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Step by Step for Together in Harness
I thought some people might find it interesting to see how a picture evolves so I decided to do a step by step for this one.

The idea originally started with the photo of the horses that I used from the Wet Canvas reference library.

Wet Canvas (www.wetcanvas.com) is a terrific resource for artists and the images in the library are copyright free which is most important. You must never use a photo as reference unless you have the photographers permission especially if you plan to sell the work or prints from it.

I loved the photo but wasn't too happy with the background, I wanted something more fitting so I got the second photo from another great resource site Morgue File (www.morguefile.com).

Together they became my finished idea.

I started this one by laying in the sky lightly with cloud blue and powder blue fading it to cream where the skyline met the distance.

The horse was layered using goldenrod overlaid with burnt ochre, burnt umber and sienna with a touch of Tuscan red thrown in. The tack was done in black and indigo blue with the brass parts done with cream, jasmine and goldenrod. Buckles were done with cool grey and slate grey.

His muzzle is done in cool greys.






At this stage I have layered more on the sky using the same colours just making them denser. To get an even finish I used a cheap acrylic paintbrush on which I cut the bristles down and used to scrub the colour around smoothing it into the grain of the paper.

The fields were done in limepeel overlaid with chartreuse with detail added with green ochre. These colours were used on the far fields and scrubbed with the brush and a touch of burnt ochre added. The trees were done in chocolate, grape and burnt umber while the distant trees were done in beige sienna.


The second horse is now worked on using the colours mentioned above to create both his coat and the tack he is wearing.

Although the tack was very time consuming it was quite fun to do.



On this example you can see how the neck is layered in its different colours so you can see how they build up.

Some artists like to work their pictures as a whole building all areas together to ensure their values are right. I have never been able to do this and I just work from section to section and tweak any values at the end.

There is not a right way or wrong way, it is just what suits you as an artist.

When I thought this was done I asked the forums at wet canvas and scribble talk to have a look and see if I had missed anything or if anything was off .

One comment that was repeated was the fact that the farthest horse was competing with the near one so I added a couple of layers of grape to the back horse to knock the colour back a bit and make it recede into the background giving the picture depth.

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