Double Horse Portrait, 20×16 inches

This is a big portrait for me in pastels. The waters lend themselves to being large pieces of work quite easily, but pastels are so detailed the work that goes into them is immense, so the this size feels very large as it is so labour intensive. Or as I would rather say a labour of love, as are all my pet portraits.

My client sent through a lovely selection of reference photographs and I came up with this mock up. I chose the purplish background as it seemed to compliment their colouring really well.

I have been looking forward to painting this gorgeous couple for a long time , so today was finally the day I could get my teeth into their portrait. I have made really good progress and it may look like I have nearly completed the first horse, but there really is a long way to go yet. I need to change the colouring, and many more details and bring the whole head together, but after I have worked some more on the second horse first, I can then work on all the finer details together, this is particularly done this way as their colouring is so similar. If they were different colours I may have worked on them separately.

I have a good couple of days on these (minus a hair cut tomorrow) along with Thursday afternoon after walking, so I hope to make really good progress this week. Also following will be a Jack Russell portrait, a double Rottie portrait and a Golden retriever. Watch out for the start of their blogs this week.

My progress has been good on this portrait today. I have got along quite well with the second horse, I keep nipping back and forth between the two, and as I said, once the second horse is complete I will work on them both together and make sure they don’t look like they belong in separate portraits.

Tomorrow I will get the second horse blocked in and some details added and then I will go and add in the background. From there the final details, colour adjustments and everything else can be finished. I anticipate I will get them finished by the weekend, as I have a couple of other portraits I need to get sketched out tomorrow as well, oh and I am out to dinner tomorrow night. I hardly ever go out in the evening. It’s normally spent working, so it will be a lovely change!

I have made good progress on this today and I am really pleased with how it is coming together, especially now I have added the background. I am going to have to have a break tomorrow as it is such a large piece and return to it with fresh eyes on Friday. Yes sadly the self employed have to work on their birthdays!

I have made much better progress on these two gorgeous horses than I ever could have imagined! Partially helped by the fact traffic prevent me getting to my nordic walking session today. I actually felt I got far enough to scan the portrait today. I may still make some tweaks, but nothing major for me rescan I don’t think. I often do that and it is just my overly picky and perfectionism creeping in.

I am a little disappointed that the scan has really struggled to pick up the true colour of the background. I have tried to tweak it, but it ends up affecting the horses colouring too much. Anyway I don’t think ultimately it takes too much away from the portrait as it is.

I shall email my client tomorrow with the scan and await to hear from them before I do anything else, just in case they have any amendments, but hopefully they will be pleased. I can then get them signed and framed in the gorgeous gold frame I used for the horse jumping over the poppies, Cruz.

I have been busy framing these lovely horses today. Framing can be such a pain sometimes, especially the larger ones. Specs of dust seem to get everywhere and I am constantly removing the mount and reassembling. Drives me crazy an I swear I see dots that aren’t there! Sometimes it can take a whole day to get it right. I am hoping that I am nearly there now and no more can be done until the daylight returns tomorrow. It does look fantastic in it’s gold frame, I can’t wait to share with you.

I think the framing is pretty much done now. I love this frame, I think I have mentioned before it is similar to my gold mirror in my front room. It really is a lovely frame and suits the larger portraits perfectly. I imagine them, much like my mirror sitting over a fire place in a cottage or similar. It is a heavy frame with lots of detail, but not overly fussy. Anyway you can decide for yourself as here is the photo of it.

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The photo of the portrait in the frame also give a better or more accurate representation of the colour of the background. I am really pleased with it and would love to know what you think.

I had to add this in as it really makes me chuckle that my cat has to sleep on anything rectangular that I put on the work top or floor. Not so much the floor as the puppy harasses him. Here he is keeping this portrait warm and safe!

Have a great evening,

Sarah