Horse Painting. A Study and Practice Painting.

A Horse painting exercise. You can try this in oils or acrylics. Acrylics is better. This was partly a practice piece done from a horse sketch and I was also looking to make an animal greeting card from it assuming it went well.

I had some pencil horse drawings to refer to and a photograph to help me with the colours although the form of the animal was more important to me. I used cryla CARMINE, BURNT UMBER, ZINC WHITE and IVORY BLACK with a little water. Prolene half inch flat brush and a round 4 for the initial sketch.

1. I start with little strokes to sketch the horse. I did this quickly with ivory black.

Horse Painting Step by Step 1

2. I get the shape of the head, being careful to place the eyes correctly.

Horse Painting Step by Step 2

3. I add darks on the legs, nose and tail. I draw the eye and start adding to the ears. I add the beginnings of the a mane which also shows me where the spine is.

Horse Painting Step by Step 3

4. I continue adding to the mane and legs.

Horse Painting Step by Step 4

5. I add to the black with carmine and add blocks of colour to the head and body.

Horse Painting Step by Step 5

6. More colour on the head working very loosely with thick paint mixed from umber and carmine You have to mix as you are going along judging darker and lighter areas to show the form of the head. If you have got good referece material this is a lot easier.

Horse Painting Step by Step 6

7. Same with the body, blocks of colour added quickly and overlapping. Plenty of paint added vigorously. Starting at the top with lighter colours and getting darker as we reach the stomach. There isn't a lot of thought put into it. I basically make the paint darker under the animal with carmine, umber and ivory black and lighter on top by adding carmine and white.

Horse Painting Step by Step 7

8. I paint the legs taking care with the contrast between the darker and lighter areas. The feet are much lighter.

Horse Painting Step by Step 8

9. I paint the ears trying to get the shape right but not totally accurate. I want a nice loose effect. You can get this by being well prepared with your reference photos and sketches and working from them spontaneously with paint.

Horse Painting Step by Step 9

10. I add highlights once the paint had dried. I may add a flattish or gradated background to finish it off or I might leave it as it is. I like the sketchy unfinished look.

Horse Painting Step by Step 10

I hope you have enjoyed this horse painting study.

go to main horse painting page


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