Afters blogging about the picture I made to commemorate my beloved Toby Dog (here) I got a hand wave from across the water from Virtual Brush Box with the irresistable offer of horsey photos to doodle from.

This was the starting point for how I thought this latest arty fart would turn out. How wrong I was…

I was able to go through the photos of Rodney and Milton that are available on their website. What I was looking for were strong images of both horses with similar perspectives but that would also be able to be manipulated to bring out the contrasts vividly.

These are the ones I ended up with:

Because, as I have mentioned before, I do have an over-inflated sense of whimsy I started by doodling Rodney eating first (here). For the purposes of that doodle Rodney was using the pseudonym Lord Chummingly Mountjoy…for some reason (PINK RIBBONS!!!)

Although I did end up using colour on the final image I had started off with the notion that they would be monochrome and to help with that I worked on those photos to bring up the contrasts.

What I quickly realised was that I would lose an awful lot of detail if I did these as paper cuts, in the style of my Toby Dog pics, and that wasn’t gonna wash with me.

So I drew the outlines and contrasts at the same time as slowly coming around to the idea of colour. I don’t do a lot with colour, I’m not the most confident arty farter in that medium, I prefer black and white and various shades of grey, but for these to show how glorious Rodney and Milton are I would have to suck it up and get braver.

There is a draft copy, which actually has them on opposite sides to where they ended up, which started off well but went completely astray when I somehow managed to colour in Rodney’s blaze (interrupted stripe?). This was a happy accident. I don’t usually mind starting again when these things happen, second drafts can include everything I learned from the first, and this was the case here too. First draft included Milton’s contrasts in grey, which is not how they ended up, because I still didn’t trust myself and my own artistic eye.

I ended up using inks rather than watercolours, mostly because I have very fond memories of using them in school art classes, and I think they worked pretty well.

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