The Painting of the Week isn’t actually a painting this week: it’s a photo montage. But it’s got all the elements that I’m always striving for in my paintings. I’m so very pleased with how it came out that I wanted to share it with you.
This triptych is about Reggie and Blackie, two Arabian geldings, who lovingly own Terry Foster of Murrieta, CA. Reggie, who is 20, was an Open Western Reining horse before Terry started him in his present dressage career. “He still thinks I’m crazy but he’s trying to cooperate,” says Terry. Blackie is 14,” Going on 5,” according to Terry, and was sired by a US and Canadian national champion Reining horse.
This project includes 13 images. Each was extracted from its original background and then inserted into the composition. If you’ve ever done a montage in Photoshop, you know that the “cut” edges are where you can tell how carefully a job was done in extracting the subject from the background. This is also where you can see if everything “agrees”: does the color of the subject’s edge harmonize with the background, or does it kind of twitch off the background?
I started with the large center panel, which illustrates the horses’ relationship with each other. Working closely with Terry, we chose a dozen images that we thought best illustrated their interaction. I experimented with various combinations until these three poses came naturally together: I especially liked the heart-shape of the photo of Reggie and Blackie touching noses.
The tall, thin sidelights were next. Each horse would have his own panel. The five images on each sidelight had to combine to give a clear picture of the personality of each horse. Besides that, the composition of each side panel had to create a flow with the composition of the whole piece!
I wanted the background to have an earthy, natural feeling to it that would tie all three panels together. A combination of several layers of different textures accomplished this, and completed the set.
Here are some details, so you can have a closer look:
And some closer close-ups: