Horses Below Devil’s Grave Mesa

My lastest painting originated from a photo I took outside of the bunkhouse on the Rossi Ranch where I occasionally stay during elk hunting trips. It was about -10 degrees on a bitterly cold December morning. I just had gotten my elk and was about to head inside to cook some breakfast, but I couldn’t move. I just stood there and stared at these beautiful horses and the dramatic scenery in the background.

horses-000Horses Below Devil’s Grave Mesa, 2013, 18″ x 24″ acrylic on canvas panel

As usual, I like to post a few photos of the process, and I usually start out with a sketch. This time was no different.


Next, I set the tone by adding some dark colors on first. It’s nothing but a heavy glaze, but gets me going in the right direction.


Next, I work on the mesa in the distance. I get all the shape how I like them.


Then I wash the whole background with a little white to get the feeling there is a snow storm brewing in the near distance. I also take the time to block in the horses with something close to their final color.


Then I paint the bushes and fence in the foreground, and I add finishing touches to the horses.


Finally, well almost, I add some detail in the foreground. It’s here where I realized I didn’t know when to stop. I should have stopped a long time ago leaving the foreground partially barren to draw the eye down the fence and not add so much busy up-front.


However, that’s easy enough to fix. Paint over some grass and preserving the snow. Now I’m calling it quits.


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About seanhudson

Internet professional, runner, skier, climber, father, and doer of things.

3 responses to “Horses Below Devil’s Grave Mesa”

  1. Gregg martin says :


    You explain the process as well as a writer might their craft, I really enjoyed this picture, well done!


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