This was a commission painting that I was asked to do by a friend for a friend who had to give up a horse. The friend ended up moving into town and had to give up her horse because there wasn’t the room in town. I imagine that was very hard. My wonderful friend thought that it would be nice to have a painting to remember the beloved horse.
I must admit that I had never painted a horse before and was a bit uncomfortable with painting a horse that actually looked like a horse. I know that may sound silly but these things can sometimes be a challenge. Also, the other part of the challenge was that I only had one photo to go off of. The photo of the horse was mostly in shadow and rather dark.
|The Photo of Dot that I worked from.|
I started out doing a great deal of searching on line for photos and paintings of horses to figure out how to best approach the subject matter. I then did a fair amount of sketching and drawing as a prelim to get a better feel for how to approach the actual painting. I will tell you that some of the drawings looked like oversized ant eaters! LOL!
After doing a fair amount of drawing and sketching, I did some prelim sketches of various sizes. My friend wasn’t sure which size painting would be best. So, in an attempt to give her a feel of the different sizes, I sketched 5 different sized drawing. She decided that she liked the 12” x 12” size best.
Another struggle for me was which way to go on the browns of the horse. I played around for a week on scratch sheets of watercolor paper blending different browns—from golden shades to rusty shades to gray versions. Ok, I’ll admit I may have been over analyzing but I wanted to get it to where I felt right about the right colors. I ended up using quite a few of the browns that I had “experimented” with.
Then, my wonderful friend waited patiently while I slowly painted the actual painting. Another 3 weeks later and I was FINALLY done with it. My friend came over and I had her take a look at it. She smiled and said she liked it but as I looked at it with her I saw some fixes I needed to do. They always say an artist is their own worst critic and I find that it’s very true for me.
Another week later, and I made those changes and then I signed it. I’ve made this rule with myself that once I’ve signed it I step away from the painting. It’s done and I really do hope that my friend’s friend enjoys the thoughtful gift. Here’s the finished piece that I call “Dot, The Horse”….
|"Dot, The Horse"; Watercolor on 13.5" x 13.5" Paper.|
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