"Aristocrat's Misfortune" Horseshoe Painting #5 in Oils

Aristocrat’s Misfortune (horseshoe painting #5)

"Aristocrat's Misfortune" Horseshoe Painting #5 in Oils

How many times can one paint the same horseshoe? This is the fifth time I’ve attempted to make a painting from a set of shoes that came from a horse named Aristocrat.

The previous 4 paintings composed the horseshoe so that it was more or less facing upwards. In folklore this was always a symbol of good luck. I guess the theory goes: the horseshoe is facing with its open end up to catch and hold good luck – or something like that.

It was time to buck the trend – pardon the pun. For this painting I obviously turned the horseshoe downwards. That’s why I titled this work of art “Aristocrat’s Misfortune”.

These horseshoe paintings are incredibly neutral in hue so it makes complete sense to work with mostly neutral colors on my palette. Why make paint mixing harder than it needs to be? Those of you who read my posts regularly know I like working with 5 neutrals on my palette. Those colors being: white, black and 3 grays in between that make up a smooth value transition. I find mixing complimentary colors just to neutralize to be a sloppy process that gives inconsistent results. There’s nothing wrong with using black paint.

I also mix up separate strings of oil paint based off of the neutral colors. Typically one set warmer, made with raw umber. Another paint string consisting of burnt sienna. I will also mix up a slightly cooler string with some cobalt blue. All of these strings are highly neutral (low-chroma) and only contain a small amount of non-neutral colors. They usually have 5-7 steps ranging from dark to light. In my younger years I would have way overdone the color, but now I know differently. It’s amazing just how neutral most things are in their natural, realistic state. This is precisely why I embrace the use of grays on my palette.

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