Monday, March 25, 2013

Carousel Painting Progress


Here is this continued progress of my carousel painting. I made several changes in color and detail over the past several weeks, attempting to create a higher level of contrast within the main horse. Below are some thought processes I used for specific areas.

Color choices

The moon went from light blue to bright red with a navy outline.  Other options were to paint the flower red and leave the moon blue, but then I would need to change the red tones in the bridle, because there would be too much of the same color in that area. (…what?) Now there is somewhat of a triangle of red formed between the ear, bridle, and moon. Decisions, decisions.

Whether you’re working from life or photographs, determining color choices is a matter of opinion and in my mind, it’s about flow and harmony. Sometimes you just have to put something down and tweak it later to your liking.

Outlining, highlights, and selective detailing
Outlining sections of the horse give them more dimensions, while highlighting areas of the neck, nose, and chin help to create a subtle transition from light to dark.

In regards to the pole nearest the mane, I darkened tones to the left side and further defined the handrail. It now appears more rounded and contains more detail than the others.
Background and surrounding elements
Obscuring the background or surrounding elements is another method of bringing attention to the main subject. In this case, the smaller carousel horses are a muted purplish-gray tone, avoiding application of the lightest colors, as seen in the main horse.  (See prior post)
Adding contrast, strategic details, and manipulating the background are ways to draw attention to the main subject, no matter where it is located on the canvas. Put on your Columbo coat every once in a while and really examine paintings. Notice how often even impressionist painters will add detail in specific areas or alter the colors slightly. Just plain trickery... in a fun way. 

Who knows how long this is going to drag out, but thanks for following along!


  1. I really enjoy you sharing your wip with your thoughts and ideas. The painting is looking great!

  2. Thank you, Vicki! Blogging has helped to motivate me, as well as your comments. I also enjoy viewing the WIP's on your site :)


Thanks for your comments!