Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Paul Revere

The top painting is an illustration of Paul Revere for the most recent issue of Seeing The Everyday magazine. The others are various illustrators versions of horses, and Paul Revere.  I really haven't painted horses at all, and definitely needed some help, so NC Wyeth was a strong inspiration, as you can see.  I usually don't borrow this heavily from other paintings, but there just wasn't other reference available (Google was surprisingly disappointing on this one). This piece was more a practice exercise for me than anything, and I learned so much from Wyeth's dynamic poses and strong brushwork.  Wow, that man can paint the horse! About 1:30am as I was cleaning my brushes, I realized that I had made the head too small, and it was starting to look like a little giraffe head. A little Photoshop magic helped fix that this morning before I sent it off for publication, but it was a good reminder that sound drawing underscores everything. And that, like anything else, it just takes practice, practice, practice!  I actually highly recommend doing masterwork copies as an exercise to improve, and this piece reinforced that I would benefit from doing more close masterwork study.


  1. Super cool Dave. Love the limited palette, very Corwallian :)

  2. That piece is really cool Dave. I kind of like how dark it is. I mean, it's his night ride, and all, but it has this dark feel of something exciting about to happen. Anyway, good job. I think the horse looks fantastic. Frightened, nervous, energized.

    1. Thanks Adam and Dan-o, I appreciate your thoughts. Any strength in the horse is definitely a product of NC Wyeth! And Adam, that's kind of you to mention Dean Cornwell. I was very much hearkening back to that palette on purpose to have a subtle tie-in to the fact that most of our association with Revere is based in Longfellow and early magazine illustration. I considered doing a bold vignette like Cornwell, but the night aspect of the piece seemed to keep requiring a bounding box to control the values enough to carry time of day. And let's be honest, I'm no Cornwell. I'm sure he could have done it:)