Posts Tagged ‘painting’

painting: horse eye

I’ve been looking at this one on my wall all week, and I love it so much. At first glance it could be an abstract of colors, maybe a close-up of a rock, and then it adjusts in my mind to a horse eye looking back at me.


8″x8″ oil on stretched canvas, wired on back, ready to hang. The colors wrap around the side edges so there is no need to frame. Available here.SOLD THANK YOU


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We had company last week, so I didn’t get any painting done at all. I *did* list these paintings on etsy, though.

Sorrel Horse, 10″x20″ oil on stretched canvas, available here.

A lionhead rabbit, 8″x10″ oil on stretched canvas, available here.

A sorrel horse eye, 12″x12″ oil on stretched canvas, available hereSOLD.

A Doberman dog, 12″x12″ oil on stretched canvas, available here.

And the Eiffel tower, just for something a little different. 6″x12″ oil on stretched canvas. Available here.

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I painted these horses in a larger size and more subdued colors, and thought I would paint them again in super brights. They are taken almost to an abstract level, but still are clearly horses.


10″x30″ oil on stretched canvas.
Available now in my etsy shop.

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musing about painting

I meant to say a few words about painting this horse, so here goes.

I started with the face, even though it’s a large canvas and I would normally start on the right side of a canvas since I am left handed — this stops me from smearing paint with my sleeve as I move around. But this face was so important to the painting, I thought I’d better make sure I got it right before attempting to do all the other stuff. Once the paint was dry, I painted the rest of the body.

I made sure to keep painting with the same colors, and not add any new ones at this point. I used a quarter-inch wide brush for the face and body.


For the bushes in the background I switched to a wider brush (about a half-inch wide) and first painted in the dark shadows. Then working with one color at a time, filled in the darkest leaves, the middle colored leaves, and finished with the lightest colored.


The grass is painted with the same wide brush. Sun makes the grass farther away appear the lightest color, sometimes even white.


I let everything in the background dry, and then painted the mane and a few strands of tail. The background has to be completely dry or you will smear the lighter colors into the darkness of the mane and there won’t be a crisp enough color transition between the mane and bushes — and in particular, the tail would not have worked at all, just smearing through the grass.

I think the most important points are making sure you have strong contrasts between highlights and shadow, and not hurrying the mane and tail.


Didn’t it turn out lovely? And already sold, yay!

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This is my favorite bunny pose from my new crop of bunny photos. Thank goodness for the fair, where I can take a LOT of bunny photos! Most of the time the bunnies are lounging, or nervous, but now and then you get a really good shot.
bun bun bun
My alternate title for this painting is, “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” I can’t decide which title I like better.

Oh, and there’s a new newsletter up (see link at right).

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painting: a grizzly bear

I’m taking my Christmas break from selling on ebay, and won’t have any more paintings there until Dec. 29. In the meanwhile, I’m going to be listing one here and there on etsy throughout the month.

I finished up this grizzly bear painting, and I’m happy with how he turned out. This is from my San Francisco zoo photos; I’m bummed the Portland zoo does not have any bears (well, a sun bear, but that’s it). So my bear photos are pretty limited. I got much better elephant photos at the Portland zoo, so I guess it’s a trade off.
beary good

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Fooling the eye

I’m looking through my photos trying to find some fresh inspiration. This little goldfinch jumped out at me. He’s a perfect example of something that occurs naturally, but which the eye does not accept in a painting.
in flight

He is flying away from the birdfeeder, his wings all the way closed at this exact moment. He looks like a bullet in flight. But if I used him in a painting, what would the eye see? It would see a bird plummeting to the ground.

Even though birds fly by opening and closing their wings, our brains need to see this bird with widespread wings holding him aloft. It’s just not right to see him captured in the moment when his wings aren’t battling gravity.

Little nuances like this sometimes elude me, because if something happens in reality it should look right in a painting. But lots of things still don’t look quite right; you have to know when to fudge the details.

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