Horse and wildlife art by Mona Majorowicz.

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Horses, Art, and Mona

Learning To See

It is a constant challenge to really “see” what I am trying to portray. In this case my reference material for this painting is several photos of a couple of different horse teams taken at different locations, times and lighting situations. My mind struggles with what I actually “see” before me in the photo, and with what I “think” the color should be. Then I need to decide what color to actually put down to make it an interesting painting. I like to deviate a little from what reality is. After all, if my goal was to produce hyper realistic artwork I would most likely become a photographer. I very much enjoy collecting the reference photos that I use. But for me it is the use of my senses to filter an image into a painting that makes it enjoyable.

Detail of colorful highlights in Strength and Glory horses' mane
Colorful highlights in mane

Detail of colorful highlights in Strength and Glory horses' maneI am working on the mane and having some problems getting the color to look correct. In reality the mane on my models is a true black with very light gray to white highlights. When I paint it like that, it looks all wrong color wise. So I introduce purples and blue grays from coloring used elsewhere in the painting and this helps but it is not the whole answer.

I must work at the concept of drawing what I see and not what I think I see. When you think of an apple or an elephant the image just pops in your mind. Learning to let go of what the object is in order to capture the correct shape and color is part of the frustration and enjoyment of my work. I have seriously contemplated changing how I do some of the things I do but for the most part it is the process I enjoy as well as the outcome. It is the challenge to get it right that is intriguing. That is of course unless I fail. I have more than one painting that I look back on and say it would have been better if…


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Text and original graphics copyright © Mona Majorowicz, 2000-2017.
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