Wednesday, July 31, 2013


A while ago a great artist and friend of mine, Ray Bonilla asked me to post my process.  It's taken me a seriously long time to sit down and do that.  Here are some step by step pics of a couple of pieces that I actually chronicled.

My process first begins with photographing my subject matter.  Most of the time that subject is horses.  I use a Canon T3i with a 70-300 zoom lens for most action shots. I used to use a Canon Xsi. I paint on wood panels, mostly birch that I buy at Lowes and cradle with 1x2's.  I do use some pre-made wood painting panels as well.  My smaller pieces are usually the edupanels from blick.

Blessing of the Hunt
My photographic reference: I crop and grid it in photoshop, sometime adjusting the contrast as well.

I start drawing using a grid with thin paint on a recently toned board, this time in paynes gray, which is what I use for a cooler image, I use burnt sienna for a warmer piece
Then I start to build the values still using a thin layer of paynes gray and erasing some of the tone with a brush dipped in mineral spirits

I start to work in the color.  I don't always do this in the same order but typically I start in the focal point. I use a muted palette so that my focal point can have the punch of color.  I also tend to have a little of the background color in every color I mix.

Another piece, Out in Front 
Once again started with a photograph.  I take thousands of pictures when I'm shooting and once and a while a photo composition works, often tho I have to remove or add elements to make it work right.  The horses in this piece just worked.  I did remove the tower on the left because it was distracting. 

I didn't feel the white was working with the other whites in the painting.  So I changed the color of the lead riders clothes

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