Since, judging from the stats, the subject seemed to be very popular, I thought I would continue today with more on the takhi, specifically how I take the reference I shoot and turn it into a painting. More and more I start with drawings to become familiar with a new species or figure out things about one I’ve painted before.
Here are three drawings from last year, the first two of which were published in the Society of Animal Artists newsletter.
Now I’ll show you how I take an animal from one time and place and put her in a setting from another time and place, a challenge that every wildlife artist needs to meet successfully. Here’s the setting:
What a treat! We came around the bend in the dirt track early in the morning and there, right in front of us were two harems at the same time, sorting out who gets to go first.
I always try for a variety of shots; close-ups and the “big picture” for context. I used to come home with great close shots of something like a tree and found that I’d completely forgotten to get the surroundings, which really cut down on my options. Notice that the above photo is kinda fuzzy. But it’s still useable for reference.
Now here is the horse reference. Different part of the park, different year, different season. I’ve included two as an example of what to look for when evaluating images. These are similar, but the second, to me, is clearly superior. I love the rhythm of her gesture.
So next I did a drawing to capture that.
And, putting them together, here is the finished painting, completed in 2007. What I hope is that you can’t tell that I “stitched” together the reference from two sources.
I also wanted to let you know that two of my takhi images are available as limited edition giclees, framed or unframed. The full information is on my website. Click on “Limited edition giclees” under Fox Studio in the column on the right and it will take you directly to my giclee page.
I saw this foal on the same trip as the mare in the painting above. He or she was quite a character.
I posted this last week, as the original painting is still available, but have also published it as a giclee. It’s another example of how I took the mare and foal, who were against a grassy hillside and moved them to a ridge that has Hustai’s famous mountain as the background. The third horse was added as a design element.
All my giclees are available for holiday delivery.
ART THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Let this be plain to all: design, or as it is called by another name, drawing, constitutes the fountain-head and substance of painting and sculpture and architecture and every other kind of painting, and is the root of all sciences. Let him who has attained the possession of this be assured that he possesses a great treasure…:
Michaelangelo (who ought to know)