Howlinghorse -- sketches/wips

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  07 July 2006
Hmm his legs looks a little thin now i guess. I would have kept the old legs and only silm down the body. Maybe (well probably) a matter of personnal taste. Still very beautiful. Maybe you could lenghten the mane so he looks a little wilder? (Okay.. i have a soft spot for wild horses with long manes. )

But hey, as they say, the client's always right.
  07 July 2006

I think that you have got photoreferences so I won't tell you nothing about its anatomy, but I can suggest you to use front or 3/4 view for animals to create perspective effect and to delete the bad sensation of 'animal attached on a background'

I also suggest you to develop both background and subject in order to create colors interaction .

Watch you soon
  07 July 2006
By the way, there's a topic at the DSG: "Warhorse" -- just in case you didn't have it in mind.
  10 October 2006
Quote: I think that you have got photoreferences so I won't tell you nothing about its anatomy,

no, I didn't have any photo references, so please feel free to tell me what you're thinking!

Thanks for the tip, eilidh, I'm afraid I've been verrry inactive here for a while. There's more free time now though.

again just for the record, here are the paintings I've been working on in the meantime. I've got to a stage now where I'm really, really determined to improve and to push myself.

Sombre Lilac
Sea Spirals
Blue Is Your Friend
Fourhoofed Devil
Present for Amanda
  10 October 2006
Wow, very very nice paintings!
No less can be said.
  10 October 2006
thanks very much, pap!

This is me pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Pretty horses are great but I feel very stuck-in-a-rut, heh. I want to really work on brushstrokes and accuracy, see if I can't get emotion through colours and shapes and compositions. And, get anatomy to flow more easily than it is at the moment.

a sketch of a laughing girl... erk, lots I've got wrong here. I sort of like the way the brush seems quite fluid though. Funny seeing as its only the photoshop default. Actually, that's just about the only brush I use.
  10 October 2006
Mmm I like it !
  10 October 2006
a laugh continued

aw, thank you CyborgJA! I know its not finished, but I probably won't do any more on this.

I don't know what to draw next. I could finish an old WIP but I'm more in the mood for shiny new project-ness.
  10 October 2006
I agree. Don't touch it cause it's beautiful as it is. Start another one and try to develop it in order to obtain more details.

See you soon,
  10 October 2006
a new WIP!

ok, well I have this dream... and it's so vivid and poignant every time I have it I wake up thinking "Whoa." And I really want to... illustrate it. Create it. Strikes me as the kind of project I feel like doing at the moment, time consuming, and hopefully big. I want to render it as realistically and effectively as I can... I want to capture my dream!

The dream is this. I'm sorry, it's a very long ramble. Feel free to skip it.

