New blue pigment

You would think that every pigment that could be discovered has been discovered…but no. This rich, vibrant blue is the result of heating a chemical soup containing black manganese oxide to 2,000 degrees.

Studies indicate it will be a safer alternative to some of the more toxic blues on the market. Read more:

Letting go…

We artists love to share finished paintings, sculptures, drawings and other work. I think it’s just as important to share the pieces that end up on the scrap pile – it’s a good way to show some of the work and process that goes into a success.

In this case, my first go at “Getting Acquainted” just came off the board. It’s pictured with another work in progress that is coming along well. Can you see how crisp and lively the colors are on the left, and how dull and muted the painting on the right is? Would you believe both horses are painted with the exact same colors?

The difference is in how and when those colors were mixed. At left, colors are being dropped onto wet paper and allowed to mingle as they will. At right, most of the colors were mixed on the palette, then brought to the paper.

While I could layer paint over this and make some of the colors more vivid, I’ll never regain the freshness that the first meeting of a little girl and a big horse should have. So I’ll rework the composition a bit to give her some breathing room, and give it another go…

Searching for simplicity

A suggestion from a friend is leading me down a new path of exploration, towards a minimalist, reductionist approach to horses. She had seen a work in progress I’d posted on Facebook and loved how it had an almost abstract quality, and that she’d wished I’d stopped right there.

These quick sketches are done with pencil and watercolor on copy paper. While still too literal, it’s a great exercise in finding which light & shadow shapes are essential to say “horse.”