New Year Pet Portraits, Fergie the Horse

So, I unexpectedly finished my Christmas Pet Paintings , All pet portraits, UK bound were posted yesterday and a last minute sale of my African Wild Dog was posted today. So that’s it, hopefully there will be some very happy people on Christmas morning when they open their pet portraits.

I can now start my New Year paintings in earnest, and I need to as there are a lot. Dogs, horses and even a cat portrait. I love the mix. Most are pastel pet portraits and one Jolly Splashes pet portrait, I am hoping I might pick up a commission for my new acrylic portraits too. We shall see. The portrfolio will have to be built up a bit more I think. But keeping my fingers crossed as they are so much fun to do.

First up on the easel is Fergie the Horse, he will be sharing my time with a boxer portrait too and of course Fudge the labrador. You can read about those in their respective blogs. Fergie is a gorgeous Chesnut horse and it is lovely to get back to the equine art.

Fergie’s portrait is going to measure 14×11 inches. My client saw Kuato Star on Facebook and really wanted a portrait of her daughters horse. It was tricky to get the composition perfect. But we settled on one photo, the bridle and tack will be removed and un-plaiting his forelock. My client wants the portrait unframed. It is so good good to be back to the horse portraits.

In the process of starting this horse portrait I have discovered I new colour pencil that has been sitting in my drawer that is perfect for the ginger horses! It can be a really tricky colour to get sometimes and they can end up to orangey. I don’t really know why I have overlooked this colour for so long. It won’t be used in isolation, or if it is minimally as it maybe too pink. But with some blending it will tone down that over orange look you can get when trying to get the colour correct. As with any painting often the early stages are slow as it is case of working out how to get the right colours with layers and blending. When it is worked out it tends to then come together quicker. 

Early Stages of The Horse Portrait of Fergie

For the initial layers it is a mix of teracotta by Derwent, this is the new colour discovery and carbothello 680, sorry I am not sure of the name. 

For the darks I am using Derwent burnt carmine, burnt umber and faber castell burnt umber too. I will get the code for you. The plan is to do more in depth tutorials for you to follow of some pet paintings in the New Year. When time isn’t quite so tight. I thought maybe some step by step guides you could follow. It’s an idea I am mulling round and not sure how it will work yet, but we will see!

Mid Way Point of the Fergie the Horse Portrait

Work has been coming along nicely with Fergie’s horse portrait. I have had to remove his bridle from the original reference which is always a tricky job, I am happy to remove bridles, collars and other bits from your portraits providing I have reference photos to help me show how the fur lies and any potential missing details that could be hidden. Particulary important with bridles as they have a bit in their mouths and it completely changes their mouth shape.

I am at about the mid way point now. I have been regularly updating my client and she has had small amnedments along the way. I am happy to work with you like this if we have tricky or poor reference photos or if you would just like the more involved in the process of your pet portrait.

It was requested that I add the forelock in also and my client wanted me to straighted it which I forgot, but that is an easy fix. The shoulder also needed to be dropped a bit. I had put it in too high. 

We discussed the final background ideas and we now know where we are going with this, so I can see how he is all coming together now which is very exciting. The background will be done next with my usual soft pastel sticks. I did try to film a time lapse with me working on a background of a double horse portrait, but it failed! I think I have resolved it so I will try with this portrait.