I am at a racehorse racing course. I'm not sure why. A big, stylish one, every woman wearing a hat at least twice the size of her head, everyone dressed smartly. White canes and rails. I push through the crowd towards the green track. As I go, I hear the announcer announcing the next race to shortly begin. I pick up a programme from the floor and read that it is a match between three stallions, simply called Golden, White and Black. The programme boasts of this being the race of the millennium between three unbeaten horses who have never before faced each other.
I reach the rails and see the horses being led around the corral. They rear and paw and twist, foaming and snorting. Whole groups of men are amassed around each one to attempt to control it. Slowly and excitingly amid flying hooves and shouts of "Look out!" they are led to the starting gates and urged inside. Their jockeys are hoisted aboard and grip sweaty reins tightly with gloved hands. I am frightened for them and for the horses inside these tiny compartments. The announcer is building up his commentary to a fever pitch.
The gun sounds and the gates crash open. Like cannonballs the three stallions fling themselves into throttle and power forward over the turf. The enormous crowd of people watching gasps as the horses whip past, legs moving like pistons. The jockeys become merely blurs of colour as they cling to the saddles.
One lap, and two, no one can take their eyes off the three horses, the lithe black, the muscular grey, the rangy chestnut. The stadium is strangely silent. Each stride they take, the other two match. None of them can pull ahead and leave the others behind. As one they strive for greater and greater speeds and as one they continue to meet them.
Third lap and the horses are still picking up speed. "Impossible," the commentator is ranting. The stallions are reaching the end of the third lap and the end of the race. None of them can overtake, they are locked in equilibrium, and the clods of earth they kick up fly behind them with the speed of bullets.
The finishing post is looming... they sweep past. The crowd cries in astonishment. The horses are not even slowing down. Up in the monitoring gallery the photofinish shows that the black's muzzle was ahead at the decisive moment, but no one is paying attention to this result. Stride for stride the stallions take a fourth lap at full throttle, then a fifth...
The gates are being closed as they sweep round the halfway mark of the sixth lap. But the horses don't even falter as they see the impassable barrier ahead of them. Maybe they sense that this challenge is unsettled, maybe they are tired of the human way of judging, maybe they wish to finish the contest on their own ground... they turn to the track fence and leap it with room to spare, all three of them sailing over, two jockeys falling and rolling dizzy and exhausted, arms cracking from holding the rains. The third is unseated at the next obstacle, a line of parked cars, which the horses clatter over, half climbing and half jumping. Riderless they continue, towards the stadium fence - ten feet high and solid wood.
Landrovers are rumbling over the plain dirt ground, hoping to head off the loose stallions, men waving ropes rush after them. Before anyone can get near, the three powerful racers hit the fence at what is almost a full-speed collision. They dig in their hind hooves and strike the fence with their chest and forelegs so hard it cracks and tips beneath their weight. They are over, and running, running up the tussocky hillside and away into the distance, still together.
Shock and consternation fills the stadium, but as it is my dream, I leave that behind and follow the horses over the rolling hillsides with the grey skies above lending a sombre, dramatic tone to the heathery landscape. I wonder if they are about to fight to the death. Did their frustration with their limited world get to them? Did they sense they would never be free to honour each other's strength? Did they realise that in each other they had found the only horses in the world that were their equals? I wonder if they have ever felt this free before.
A rocky moorland stretches before them. They are running now for pleasure, sweat staining their coats but heads held high and footfalls light and easy. They slow as one to a steadier pace, heading up the slope, higher and higher. Bit by bit their tack is being shed - a girth here, a leg bandage there, blinkers, bits. Unfettered they continue.
Eventually atop the wild lonely mountain they stop. Necks arched and tails streaming, they circle each other, snorting gently, graceful and calm. Then they turn to face each other, and I feel I should expect a charge, violence, fighting... but no. They stand up tall on their hindlegs only, forefeet lifted as if in salute. The world seems to hold its breath. Their manes blow and furl. They are respectful as they acknowledge each other.

anyway, the point is... here is my first WIP of the illustration!.. It's going to have much more in it, though.

  10 October 2006
The idea is great and you know...I love horses but I think you can improve the composition placing other elements or giving more balance to these ones.

Take care of colors too. You have described the 3 horses as they are in full midday light while the background is quite dulled.

Looking forward for updates,
  10 October 2006
definitely going to add more compositional elements! I just have to figure them out...
good tip with the colours - heh, I really should work those out soon. I'm going to subdue the horses, make them more gloomy, and hopefully smooth out the landscape a bit and try and add some depth. There's lots to do!
thanks so much for your advice
  10 October 2006
ok I'm knuckling down to this one now.

I like the composition better now..and the lighting too a bit. Still, it's horrendously messy and rough so any advice is warmly appreciated.

  10 October 2006
I think I like the composition for now...probably will change though.
more refinement:

  10 October 2006
Uhh, beautiful idea this cloudy sky.
I love those sunrays that come out from clouds. I only suggest you, if you want, to add more shadows near the horizon line and to make darker the clouds that are far from the scene and, in the same time, add strong contrast to horses and play with lighting on them. This will help you in :
- focusing the eye on the horses
- adding depth to your image

See the reference (you know...sometimes images are better than 100000 words)

Hope that it helps,
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