So, a little bit of how I work. I really enjoy my cowboy paintings. I was lucky enough to attend a contact period in Fort Worth Texas for my MFA degree with Hartford Art. It truly was my place to be and when I came back home, I was loaded with a ton of reference photos and a whole lot of inspiration. During my Texas trip, my class went to the Stockyards (it was TOTALLY awesome!) and we went to the rodeo. I will post some of my reference photos at a later date. But in the meantime, I'd like to talk about this painting. The basis of this painting was actually started about 5 years ago. A fellow photographer and friend, Gail Klett gave me permission to use her photograph and five years ago, I drew it in graphite.
The first picture above is Gail's original photo (she is really a fabulous photographer!) and the second image is the beginning process of disssecting what I want to take out and use from the original photo. I actually do not use much royalty free photos anymore and have branched off to acquiring my own photographs. The later is much more satisfying. However, I did promise myself many years ago, that I would develop this one in color. The next set of photographs show my painting process. I love the subject content of the above photo but I wanted to put this cowboy out in the open and in his element so there was no background noise to compete with leaving the cowboy and cow as the main focal point.
I will go further into my painting process next time around, but as you can see in the first picture above, you can see the cowboy, cow, and ground drawn in. I wanted a nice warm tone to come thru in my painting so I tinted my canvas with burnt sienna. From there, I was about to start laying in the tones of the cow and roughed in the colors of the horse, followed by the basic colors for the cowboy and tack. I loved painting this piece. I started marketing it to a few editorial publishers and created a rough mockup with type to see how this illustration would look with font.