Horse etiquette

Having decided to do a second version of a large painting (you can see the GIMP study I did in the previous post) I found it needed more reference material.

The foreground tree was a problem insofar as it had to have an interesting trunk. I strolled around looking for a candidate, and found a couple.

The second problem was the horse, which needed a new and different pose, so I stalked the local horses with my camera. And breached horse etiquette by being a bit too sneaky, when I walked into the field where they were grazing* and startled them. Ever been glared at by a horse?

Anyway...went back next day, found the big white guy on his own, and managed to snap him. I don't think he was impressed. Once his curiosity was satisfied he turned on his heels and favoured me with his rear end until I left. 

'Put that in your picture.'

* Kindly note I would no more trespass on a farmer's land than I would stride uninvited into his kitchen and make free with his toaster. There's a public footpath through the field.  


I've been working on an old painting in GIMP, given that I wasn't too happy with the way it turned out in real life.

I changed the format from a square to a 3:2 rectangle, and introduced some changes, cutting and pasting trees from other finished paintings. Like the repoussoir on the left?* I've been looking all over for a tree that would do the job, auditioning the local hopefuls for the part. I might end up just inventing one, the way Constable used to.

Shoving pixels around with a mouse is easier than painting, that's for sure. But at some point I'm going to have to turn this back into a real painting. Wish me luck.

*Repoussoir is my word of the day. Next week, fandango.

Colour Wheel

I found these in my painting folder. 

They're from some colour studies I did back in 2013, the colour wheel starting life as an attempt in oils at a YURMBY wheel, which places red, green, and blue, between cyan, magenta, and yellow.

It went through GIMP at some point, lost the pencil lines and got tidied up a little after gaining an inner circle which places colours against their most contrasting colour.

Some painters are natural colourists, others do better with form. Which camp are you in?

Current drawings

I'm taking a break from landscape, given that the local countryside looks like a midden right now, to concentrate on figure drawing.

I started by drawing myself, after catching sight of me one morning in the mirror in the process of getting up. I thought, 'You know, you look good.' Good being a relative term, and strictly dependent on who I'm standing next to.

I began to draw myself,
which set me several difficult tasks. Such as, have you ever tried to draw your own hands from life? It requires astonishing feats of juggling.

I finished that drawing and began another. I took reference photographs, and painted a small colour study. I'm currently working on a drawing of my head from the photographs, which you can see here. 

Yes, I got the nose wrong and I have to do it over.

A Modest Proposal

During my morning constitutional I found this scene at a favourite painting spot.

Now, I'm an old softy at heart. I believe in rehabilitation rather than punishment. I think mercy is the better part of justice.
I do not favour the death penalty.

But people who fly-tip should be beaten to death with wire coat hangers.

Some of the gentler souls among you might find that opinion a little challenging, but hear me out.

The local authority provides a state of the art recycling centre that anyone can use for free, and they'll actually send someone in a truck to your house to pick up bulky items for a small fee. Someone who thinks it's a good idea to go to the trouble of hauling their household junk into the middle of a local beauty spot, in order to spread it around like a hippo marking its territory with faeces, therefore, is probably taking the micky, and should be taken out with extreme prejudice. No judicial process, just two behind the ear and a last journey to the nearest pig farm.

Ever have one of those veins throbbing in your forehead? I think mine's calmed down now, but my hands are still shaking.

On a similar note, I've seen pictures of graffiti tags on rocks in American national parks, miles from anywhere. Which means the perpetrators went to the trouble of carrying their spray cans through miles of beautiful wilderness in order to deface it. And of course, the savages in the east have taken to blowing up priceless art treasures and historical monuments. 

Hmmm...perhaps there's some ideological component to these people's decisions to deface the natural world.

So there you have it: proof that fly-tippers are in league with Islamist extremists. Well, maybe not proof, but good enough, by the standards of today, to start waging war on them.

If that doesn't get the drone strikes lighting them up, I don't know what will.