Originally Posted by HopeHacker
Just wondering if this is better than my previous horse picture. I tried to made it less cartoonish, more realistic.
Does this look a bit better?
This is an improvement over the last one.
Someone said that it looks "cartoony". I wouldn't go so far as saying that, but if realism is what you are going for you aren't there yet. I can't find the word to describe it, but 'cartoony' isn't it. I would say that I can see this painting being hung as decor in a small girl's bedroom if that is of any help?
Some things that I see wrong is the incongruence in where the light is coming from.
On one hand the large tree in front has a shadow on the right side of it, indicating the light source is from the left. However if the light were coming from the left the horse should have some deep shadows on it's neck from it's head, along with shadows under the mane that is over it's face.
On the other hand the tree in the background on the right indicates that the light is coming from the back and towards the right, because it's shadow is in front and to the left of it.
Then you show the sun directly in the background, which would indicate that the shadows should be directly in front of the objects in its path, which would mean not only should the shadows of the tree be on this side of the trees, but that the side of the horse facing us should be deeper in shadow.
The horse not only needs more shadow for the body, but also the mane. Here is a painting by Gail Rein that is a good example of a nicely done horse's mane. You can see that the mane looks like it is actually strands of hair and you can see shadows between the strands so that they stand out from the other strands.http://imagecache2.allposters.com/im...es-Posters.jpg
You can also see that not only is there shadow on the horse but also "light' which give the horse more definition and depth.
Another thing that stands out to me is the shape of the horse's eye. Their eyes are almond shaped like ours are, plus the reflection looks too large and centred, like it should be a pupil. Have a look at the link above and you will see that the horse's eye is almond shaped, and that it also has upper and lower eye lids. I would also suggest a smaller dot of paint to indicate reflection too.
The grass is also too "even" in texture and tone. It should have some feeling of texture to it, some fine brush strokes that indicate the grass is actually standing up. Right now it looks like baseball turf. Perhaps also have some really long patches of grass around the trees so that the trees look like they blend in. It is a pasture so I doubt that the farmer went in with his lawn mower and weed wacker and trimmed the grass nice and neat.
You definitely have a talent!!!! But if you are looking to improve and get more realistic I would suggest borrowing a book from the library on "Art Theory" and maybe on "painting techniques", and also painting from a reference photo to start with. Once you get familiar with light, shadow, shape, musculature etc, it will be much easier to paint without reference.