Never Finished Learning....and Photo Shoots?

I took another hard look at the skeleton/bone illustration I recently posted; the one of the horse's head and neck. It was drawn back in December - February, right before I went into surgery for a new knee. Therein lay the problem! I can see now I rushed and wasn't careful.

Looking closely at the image, I see several anatomical errors, and they drive me crazy! I'll mark them up and post the image again for closer scrutiny. That's the good thing about stepping away from a piece for awhile: everything that you thought looked just fine before takes on a whole new perspective, and in this case, it needs fixin!

The hospital where I had my surgery (Martha Jefferson in Charlottesville) has decided that I was an ideal patient. They clearly did not talk to anyone involved in my recovery.

Tomorrow Martha Jeff is flying in photographers and a make-up artist to do a photo shoot. That's not something I've ever said before. They want to show me riding Miss Kiwi, a lovely mare at the farm next door, to show how well my knee works and how quickly I've been able to recover. Sure didn't seem that way at the time! Ms. Kiwi will be getting some serious bribery carrots.

Anyway, as evidenced by the photo left, clearly I am used to photo shoots with Brad & Angie, which was taken right after my surgery, at the Academy Awards. Gosh, I love Photoshop.

Hoping to post tomorrow, but it's going to be a busy day, what with make-up artists and all....

Painting What You See and Know

Medical illustration showing the correct positioning of the head and neck in the horse.
- At this point I want to examine the horse's head and neck anatomy. When I'm painting something I want to be accurate and realistic, it always helps to understand what I'm painting beneath the surface as well as on top.
- I've gotten some real bones (C1 - C3; "C" is cervical) from a great horse buddy to add to the horse skull I already have. 
- I want to know what the shapes are that I'm starting to paint on Wicker's portrait and make sure they're in the right size and place.  
- Compare the oil painting stage of the Wicker's portrait below to the bony landmarks labelled on the left. Although the view is lateral, whereas Wicker's head is slightly turned, I can still see bony landmarks that are important to show and paint correctly.
- To make certain I'm doing this kind of research accurately,I've referred to many equine anatomy books as well as real bones to do the medical illustration above. What's difficult about it is that the reference books are all over the map! I realize all horses are different, so I'm trying to find an acceptable standard.
- Note the location of the poll (occipital crest and C1; anatomically the occipital crest itself is the "poll") labeled above the C1/ atlas. Wickers the Warmblood is an upper level dressage horse, and I can see that she has been ridden correctly because her poll area is well developed and muscular. 
- Incorrect riding ("rollkur") can be seen in the poll of the horse at this link; note that the neck "breaks" further down the neck than it should. This kind of riding can lead to many problems in a horse's anatomy and physiology.