Dark Horse

Made by Natalie Fan

I want to have a different feeling of the same picture, while main part remains mostly unchanged.

Created: September 7th, 2016



The original painting was optimistic and straight forward, clean and direct. I want to change the feeling of the painting into the opposite: dark, pessimistic, twisted and dirty. 



    This is one of his earlier paintings. It was painted when the whole country fell into war. This is when Xu’s style began to change; from standing horse to galloping horses, he has changed from his own feeling to the outcries of people. The artist used only one or two kinds of ink, and used different shades to create a vivid running horse. The legs and hair are emphasized by darker ink, and the body is left white, mimicking the reflection of sunlight.    



    I thought about the painting as a whole. The horse is a symbol of power and energy, a symbol of the forever powerful mankind standing against the dark. It is running vigorously towards the light. So I think I want to invert this impression. I want to use the same horse, but somehow create a darker and more negative atmosphere. 



    What I did was fairly simple; I am not good at painting or Photoshop, so I just tried a few filters, and trying to make them come out the way I want. I first distorted the painting with the oil painting filter. The horse itself had a positive figure. The filter made it slimier, turning from a horse glowing in the sun, to a black horse gliding through the dark. Then inverting the background, I tried to make it darker, like running into the night forever.    



I think I did OK trying to invert the original intention of the horse. I couldn’t do much, so I used the simplest way to change the image, by changing the color, and distorting the figure. It is not as evil as what I hope it can be, but it somewhat tells it. I think because I can’t change much of the figure, so it is OK to me. The original horse was sort of abstract, so it is also hard to make specific adjustments.

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I want to have a different feeling of the same picture, while main part remains mostly unchanged.