Horse #2 Aceo Process

Hi hi, how are you all doing?
This might be my first time posting the process pics of a piece I've made, this isn't by all means a "This is how you do it" kind of tutorial. I'm still learning lots of tips and ticks for doing what I love to do, so I really hope you enjoy the pics =)

This is the finished piece:

It's one of my recent ACEOs (Art in 2.5" x 3.5" surfaces), I started creating this to save some money for a Natural HorseManShip workshop that will take place on Dec 13-14 on the riding club I attend. I was very lucky, because I made a trade with a friend, so I'll be attending this workshop in exchange of art (Isn't it sweet??) , so this ACEOs will still be created and will be available for sale  =)

For this ACEOs, here's what I'm using:

2.5" x 3.5" (handcut) Cold Press Watercolor Paper (140lb)
Grumbacher Academy Acrylics (Yellow Ochre, Thalo Blue, Mars Black, Cadmium Yellow, Hooker's Green)
GOLDEN Artist Color (Burnt Sienna, Titanium White, Naples Yellow Hue, Burn Umber)
Prismacolor Premier Pencils (White, Black)
Prismacolor Scholar (White)

And I'm using this stunning Raphael Macek's Photograph as inspiration

So, I start by doing the pencil work on the tiny card.  I decided to photograph the process after this, so no pics, sorry =)

Then, I check light and dark areas and start applying a very diluted layer of burnt umber. (Main shadow areas are the eyes and nostrils)

That pencil is my ACEO holder !  It's easier to handle it without messing with the wet paint =)
I keep applying light washes of burnt umber to start defining some areas and trying to get even soft shadows in place.

 More Shadow/Light defining

I start playing with new light washes and quickly taking them off with a Qtip, this gives me a lovely textured effect on the face and neck.

I got a bit worried this guy is looking too flat, so I started playing with Thalo Blue to add depth to the darker spots (eyes, nostrils and some shadows on hair and ears) And I start working a bit on bringing the muzzle out.

 I keep working with mixture of thalo blue and burnt umber, with some hints of burnt sienna. As well as some white to start defining light areas.

 I kinda got bored and started a blue wash on the bg xD  More tiny texture areas added

You'll get bored with the almost non-sense serie of photos without any big change on it.  What was happening was a bit more of shadow and texture definition.

There's some point in the process where I still feel some depth missing. So I started adding some black washes to the darkest areas and start adding very very light washes on areas with texture or where other color should be predominant.

 Working on the mane, again, very light washes of white or burnt umber, depending on the areas.
I also use White and Black Prismacolor Premier pencils to define a bit more the hair area.  The White Prismacolor Scholar pencil I use for softening a bit the lighter areas on the neck. This pencils are harder than the premier, so I love to use them for blending.

More defined hair:

Ok, here's a big change. 
I was going for a plain background, but Iwasn't still happy with the texture of the horse. The white horses I draw/paint tend to show more texture, and the white-ish background was not helping me with it. So to my eyes, it looked somewhat unfinished, so, on a crazy Leap of Faith, I decided to add a blurry background. Inspired on another photo I was looking at for color reference (original photo is monochromatic). 

So, here it is with a background:

 I worked on the blurry bushes, and lost hair detail. So, I worked on the hair again. I feel safe because I really love how this change on the background helped this horse to pop out a bit more.

And here it is, as you can see, I added a biiit of green on the darker area on the top right corner. This was to help with composition.

As you can see, I don't do much different from other Acrylic artists. I'm not a hyper realism artist, but I like to try some realism from time to time, mostly with horses. They're not perfect, but they're mine... And as long as they don't look like dogs (long story involving my mother), I'm very happy with them hahaha  

Horse ACEO#2 is currently for sale at:

This is the first ACEO I made, and it's currently on hold.

I hope you enjoy this little process, if you have any question, please let me know =)

Thank you for watching!

Dianita ^^
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