Thursday, June 12, 2008

Finished!! "Distant Thunder - A Tribute to Man o' War"

I'm happy to report that it's finally finished! I really wanted to complete this before the weekend, so I could just let it dry and ship it off next week. It was going to be hard to pack this and it's shipping box on the airplane!
So, notice a few changes? The biggest change is the position of Man o' War's head. Looking at it, I just didn't think his profile was prominant enough with his head down like it was. So, I raised his head up, and really punched the highlights and his white blaze to show up more. After all, he is really the star of the show here. And since I actually put some detail into this one, here's a zoom view so you can see his face. He was a beautiful horse, big and muscular and full of life.
His nickname was "Big Red", 16 .2 hands tall, and a lovely sorrel color.
I have to go back and look up the names again, but the two figures on the left are his owner, and his groom, who took care of him until his death and called him "The mostest hoss that ever was."
I think I might agree. He won 20 out of his 21 races, and the one race he came in second (to a horse named "Upset", by the way, and that's the source of that sports term!) there was a mistake by the starter, and Man o' War was facing sideways and not in the gate when the starter released and this caused him to get boxed in on the rail once he did get going. If he'd had another few feet, he would have passed Upset, but he just ran out of track. He went on to beat Upset 6 more times, and even Upset's owner said he wished that defeat had never happened, as Man o' War deserved to go unbeaten. It is said he never even fully extended in a race, that he always had plenty left at the finish, and still he broke record after record. He only raced 2 years, because the handicap weight he was going to be carrying as a four year old was so great that his owner decided to retire him. He went on to sire many, many champions, including War Admiral and many more.
It was fun painting him, and I hope in some small way it does pay tribute to a truly great race horse.

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