If I chose to paint following a photo, I almost always use one of my own photos. In that way I can be sure that I have captured all the details and nuances that I need to be able to create. But sometimes it happens that I come across a picture that is created by someone else and that has something extra in it.
This happened a few weeks ago. In my social media feed, a very beautiful photo of a horse named Adam appeared. The photographer was Matilda, 8 years old. So I asked Matilda and her mother if I could use that photo to paint a portrait of Adam. And to my great joy, they said yes. Thank you so much, Matilda!
So I started working. As always, the beginning is a sketch. Then I put on a base where I blocked in the slightly more noticeable parts. By doing this, I could get an idea of how the image would function.
Not an exact copy
When you paint, you are not making an exact copy of what you see, whether it is a photo or the real world, but you add your own interpretations, you reinforce some details, you change colors, you highlight some things and tone down others. A portrait is about showing the personality of the horse, not about making a cold and totally accurate image.
Then I gradually started the time consuming process of creating what is special about Adam, adding details and working layer upon layer. Hour after hour. A couple of hours per day when the daylight was good. You see, in the winter, we just have a couple of hours of good daylight in here Sweden.
Horses have whiskers
That is true – just as cats have whiskers, horses also have sensory hairs near their mouths. Among other things, they use them when they graze, because they cannot see what is on the ground near their mouth.
Adam – Tavla
Den här mycket trevliga hästen heter Adam.
Klicka på bilden för att se den i korrekta proportioner.