Anatomy of a Portrait

“Redheads Have More Fun”  portrait of Willy

I have been working on a commissioned portrait of a beautiful 8 year old chestnut warmblood gelding.  Commissions require extra care, because we all have unique perspectives based on our experiences.  I wanted my vision to capture the horse’s sweet generous nature and the owner’s expectations.

I took extra care with the pencil study, being careful with Willy’s anatomy, his stunning drop-dead-gorgeous-good-looks and conformation, as well as his sunny personality.  I took extra time drawing his face, as the face and especially the eyes are the window to the spirit.

willy 1
pencil study

When the pencil study was complete, I did a value map.  I would recommend this step to anyone who wants to ensure success with a studied composition.  This process is not suitable for alla prima quick painting, but it works out many of the compositional problems that could crop up in a larger studio work.  My process is to find 3 values- dark, medium, and light.  I combine close values from the pencil study into larger connected shapes.  When I get to the painting stage, I keep the values accurate, and add a variety of color within the value shapes.  This variety of color enlivens the painting’s surface and the subject of the painting.  I also like to create lost-and-found edges at this point.  Where the sunlight touches the edge of the horse’s body, I have allowed the shapes to merge with the background- (horse’s left front leg and hoof.)

willy #2
Value map

The next step is the underpainting.  The underpainting sets the tone/temperature for the completed work, as this glaze will glow from within.  I have a warm golden wash in a variety of tones and tints- (hansa yellow, gamboge, raw sienna, burnt sienna).  I masked the areas of white- blaze and socks, and left those white areas in shadow blank- no underpainting.  For this portrait, I want a warm painting with distinct blue shadows on the horse’s socks and nose, so I saved those shapes for later painting.

willy #3.JPG
underpainting

After the underpainting was dry, I painted the background.  I wanted a very soft, light background that wouldn’t compete with the horse.  I used both blues for contrast and yellows for harmony.  When the background was dry, I built up shapes, added color, and worked from light to dark, using my value map.  As the body was taking shape, I switched to a smaller brush to complete the face.  The face slowed the process down, as stated before, an artist must capture the soul here.  When the horse was complete, I added energy in the foreground with lively brushstroke and splattered color.  I wanted to convey the energy of a joyful gallop and the impression of a flowery meadow.

willy

This work will be previewed at my Open House Sept 29, 2017 5-7 PM at Backstreet Street Bagels & Gallery.    To purchase a painting or commission a work, use this link:     purchase painting

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Passionate Pursuits Opens this Friday, June 2, 2017

You are invited to an art reception featuring my watercolor paintings celebrating horses, gardens, and travel.  The reception begins at 5:30 PM.  I will give a gallery talk about my inspirations, techniques, and processes beginning at 6:00 PM.  Along with my watercolor paintings, I am offering a wide selection of prints, notecards, and tiny paintings.  Live music and refreshments are planned.  This event is part of the Gunnison Colorado First Friday Artwork, with many venues in downtown Gunnison participating with art, spirits, music, and food.  For more information, please call Anne at 970-641-6111.

“Passionate Pursuits”  runs through the end of June.  Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-5:30 PM and Saturdays 9:00 AM-4:00 PM.

 

Show Sampler: Travel

musicos

5″ x 7″ prints, framed in oak, taken from my Mexico sketch journal, pencil & ink.  $25 each

All images copyright Cheri Isgreen 2014

“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel”exhibition of new work by Cheri Isgreen.  Running through Sept 30, 2016 at the Blue Pig Gallery, Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5:30 pm and Sunday – 10 am – 5:00 pm

101 W. 3rd Street, Palisade, CO 81526

(970) 464-4819

“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” now showing at the Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade

“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” features new works by Cheri Isgreen.

Horses highlights my deep connection with horses, especially my special relationship with Monarch, who I have raised and trained from green colt to seasoned show, clinic, trail, and special events horse.

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“Ebony and Ivory” is my newest watercolor.  It depicts a Lipizzan and a warmblood in joyful camaraderie.  These horse create their own “liberty pas de deux.”  Look closely at how suspension enhances the beauty of horses’ movement.  Light on living forms creates a unending variety of interesting and harmonious shapes.  The white horse is defined by shadows, in contrast to the highlights defining form in the black horse.

Flowers, like Horses focuses on my interest of how light defines living forms.  Unlike Horses, (which I paint in a narrative style), Flowers are painted in a looser style that explores pure design and composition.

Travel samples a collection of entries from my travel sketch journals in a variety of media, including pencil, ink, watercolor, and collage.  Works are presented as 5″ x 7″ framed prints from Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Mexico trips.

“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” Preview of New Works

“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” opens tomorrow at the Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade, Colorado, running through September 30, 2016

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“Cosmos”  framed watercolor          27″ x 13″  $350                                 copyright C Isgreen 2016

 

“Three Passions” features new works inspired by my love of horses, flowers, and travel.  All the horse and flower paintings are executed in watercolors, and explore the effects of light on living forms.  While the horse paintings are narrative in nature, the flower compositions are pure design.  They focus on movement, space, color, pattern, rhythm, and line.  My travel pieces are framed 5″ x 7″ prints from my sketch journals.  They represent a wide range of work including pencil, pen & ink, watercolor, watercolor & ink; Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Utah.

