The problem, for me, with so many Old West characters is the lack of good photos. Or, more accurately, the right photos. Wyatt Earp with a gun, on the street in Tombstone? We don't get one. We almost got one with him and Bat Masterson in Dodge City, but we can't quite see enough of his holster. Billy the Kid besides the tintype? We don't get it (or, we get an avalanche of wannabe photos). Crazy Horse? We get nada.
There is a fair amount of photographs of Tom Horn but not necessarily the ones we want. Plenty on death row, braiding ropes and looking gaunt (and bald). There's even a photo of him being captured by a group of townies riding bicycles. But we want to see him when he was in Arizona as an Apache scout. Looking dashing. Shoulders back, bibbed shirt, canvas pants. Like this:
I almost had him, but missed (his face). I'm still working on it. Did this one at lunch. Had a great underpainting and brought it back to the office and ruined it, or at least ruined the subtley in his face. He's all cartoon now.
Gee, I wonder what ol' Renoir has to say about this?
"One must from time to time attempt things that are beyond one's capacity."