My animal anatomy book is quite good.  I also took some photos of horses standing still with all of their tack equipment on - fully loaded, with ropes and saddles etc.  I have some other examples of good paintings and pictures of horses, but there is quite a variation in the type of gear that these cowboys were using.  Not being a “horse person”  I am not sensitive to the different requirements between riding and roping etc.  I am sure that there are special requirements for such activities.    I painted in large areas in watercolor so that I would not have white showing through all of strokes.  I have found that helpful when doing landscapes, kind of the same technique as toning a background on a canvas.  I’m on my third pastel and am preparing some boards for three more.  I think I will do some smaller ones as the large pastels will be very expensive to frame.  I have always liked the appearance of pastel when it is not rubbed and smoothed out.  Mary Cassat and Degas both did beautiful pastels. I frequently do like drawings with pastel, but have never taken them outside on location with me.

My friend Wolfgang Tritt painted beautiful horses, he could do it from memory just like the buildings of Berlin and Venice that he could pull out of his head.  He told me that he learned to do it by going to a stables and drawing hundreds of horses and memorizing their muscle structure,  Most western painting is very realistic - I am not interested in such detail - rather it is the motion and color relationships of light falling on the horses and the shadows next to the highlights.  I’m on a roll with this!  I’ve tried a “still life” of boots.  A saddle will be the next, they are so beautiful with all of the hand tooling in the leather and the silver conchos.  Check out the charcoals on the  June 11, 2013 blog “Branding Day”. 

Still more riders of the plains!  Those cows really did not want to get roped and thrown on the ground.  What is there about all of this process that is so spellbinding?  Maybe it is all of those Lone Ranger movies that I watched every Saturday when I was a child. 

I am really loving doing the horses.  Nice combination of landscape and figurative action.

i am kind of feeling my way into the relationship of color and the distances between foreground, middle ground and the infinite landscape behind them.  Never realized how much color is in the prairie vegetation! All are still in progress.