Tag Archives: horses

Equine Soliloquy (continued)

I haven’t touched this project for a while. But the 52 Week Illustration Challenge theme for this week is ‘horse’ so it seemed a good reason to do some more doodles in the horse book. Most of these were done in brush pen during the hour of the kids drama class, but I’ve worked them up a little more at home today.

Horse alive, horse dead

Horse alive, horse dead

snowy squiggle horses

snowy squiggle horses

The front horse was drawn with photographic reference in front of me. The rear two emerged on their own. I like the freer, more pattern-like quality of the rear two horses, but quite like the very typical attitude of the foreground horse’s head. The two types don’t really go together but it’s a point of interest for me.

I enjoy this squiggle style of drawing. I find I do it more and more. It’s fun to let my hand (seemingly) control itself and wander very rapidly all over the page.

equine soliloquy hunched horse

Little scraggy wild horse

This is the brush pen I used quite a bit for the Cornish Soliloquy. I must buy a couple more. They are very interesting to work with. The ink doesn’t flow very quickly so they tend to get a bit affronted by my drawing style. I draw pretty quickly and the ink flow goes on strike and demands a breather every minute or so.

wild horse, captured horse

wild horse, captured horse

I was really pleased with the way this little sketch worked out. I strangely like the way the gutter interferes with the horse’s hind quarters, and I  liked the cream, blue, burnt umber colour palette.

Anzac Day war horse

Anzac Day war horse

This was an accident really. I was dissatisfied with the original sketch on the left hand side of the skeleton horse spread, and cut this black horse silhouette out very quickly to place over it. In the meantime, I painted out some protruding bits on the other page to give myself a fairly blank canvas. But this led to a new sketch on that page, and hence no need for the cutout horse.

So he went onto a new page, and I started randomly embellishing him. I started with the halter, but war horses and Anzac Day were at the back of my mind and I started putting tassels and other structures into the picture (from an outdated botanical diary). Before I knew it the background had gone smokey, fiery and the final touches were some poppies and botanical bombs in the air. The bombs also remind me of a holy trinity of sorts, but since I am not religious, they are primarily bombs… or just fruit.

I seem to have returned to muted tones for the time being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equine again

Barnyard gossip

Barnyard gossip

Carousel galloping horse over galloping mustangs

Carousel galloping horse over galloping mustangs

Soliloquizzical Moments:

• Should I add any colour? I think I like it plain black….

(added colour)

• Yep, I think I like it plain black.

• Funny how the illustration of the galloping mustangs has made a shadow under the back leg where one would want a shadow, and put an interesting pattern over the carousel horse’s head.

• Should I add white gouache to the horse? If I do, I’ll lose the background mustangs and the flat, outline effect which interests me, but I’ll gain a milky, layered quality and a more three dimensional effect, which might also interest me.

• Should I add white gouache to the coloured bits to make them pastel toned? … maybe…

• Perhaps I should leave it as is and paint another carousel horse on the next page and add all sorts of white and stuff to that one… or this one… depending…

• Should I stop soliloquising and go and do those other urgent jobs?

Equine Soliloquy

equine soliloquy B&W heads

Another soliloquy seems to be forming in odd moments… ‘The Tale of Two Horses’ went on the train into the city the other day as a sketchbook, and came back with several new horses in it. More will come when I have a little time.

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In wondrously poor condition on the outside. Inside, the pages are smooth and lovely to draw on.

This one is taking its own shape more easily than the last one. Sort of ambling along.

Some pages I will start by liking, and then not. Some the other way around. It won’t bother me. It’s contemplative. And because they are horse doodles, it’s a bit like climbing cosily back into my childhood for a while. (And I draw them exactly the same way now!)

Fun drawing a foal dance over other horses. Then a squiggly cameo shape and brushy, brushiness all about.

Fun drawing a foal dance over other horses. Then a squiggly cameo shape and brushy, brushiness all about.

I’ve just done a page that is more interested in pattern, shape and contrast than in horsey correctness. It was very freeing.  But I’ll play with it some more another time, and take the shapes and tones further into pattern.

This page reminds me of two things: The poodle wallpaper we found on the walls of our 1950s house after removing the 70s wallpaper; and my brief period of lessons with Richard Birmingham.

This page reminds me of the poodle wallpaper we found on the walls of our 1950s house after removing the 70s wallpaper. It could be much better if it went further away from the horse shapes I think.

The Geebung Polo Club

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I picked up this book of ‘Banjo’ Paterson’s verse in the op shop the other day. It is past its prime as a book, in that the pages are all coming adrift, perhaps expressing their wish to break away and start a new life on their own. In this I intend to help them.

Having lived around the corner from the pub of this name many years ago, I started by reading this drily catastrophic verse about an epic Polo battle. It is really very playful, and much shorter than I had imagined. After one reading, the pages came out of the book in my hands.

I took the hint and obliged…

Part A. They were long and wiry natives from the rugged mountain side, and the horse was never saddled that the Geebungs couldn't ride;

Part A.
They were long and wiry natives from the rugged mountain side,
And the horse was never saddled that the Geebungs couldn’t ride;

(sold)

Part B: Now my readers can imagine how the contest ebbed and flowed, When the Geebung boys got going it was time to clear the road; And the game was so terrific that ere half the time was gone A spectator's leg was broken - just from merely looking on.

Part B:
Now my readers can imagine how the contest ebbed and flowed,
When the Geebung boys got going it was time to clear the road;
And the game was so terrific that ere half the time was gone
A spectator’s leg was broken – just from merely looking on.

Admittedly, both parts of the poem were originally to appear on the same page. But due to a serendipitous error, wherein I found I had glued the first half of the poem on the right hand side of the page instead of the left… well, we now have two works of art. He he.

I’ve just begun to list artworks on Etsy. You can find my shop here. (Although there’s not much in it yet!)