Monday, October 10, 2011

The Upside Down World of C. W. Mundy


I took a C.W. Mundy workshop last week right here in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a plein air workshop, Locales were both nearby and beautiful. In addition, the weather was unbelievably gorgeous. As you might suspect however, the subject of the above painting is not plein air. Horses rarely pose to be painted from life!
One workshop day, we went to the gardens of Cheekwood and painted from photos… upside down photos.

It's an exercise sometimes given to demonstrate how important it is to paint shape and form rather than a “thing.” I'd never done this particular exercise. Perversely, I selected a photo I thought would be really hard; I did it because I like horses and wanted a break from landscapes. I drew it and painted it upside down.
I had very low expectations so I was happily surprised to find my upside-down shapes resolved themselves into… horses! There are lots of things missing, reins and wheel axles and such, as well as some angles and values that need adjustment. But they indeed look like horses… who would have thought it!
Well, I guess C.W. would have.

13 comments:

  1. what a great challenge and exercise! beautifully done,great brushwork!

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  2. Beautiful!! What a wonderful exercise! I hope to be brave enough to try sometime.

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  3. Isn't this a great way to paint the shapes, you nailed it!

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  4. So excellent, Shirley. Love the looseness, the colors and shapes. I'm going to try this!!

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  5. Wow I love this! I didn't notice anything missing at all. Ur painting has just what it needs and nothing it doesn't. I'm really impressed!

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  6. Thanks for sharing this- Turned out wonderful- lucky you to get to take from CW...Love the highlights on the horses.

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  7. That turned out really nice! Maybe I need to start standing on my head when I paint.

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  8. Surprising this, a method to be applied to avoid too much detail. I keep it in memory.
    Thank you for your passage on my site.

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  9. So well done. I used to teach this to my school kids! It works!

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  10. this is one of the best exercises there is for painting shapes not 'things'. You can see how well you've done with it.

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  11. That is a nice one! I have done portraits upside down from photos when they start to escape me. It really helps.

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  12. Wow, you took on quite a challenge with this painting and painting it from an upside down photo made it even more so. You did a great job. Good Going!

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