Hi Everybody, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas (those of you who celebrate it). I finished this painting during the last week before Christmas. Ann and I delivered and hung it on December 23, and now it's permanently in it's new home in Tucson, AZ.
When I posted last, I hadn't even finished laying in the saddle and the cowboy's boot. That was my next step. Once the canvas was covered, I set about refining the painting. The rabbit was an important element and I spent a lot of time making sure he was hauling tail and kicking up lots of back lit dust. I reworked the cowboy's shirt and added a pinstripe and pearl snaps. The shirt needed a bit of interest and the western details were just the thing . I made sure to keep the cowboy's face dark so it was not the first thing you look at. I worked over every inch of the painting, making sure the values, colors, edges and details all were working together. Things like deepening the value and color of the chaps, making sure to work cools in with the warms. That's why there are violets mixed in with the oranges/browns. I changed the headstall that I had roughed in on the horse, and changed the bit to a snaffle bit. I added in details such as the reins that are flying away behind the cowboy. I also added a hint of carving detail in the saddle fenders. The prickly pear cactus were then feeling a bit dark and dead, so I bumped up the color and made sure to mix in warms and cools, and made sure to add lots of back lit spines to add drama and to remind everyone what was at stake here! Then definition in the flying mane, leather fringe on the chaps. The last thing I did was to increase the size of the cowboy's boot by about 15% or so. As I was painting, I had that little voice in the back of my mind telling me it was just reading too small, and when Ann asked if I thought the foot was reading a little small, I knew my little voice was right and that I had to change it.
Then all that was left was to put it in the frame. The frame was a 5" molding and added 10" in either direction. So the final framed dimensions were 70X50". The frame is from America West Frames in Flagstaff, AZ. They always do a great job and work with me to get just what I want.
That's about it! You made it to the end of another painting with me.... thanks for coming along for the ride, and we'll do this again real soon.