Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Toots



"Toots" - 7" x 10", Transparent watercolor
I've heard it said that you should paint what you know and now I completely understand why. My aunt is having a big milestone birthday soon, and I wanted to give her something special. She adores her horse, Toots, so I figured a painted portrait of her would be a great gift. The problem is, I don't know horses. I've rarely been around them and since I don't live near Toots, I had to work from the few, not so great reference photos that other people had taken. I probably got some of the muscle and bone structure wrong, but I did the best I could with what I had. All things considered, I'm pretty happy with this painting.

21 comments:

Crystal Cook said...

I think you've done a fantastic job with this horse! I love the background, it goes so well with the color of the horse. What do you use for greens? I suck at getting greens right :)

The horses eye is so perfect, there's such kindness there. And I think you've done a great job with the bone structure, a beautiful gift for your aunt :)

padmaja said...

Look at the glint in those beautiful eyes! I could almost reach out to touch and feel the soft mane... your aunt will treasure it for sure :-)

Prabal said...

This is great.. I think Crystal and Padmaja have said it all.

Krista said...

Your aunt will be so pleased! This is so beautiful!

thewillowsnest said...

are you sure you haven't been painting horses your whole life??????

Toots is perfect!! I just wanna kiss his sweet nose..another amazing painting from the 'wonderful Michelle!
Auntie will cry for sure!!!

anu said...

very nice attractive background,his eyes,nose and hair are speaking Michelle.
very nice birthday present,the white line in his forehead is great.
simply beautiful
do you frame and present it?
if yes and if you can post the framed one.
thanks.

Anudeepa Kadiresan said...

it went as anonymus

Elizabeth Seaver said...

I can't believe that is transparent watercolor, Michelle. You've handled it so beautifully! I'm sure this lovely painting of Toots will be appreciated!

Michelle Smith said...

Crystal - Thank you! I used a combination of Sap Green, Hooker's Green, and a touch of New Gamboge for the green background. I've mixed greens before, but I find using these colors straight out of the tube works just as well.

Thank you, Padmaja! I hope she will like it.

Thank you, Prabal!

Thank you, Krista!

Thank you, Helen! I did a couple of practice horse paintings, but they didn't turn out. They are not an easy creature to paint, IMO.

Anudeepa, Thank you! I already boxed up and shipped the painting, so I can't photograph it in the frame. I did mat and frame it.

Thank you, Elizabeth. I try to always use only transparent watercolors.

I appreciate everyone stopping by and taking the time to comment!

Gary Keimig said...

It works Michelle. nice job. She is going to love it and treasure it forever.

Connie said...

It looks great, Michele. There used to be--and probably still is--a big market for these, if you want to do more. In 1977, before going to art school, I did about 20 tight, charcoal-on-vellum horse portraits in Nov-Dec (Christmas gifts). Got them by going to a couple of shows and setting up a display. Wasn't charging enough, and totally burned out. But owners love them. There are a lot of horse shows (and wealth) in your area.

Michelle Smith said...

Thanks, Gary!

Hi Connie - Thanks. I imagine there probably still is a huge market for horse paintings; people really love their horses. I would have to get much, much better at painting horses before I could even consider doing something like that, though. I know dogs, but I don't know horses. Thanks for the suggestion.

Costescu said...

the colors are so rich, very nice! I am sure she will be really happy :)

ruthie said...

It does help to paint what you know doesn't it, this is a beautiful portrait and i love the name.

Ron Morrison said...

Hi Michelle, looks like a horse to me...great eyework!

Rishi Kapil said...

Hi Michele , Thanks for your comments on blog.

Just visited your blog , this painting is just WOW ..

This is so neat and perfect

liz wiltzen said...

Glad I found your blog Michelle, your work breathes! Really great stuff, and congrats on your acceptance in to the CWA exhibit!

Anudeepa Kadiresan said...

Hi,how are you and what happened to you...waiting to see your next post.I think you are busy with your exhib...bla...bla..bla..just want to know.
take care
anu

Barbara Pask said...

I think you did a wonderful job on this, such a nice sense of light on the side of his head. She will love it.

bricarwaller said...

Beautiful! I don't you could of done a thing differently, you have captured "Toots" wonderfully.

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

It is an amazing painting! You make watercolor look so real.