When I Look In Your Eyes
I love seeing the horses at the state fair. This year I was especially impressed with the "Heavy Horses" group: the draft horses, sometimes called work horses, originally bred more for labor than beauty. Yet they are all incredibly beautiful, and none more so than the Friesian Horses. With their black coats, thick, wavy manes and regal bearing they look like something out of a fairy tale. I have been told they generally have a gentle, dignified nature, but can also be playful and full of energy. They have even appeared in some of my favorite moves such as Zorro and the Narnia Chronicles. I have to confess to falling a little in love with this guy, as I always do with the animals I paint. There is something in the process of painting that brings me a little closer to their spirit. helps me to understand them better.
Painting this horse was a bit of a challenge for two reasons. How do you portray the size and strength of this wonderful creature on a small canvas? I considered many different approaches, finally deciding to focus on the expression of strength and spirit in the face. Taking it closer and closer until the eyes and the nose told the story. I would love to do a full portrait some time, but it will take a big canvas and a lot of time. The second problem was the color. As an artist I find that the dark colors are the most difficult to portray, and Friesians are very, very dark . For me, using black straight from the paint tube results in a painting that is flat, dull, lifeless. If you look very closely, you can usually find areas of color in the lights and in the shadows of even the darkest fur - a touch of blue here, a bit of orange or brown there. Black is not really black but a combination of colors opposite on the color wheel, light and shadow, warm and cool.
This is an acrylic on stretched, wrapped canvas, 8 x 10 x .75, standard depth. All the edges have been painted and no staples show so that it may be displayed with or without a frame. It is the newest in the series of paintings, "When I Look In Your Eyes," It will be available through Daily Painters and Art Helping Animals on Tuesday, March 23, and on Ebay later this week. 20% of the sale will be donated to True Blue Animal Rescue
Black Friesian Horse
Acrylic on Canvas
8 x 10, standard depth canvas