Next Up on the Easel

Been busy in the studio but without painting production - yet.  I like this part of the creative process and it fulfills that part of me that wants to create.  Using several photographs, I have compiled this image as a painting.  It is printed out as a poster the same size as the 12x16 panel in black and white.  Next, sketching.  The photo editing is a little messy, but you get the idea.  Also have set up and photographed a few still life projects that I may intersperse with the barrel racing one, some 8x10 and at least one 12x16, just to give myself a break from the more challenging barrel racer.  I feel the planning stage of paintings is the most important step to hopefully not run into issues during the painting process.  

On the drawing board.

 This will be a 12x16.  Thank you all who commented on this setup and your suggestions in a previous post.

This will be an 8x10.

This will be an 8x10

This will also be an 8x10.  I had actually photographed this one some time ago and the image has kind of grown on me.



  • edited July 22
    Wow, you don't believe in letting the grass grow under your feet do you, @A_Time_To_Paint. All that would keep me on the hop for another few months and I do it full-time.

    I think these are all great projects. There is so much dynamism in the horse photo - it's a wonderful composition. The barrel and the background create a great backdrop. They  don't detract but provide a stage  for the action happening with the horse and rider. I'm no horse person but that rider looks absolutely one with the horse. The highlights on the horse are so beautiful.

    And I really like the four still lifes. Each has subtle value gradations and subdued but still interesting colour combinations and there are lots of interesting lost and found edges. It's hard t pick a favorite but I think I'd have to go with the green apples on brown paper. I love the composition and colours.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing these develop. Take care not to burn out with all these projects on the go.  :)
  • The barrel rider is great.  Going to be an amazing painting.  The life set-ups are all very good.  I'm looking forward to seeing the actual paintings.
  • Amazing photo of barrel rider - will share with my daughter who I call a horse whisperer because horses just seem attracted to her in some weird way - she works/manages at a boarding facility and just loves horses.
    Looks like a challenging project and look forward to seeing it. The still life images also look great, especially the onions/garlic. 
  • I love the green apples!   You’re inspiring me.  😊 
  • The barrel racer is a great subject.  It will make for a fantastic painting.  I like your other still lifes too, especially the rooster cup and the apples.
  • Thank you @tassieguy, @oilpainter1950, @whunt, @spiffypix, and @GTO.  I have some artists friends who are telling me that the barrel racing composition has too many places to look without focusing on the horse and rider with the current background and inclusion of the barrel in the foreground and both elements are "distracting."  I like what @tassieguy said in that these are elements of the stage for the star of the show.  I respect everyone's opinion here and thought I would ask about the composition of the barrel racing photo.  Is the background too distracting?  Is the barrel too distracting?  Here is the original reference photo.  Let me know what you guys think.  I know I'm the artist and should make up my own mind but at the same time I don't want to make a big mistake compositionally, put a lot of time into the painting, and then have to repaint or scrap it and start all over again. 

    I think the background in the original reference photo is very distracting and the barrel advertising has to go.   The composition I came up with has a darker background as does the barrel without the advertising.  Much more contrast than the reference photo.  Thoughts?

  • The three apples is a beauty image. The regularity of the background of the Barrel racer is a bit cooling. The girl and the horse are terrific. A much ignored sport. These horse and riders are true athletes.
  • edited July 23
    @A_Time_To_Paint, I know I've already weighed in on this but I'd just like to say that you made the right choice getting rid of the advertising on the barrel. My eye goes straight to it when I look at the original photo.  It's a powerful eye magnet that detracts from the horse and rider.  Regarding the background, anything that is subdued in colour and not too busy would work fine here. The one you've come up with will be relatively simple to paint but there's enough variation there to avoid it being boring. You could paint it fairly loosely to put the focus on the horse and rider

    BTW, looks like the apples are getting the thumbs up.  :)
  • Thank you @KingstonFineArt for your feedback.  I so agree with you in that these barrel racers are daredevils and have to be extremely athletic to compete in this sport.  Thank you @tassieguy very much also for your comments.  I believe I may have come up with another background option that could do the trick.  Here is the edited photo.  I believe this would be a much simpler background that would keep the foreground the focal point.  The barrel is also lightened.  I don't want to leave the barrel out altogether because of the horse's foot and leg position.  He is about to storm around that barrel and is not just running flat out in a straight line.  

  • Thank you @Suez for your feedback.
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