Running Free Demo

Step 1

Step 1.  I began this painting with a wash of ivory black and permanent allizarine crimson, and a few light very simple marks with vine charcoal to indicate the shapes of the horses.  I use these as sort of road maps to guide me in putting accurate pieces of paint where they should be.  The black horse is roughly painted in, but the shapes are accurate enough that it will require only minor adjustments in value, edges and color temerature.  This is a fun stage, because I have not made any mistakes yet.

Step 2

Step 2.  I start indicating the second horse even though the first one is not finished.  I am anxious to see the relationship between the two animals.  I think this will be okay.

Step 3

Step 3.  Here I start to suggest some of the terrain.  I am going to try to get the feeling of air in the light, and the feeling of place.  Things are going as I intend.  That is good.

Step 4 is detail  of Step 3

Step 4.  This is a detail of Step 3.

Step 5

Step 5.  I improve the shapes of both horses, and add the local vegetation, and begin suggesting dust being kicked up by the horses.  The foreground needs a hint of red clay.

Step 6

Step 6.  Here I am nearing the finish line.  I have to be careful to finish the painting, but resist the temptation to over work.  More detail is not what is needed.  i try to only concentrate on improving shapes.  If the shapes are not good, all the rendering, and detail in the world will not help.  i try to also remain focused on the temperature of color (warms and cools).  Last, but not least, I want this to have a painterly look, to satisfy the aesthetic that I am going for.

Running Free-12x16-oil on linen-new book

The Finished Painting:  “Running Free” 12 x 16 oil on linen

“Running Free” was inspired by the release of horses into the pasture after being in the stables over night.  My intention was to capture that burst of energy when first set free.  I think this little painting depicts the nature of this flight animal.