"Horse Comb" oil painting by John Morfis

The Horse Comb Painting

"Horse Comb" oil painting by John MorfisThere certainly wasn’t the usual aged wood in this little item but that didn’t stop me from painting it. It turns out horses need grooming just like anything with hair or fur generally does.

This little equestrian tool of the trade is constructed of solid aluminum and made for an interesting little painting. I really liked the way the teeth cast their shadows upon the background.

Anytime you paint an object with massive repetition, speaking of the comb’s teeth here, one must take a mental step back and figure out a way to accomplish such a task without making it look haphazard and what could otherwise result in a really clumsy execution.

It all starts with the drawing. It’s really the draftsman-type work that really counts. Everyone ohhs and ahhs over a painting’s highlights and shadows but it’s the original drawing that really determines the success of the finished painting.

I’ve written about this many times before and to summarize, I have gradually increased the amount of drawing and preparation I do before ever picking up a single paintbrush. I can spend hours measuring and perfecting each part of even the simplest objects and compositions.

I used a pretty cool technique for illustrating all 20 of the teeth in the original drawing. It involves using a ruler and breaking up the necessary space using a little bit of geometry! It’s one of the techniques that I keep in my bag of drafting-tricks and only pull out every so often but when I do, man it’s good fun and the results are great.

If anyone is interested in learning exactly how I divided up the space evenly to separate each tooth please leave a comment below and I’ll write a post about it.

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