Monday, July 29, 2013

A Horse Called Rusty

When I was ten years old, my parents decided to lease a horse, Rusty, so my sister and I could spend time with it. That meant my parents paid Rusty's owners to let us ride him and clean his stall.

me riding Rusty

Rusty's glamour shot

Rusty and me

I wish I could say that Rusty was sweet, obedient, and a perfect horse for children, but he was not. He was spoiled, stubborn, mischievous, and had no respect for my sister and me. Yes, he was gentle with us, but when we rode him he pretty much did whatever he wanted. Of course, that was partly our fault--we didn't give him any reason to respect us or listen to us! But we didn't care how disobedient, silly, or stubborn Rusty was. We loved him, because he was "ours". 

Last year I made a pastel drawing of Rusty. My original inspiration for the drawing was not a moment of nostalgia, but rather the color of the paper. I bought a pad of pastel paper (thicker and rougher than normal paper, so the chalk pastel will "cling" to the surface) with several colors included: white, tan, gray, blue, green, and orange. 

The burnt orange color of the paper made me think of Rusty, and I knew I just had to draw him. So "A Horse Called Rusty" was born:

You can see the orange paper coming through in many places, particularly the top and bottom left corners, and the highlights. I enjoyed using the colored paper because I was able to get nice, rich color without having to build up lots of pastel, and I could let it fade out on the left side and still imply the rest of the horse's body. 

Despite Rusty's personality issues, I'm pretty fond of this drawing. I think my favorite part is the highlight in his eye, like that mischievous glint he had in real life. 


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