Bursting from the picture plane and leaping into the room, “Power,” depicts the lovely Lipizzan stallion, Conversano Mima.  Mima, a USDF grand prix horse, stands at White Horse Vale Lipizzans in Goldendale, WA.  As a commissioned painting, I did several studies in pencil and watercolor before I began the final painting.  Living with him in photographs, drawings, and paintings, I came to know him quite well.   He is painted in a simple triad: raw sienna, (yellow); burnt sienna, (red); and 3 blues, (manganese blue, Windsor blue-green, cobalt blue).  I was able to mix a variety of colors with this palette.  The mixed siennas lent an earthy, neutralized tone- a counterpoint to the pure, unmixed pigments.  The strong direction of the splatter paint in the mane balances the horizontal movement in the dust and shadows.  To keep the eye moving around the composition, this painting has two focal points- the stallion’s beautiful, noble face and the action of the three legs coming together, as he strikes off into the first beat of the next canter sequence.  The canter is a circular gait, reminiscent of a wheel.  Using the canter in a painting encourages the eye to circle the painting in the same path that the eye follows when watching the 3 beats of the canter.

"Conversano Mima" watercolor, copyright C Isgreen
“Conversano Mima” watercolor, copyright C Isgreen