Sunday, July 12, 2015

American Pharoah Craze

I rarely do spec paintings. My partner requested that I create a couple of paintings to celebrate the new Triple Crown winner and I decided to oblige as people will be visiting my tent and asking for American Pharoah. But I had to enjoy it as sometimes these projects can turn into a tedious chore.

Due to all the copyright issues and permission requirements, I used a couple of my old paintings as "models". It wasn't at all difficult as I've become proficient at understanding the anatomy of strides (years of studying Muybridge) and confirmation. I also had help from a racing friend in California who's deft with a camera. Overall, it was challenging enough to hold my interest.

American Pharoah is a brown horse with no chrome and a short tail. Frosted is medium gray, also with no chrome. Straightforward. Hopefully, the owners won't be cranky that I've used their racing silks. This is a slippery slope...remember Funny Cide and the Funny Cide store in Saratoga selling all things Funny Cide (even Funny Cide beer)?

I love the process of gold leafing. Laying down the gold as it tears unpredictably is a wonderful thing. I don't trust my oils to behave well with the medium therefore it gives me an excuse to practice with acrylics.
American Pharoah on a Morning Gallop, 7"x5" gold leaf and acrylic on panel.
I have a longing to become proficient with watercolors. It won't happen but I let myself play now and then. This was pure experimentation and a blast:
American Pharoah in Training, apprx. 14"x20" watercolor on paper.

Frosted had the misfortune of being a three-year-old the same year as AP. I think he's a really nice horse...I even bet on him somewhere back during the prep races. I hope he'll be around for a while as he could mature into a the champion he deserves to be:
Chasing American Pharoah, 24"x18", oil on canvas

I'm finished with it all and my partner is pleased. It remains to be seen how popular this west coast horse will be here on the Atlantic side. If he does indeed make the Travers, I will be one very happy artist!

Still painting horses...

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