I was rather quiet about my art career as I didn't want to create a "conflict of interest" especially since in the commercial realm some of the subjects I work with are adult natured, I didn't want to ruffle feathers or draw an unnecessary attention my way.
Now, however, I have free reign to create and lately I feel like the artsy Mad Hatter who has just stepped forth in an explosion of artistic fury and I am liking it! Ah, I digress, now back to the reference shots I took.
A new boarder at my friend's barn has two little girls, Karlee and Emma and a big chestnut mare. I asked her if she would be willing to allow me to use her girls and her mare Porcia as reference for my artistic endeavors. She was very excited and agreed.
The reference shots were just quick, nothing fancy, no pro photography work, to get concepts and ideas that I had in my head, hashed out somewhat visually so I had something to work from. Of course I did squeeze in a session with the little girls and took some nice pictures of them for their mom as a way of thanking her for allowing me to use them :)
|BW version from above|
|There are still a lot more images from this session :)|
I took several reference shots of the girls randomly and candidly interacting with their mom's mare Porcia. These shots are not fancy, they merely represent conceptual ideas that are dancing around in my head for this work of art. I am closely studying the horse and her body language a well as the girls'. I must be spot on when depicting emotion and capturing that "magic" moment. The girl's head in the image is going to be facing the horse so her body language and the way she is interacting with the horse has got to be perfect in order for me to tell the story I am wanting to tell.
Here are some of the shots (keep in mind that the horse will be the client's horse and not the horse pictured, I am only using her image as a reference source, same goes for the little girl). I have made notations by the images I favor.
|I like the little girls legs and lower portion of her body here in this image|
|I like the girls upper body positioning and her gently touch on the horse's nose|