Date: August 31, 2007
When I took the reference photo that was used for this painting, I deliberately used a short focal length so that the background would be blurred and only the horse and the fence would be in focus. This created the challenge that the background had to be done all in one session: wet-on-wet in order to achieve the blurred out effect, and very quickly before any of it could dry. A lot of tricks were used to achieve the effect I wanted – using various stages of drying before adding more paint, removing paint by blotting with tissue or dragging a dry brush across it, etc. Masking tape was used to protect the lines of the fence, whereas the horse and fence post were simply painted around.
After allowing the background to dry overnight, the entire background was wet again in order to allow the colors to merge together some more, to remove some paint by blotting, and to add a few additional less blurred layers of colour.
The background was the most challenging aspect of this painting because it had to be done so quickly, and because I had to resist my natural tendency to paint in a detailed and sharply defined fashion.