This is only with about an hour's worth of work lastnight. I had a call with a prospective client that I am very excited about. It is always such a pleasure talking to such nice people who have some beautiful horses. That is one of the great things about doing this. Now if I can just do it full time one day ;)
I slimmed down and refined Espiritu's jawline a bit. I also dabbled a bit with the coat to adjust the greys a bit before I start adding on all the dapples. I focused primarily on the background by adjusting my values. Still much to be done, but it now has a bit more contrast to it. I decided to go with more flowers in the field. I like the colors and they compliments the grey of the stallion. I want this to have a magical, spring like feel to it and I think the colors do so accordingly. In the original photograph there is a highway, fence, and light poles in the background so I want to go as far away from that as I can. Backgrounds are something I do not enjoy as much, but with this one it has come together to work with this piece. I like to think of the background as the environment of the subject, not just an add on for effect. There is ecology in art. When you incorporate a background, or environment with a subject they need to be paired accordingly. Sometimes, and I am guilty of this, we tend to neglect the background, or forsake it all together because we don't always think to put as much time and care into that as we do our main subject. This is a lesson I still struggle with on some pieces. When you make the decision to create a piece of art then it needs to be set up, and the environment needs to appropriately reflect what you are trying to get across. The background can both make or break the piece. I am hoping, and doing everything in my power to keep it subtle but also let it add to Espiritu.
I attended a morning business meeting and it allowed me to travel a rural road and see the various fields I passed. I often find myself nearly running off the road because my artistic brain is focusing on something not nearly as important as the road; today was no exception. The fields are in full bloom with wildflowers. We have also had a very wet spring and good rainy summer as well. So the underlying grasses are green, and blue, veiled with morning glories, Queen Anne's lace, goldenrod, black eyes Susan's, and so forth. I really enjoyed my drive and wanted to bring that look and feel (although I am aiming more for Spring than mid Summer in this piece) through to my background. There is nothing better than being inspired by nature!