12" X 23"
There are times when it is important to use artistic license in a piece. My reference showed the branding cowboy had a checked shirt about the color of his hat. The checks were so faint they were almost impossible to see at a distance. I faithfully painted his shirt matching the subtlety of my reference.
My good friend Selena saw the piece in that stage. Fortunately. She said it looked like I hadn't finished painting the shirt. She was right. Now that I saw the piece through her eyes, the shirt needed color to pull off the illusion of depth. My next quandry: do I make it blue checks? red checks? introduce green? In the end, you can see I chose red checks.
So I have dipped my toe into Western art thanks to Terry Miller and his cow and horse pieces and my upcoming San Dimas Western Show. There are a few things I have learned from this painting (which is a goal for almost every piece I do.)
1) My usual wet-on-wet technique works well for rendering plaids, checks, jeans, and chaps.2) Shadows become even more critical with man-made objects.
1) Unfamiliar subjects will take more time to paint as I explore new edges (and often colors.)
2) Having another set of eyes to give me a fresh perspective is invaluable (especially when exploring new ideas.)
3) Trying new subject matter is a great way to learn.