Art Studio and Life #26 featuring artworks and painting

Do you like cooking?

I get so tired of it. Actually, it’s not the cooking I mind, it’s having to choose WHAT to cook that does my head in. You tell me what to cook, and I will cook it. I will cook it well, because if I am putting in the effort to cook something, it had better taste good. How sad would it be to force yourself to cook something and then have it taste boring? As Granny Weatherwax says, “I can’t be having with that.”

classical art meme

When the kiddos were younger, I cooked using an 8 day meal plan, which worked well, until I got fed up with all those particular meals, while everyone else seemed quite happy. That was also back in the day when they didn’t mind eating leftovers. I have just planned a new 30 day one, so we’ll see how long I can keep that going…

Thursday night is my official cooking night off. One of the three gentlemen of the household becomes chef de jour and technically I am a free agent. Until someone can’t find something, or needs my opinion as to whether something is cooked. Still, eating something that someone else CHOSE and cooked feels like a holiday.

There are times that I wish we were all herbivores. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to go and graze in a field for a couple of hours? “Supper time kiddos – the paddock gate is open, off you go.” Of course, herbivores have to spend about 90% of their lives eating, which could be somewhat limiting. Lions eat every three or four days, knock back 6kgs of meat in a sitting and then relax (or paint?) for the next few days, versus the average cow who apparently “needs access to food for 22 hours out of 24”.

Wow. That is a lot of access.

Come to think of it, the same might be said for male teenagers – “needs access to brownies and milk for 22 hours out of 24.”

classical art meme

Moving swiftly on.

I’m am going to write about colour, using a little painting of a white horse. It was painted using the alla prima method, which means ‘at first attempt,’ basically painted in one session, wet on wet.   Starting off with a canvas primed with a background wash of burnt sienna, left to dry. I use blue chalk pastel to draw the subject matter. I draw very carefully to get the proportions right from the beginning. Nothing more annoying than incorrect anatomy when you are painting.

how to paint a white horse alla prima

The lightest colour on the horse’s back is Titanium White with a tinge of Cadmium Yellow – the warm light of the sun gives it the warm, yellow tinge. The part of the skin in shadow, the middle colour here, is blue – shadows are tinged with blue, which is a cool colour. The underneath of the horse is tinged with green, reflecting the colour of the grass.

how to paint a white horse alla prima

Painting more of the shadows, this time mixed with both blue and green on the belly and legs, and grey and blue on the darker face and ears.

how to paint a white horse alla prima

The faint hints of the orange underpainting that shine through add warmth and continuity that would be lacking if it was painted onto a white background. This is a painting of a white horse that has no pure white on it. Blocking in the darker ‘white’ which is white with more yellow and a bit of grey.

how to paint a white horse alla prima

Painting the darkest darks.

painting of a white horse alla prima

‘Spring Day’ is 50cm x 40cm US $ 100

I painted this from photos that I took of a pretty little horse I saw in a field one spring morning. I stopped by his field to take photos, and he pretended to ignore me, while coming closer and closer as he grazed. This little horse is looking for his new home, if you are interested. I do ship internationally.

So this weekend – May someone else cook for you! May you spend time looking at colour! And may you spend time outside enjoying Spring or Autumn, depending on which hemisphere you are living in!

XX Barbie


  1. Jane Burgoyne

    Hi Barbs – you are just so super talented, wow, and great with your writings too, so enjoy to read.

    • Barbara Podmore

      Thanks very much Jane! I’m so happy that it brings you pleasure.