Winter Freedom. Painted April 2020, modified November 2021. 18″ x 24″. Acrylic on Canvas.
One of the cool things about painting with Acrylic is how almost any mistake can be corrected. Back at the beginning of the pandemic, I tackled a very challenging painting of a white horse running through a snowy field in winter. Horses have always been a tough subject matter for me. Having grown up on a ranch with a dozen horses, I was very familiar with how they looked, so any discrepancies jump out and the painting or drawing just seems “wrong”. I also wanted to challenge myself with a painting of a horse in motion, using a very muted palette. This painting delivered on all three fronts.
The original painting worked well enough, but something didn’t seem right. The longer I looked at the painting, the more I realized that there was a problem with the horse’s head, particularly the location of the eye.
I had promised this painting as a gift to a friend last year, but the pandemic kept it stored safely in my art studio in Vancouver for the last year and a half. While I was back in Vancouver, I spent a few days last week fixing the problem. The series of closeup pictures above, shows the progression from the “problem” to the end “solution”. In addition to correcting the location of the eye, I also corrected a few other problems (I could tell that my technique has changed over the last year and a half). I tried for a better blending of paint, chose a warmer white where the light was reflecting off the ground onto the horse’s coat and reduced the contrast between the shadows and the lights. It’s not a perfect painting, but I think it’s been improved and I feel good about handing it over to my friend.