Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spot On Color

"Seeing Spots" oil on canvas 11x14
I had such a fantastic time painting the colorful pinto horse a few days ago, I decided to paint an appaloosa. I love working with patterns and textures when I paint animals. This time I chose a higher key and added more surface texture. In this case, I used a painting knife along with the brushwork. I really had to stop myself from painting more leopard pattern spots--it's rather addictive.

My color selection for this painting was a few more pigments than I typically use, but still fairly limited. Also, I'm sometimes I asked about my preference for paint brands. I've tested almost every brand over many years so on a palette like this it's not unusual that each of these is a different brand. This doesn't make replacing your colors very practical though, so you may want to pick a few favorites and stick with those.

Permalba White, Indian Yellow, Trans Red Oxide, Perm Rose, Aliz Crimson, Ultra Blue, Thalo Blue, Yellow Green and small amount of Ivory Black.

Also, quick note about black since I'm often asked about that as well. Personally, I don't usually use black but I find myself using it sometimes and in moderation when I paint animals. Like many artists, I work with ivory black as a very dark neutral blue. And I usually mix black with another pigment help warm it up such as a touch of Alizarin or Red Oxide.

I don't know about you but I always think of colorful or patterned equines such as palominos, pintos (paints), and appaloosas being featured in Native American or Western art work, but in doing some research, I came across this interesting 17th century Flemish painting by Meulen of Louis XIV riding an appaloosa. In fact, artists have been depicting spotted horses in art since the 11 century.

This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.
So my painting challenge to you today is a patterned animal--have fun and see you in the studio! For more info about my classes, please click on my class link at the top.

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