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I have one more piece on my easel, a narrative equine painting which will be titled, “Ebony & Ivory.”  This is the study for “Ebony & Ivory.”  (Note difference in style between equine & floral compositions.)

 

 

“Cosmos” will be one of the featured works for my upcoming show at the Blue Pig Gallery running Sept 1-30, 2016.  For more information about this show, visit the following link:

https://cheriisgreenfineart.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/solo-show-slated-for-september-2016-at-the-blue-pig-gallery-palisade-co/

The Blue Pig is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5:30 pm and Sunday – 10 am – 5:00 pm

101 W. 3rd Street, Palisade, CO 81526

The Blue Pig can be reached by calling (970) 464-4819.

 

“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” Preview of New Works by Cheri Isgreen

Horses!  Total synesthesia: pure poetry in motion; my original raison d’être for painting in watercolor.  “Noble” evolved  from the contour line studies and sketch classes I have been giving this summer.  Using saturated color and pure water with a large mop brush- value, color, and form developed from the contour lines based on the pencil study for this work.

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“Noble”  watercolor; framed size 16″ x 20″  $350  copyright Cheri Isgreen 2016

“Noble” will be one of the featured works for my upcoming show at the Blue Pig Gallery running Sept 1-30, 2016.  For more information about this show, visit the following link:

https://cheriisgreenfineart.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/solo-show-slated-for-september-2016-at-the-blue-pig-gallery-palisade-co/

“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” Preview of New Works by Cheri Isgreen

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“Sky Lights”  framed watercolor, 10″ x 19″  $200                               copyright C Isgreen 2016

CHERI ISGREEN SOLO SHOW SEPTEMBER 1-30, 2016

BLUE PIG GALLERY; MAIN STREET; PALISADE, CO

One of my biggest interests in painting is exploring the effects of light.  This is especially effective in the medium of watercolor.

For more information about this show, visit the following link:

https://cheriisgreenfineart.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/solo-show-slated-for-september-2016-at-the-blue-pig-gallery-palisade-co/

Solo Show Slated for September 2016 at the Blue Pig Gallery, Palisade, CO

“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” is the theme of my upcoming exhibition at the Blue Pig Gallery, opening Sept 1st.  My passions include horses, flowers, and travel.  I am struck by  the beauty I find while pursuing those passions.

This summer I have immersed myself with learning and training the principles and movements for 2nd level dressage.  Monarch, my Lipizzan partner; Deb Hindi, my trainer; and I have worked very hard all summer, culminating in two United States Equestrian Federation recognized shows and one qualifying score toward my United States Dressage Federation Bronze Rider Medal.

“Along the Tuscan Trail” is one of my new equine artworks.  It depicts a “dream vacation,” exploring Italy by horseback.  It is a sun-drenched composition, much like western Colorado, where the strong sunlight intensifies colors up close and washes out all the color  in the distance.

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“Along the Tuscan Trail” framed watercolor 27″ x 20″  $500  copyright C Isgreen

My husband and I threw a big celebratory garden party for our daughter’s college graduation.  The spring was filled with gardening, landscaping, and planning.  Amidst all the planting, weeding, fertilizing, and watering, I became fascinated with the unique shapes and sometimes delicate/sometimes striking color schemes of all the flowers blooming in my gardens.  I began working in a new loose style to capture the endless variety of shapes, forms, color schemes, movements, textures, etc.

“Bouquet” framed watercolor, 19″ x 10″  $200  & “Daisy Meadow” framed watercolor,      15″ x 12″ all artwork copyright Cheri Isgreen, 2016

Travel has been my third artistic inspiration.  Since buying a pop-up camper about a year ago, my husband and I have taken many art trips, including three trips to Utah, several trips in the Colorado mountains, and three weeks in the Texas hill country and mission trail.  In my show, I will feature sketches and paintings from these trips.

Goliad, TX town square; Mission San Jose outside San Antonio, TX; along the Crystal River, Redstone, CO; Peach Valley, Montrose County, CO  A selection of these images will be offered as 5″ x 7″ framed prints: $25.  All images copyright, Cheri Isgreen

The Blue Pig Gallery

Located in downtown Palisade, Colorado,  the Blue Pig Gallery displays an exciting and eclectic range of art including paintings, sculpture, photography, glass, fiber, gifts, and more.  Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5:30 pm and Sunday – 10 am – 5:00 pm

101 W. 3rd Street, Palisade, CO 81526

(970) 464-4819

Sneak Peak at New Artwork for New Gallery at Backstreet

Scott is working hard remodeling the bagel shop, including a new gallery space!  Please excuse the mess during the construction phase.  The artwork has been de-installed until the new gallery is completed.  In September artwork will be rehung, with an opening party to celebrate new work in the new space slated for later this fall.  Please stay tuned for more details……………