Dream Horses

I’m dreaming of long-legged horses with fantastic hair dos.  This has become a pursuit I have been investigating this past month.  The images come into my mind, and since the horses are not based on real anatomy, the research is in working out pleasing proportions for these fantasy horses.

Dream Horse #1 "Queen Bee" copyright Cheri Isgreen
Dream Horse #1 “Queen Bee” copyright Cheri Isgreen

Like long legged fashion models,  questions arose-

*Do I include joints, or do I simply suggest long legggggggggs stretching to infinity?

*If I show the joints, (knees, hocks, fetlocks),  where do I place them along the continuum?

*What is more pleasing, normal sized joints within long legs, or elongated, like the legs themselves?  If I elongate the joints, what happens if I exaggerate their sizes?  If I make substantial feet, I can express the power in the hoofbeat…  What is the effect if I make tiny hooves with the joints becoming progressively smaller as they got longer?

Plenty of decisions to make & a lot of variables to draw, explore, and think about.  In my first three compositions, I’ve decided to include the joints, as I love articulating them.  I decided not to exaggerate them, either smaller or larger.   In future compositions, it will be fun to play with some other solutions.

These horses embody lots of pattern and fanciful hairstyles.   I’m enjoying the different ways to use pattern & dreaming up new hair dos…..

“Queen Bee” is modeled after Stella, the lovely warmblood mare I recently painted as a commission.  As I have mentioned, this mare has such presence and attitude.  Here she is in the dream realm.  I started with an all-over geometric design with a mask pen.  After the mask was removed, the pattern only appears in the places that received paint.  In the white areas, the pattern is implied- a vehicle I enjoy using in all my painting. I’m always looking for opportunities for lost & found edges, defining with negative space, and using implication to tell a story.  The palette is a strong use of contrasts with “orange” (burnt & raw siennas) and “blue” (cobalt and maganese for their granulating effects, and ultramarine for its mixing properties).

Author: Cheri Isgreen

I have been a lifelong rider and horse lover. I got my first "horse" at a yard sale; it was a pony actually. It was sometime in the early 60's. I was in 3rd or 4th grade. The pony was perhaps $10. My sister, brother, and I pooled our money and led him home. At the time my parents were traveling, and my Uncle Bill promptly made us return it. (stay tuned...more to come...)

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