Just finished this horse portrait last night. He gave me a lot of trouble, probably because he gave my good friend who leased him for a while a lot of trouble. Maybe if I hadn’t known anything about him I could have done him more quickly and more easily, but I couldn’t help thinking what a rascal he was while I was painting him.
As part of my new venture, I plan to ask clients to tell me as much about their horse as possible, so I can get a feel for its personality before I paint it. Knowing my own horse so well made it super easy to do him. But now I’m wondering if I really want to know the less-than-wonderful things about a subject because it may influence how I paint them. Or maybe I should just accept that a particular animal is what it is and let those characteristics come through.
Of course, the simple answer might also be that this horse is black, and capturing the light and shadows of a black coat is more difficult with the style I’ve chosen to paint in–the ink drawing with the layers of transparent color over it. I’ll have to think about this for a while, since if this business takes off I’m sure to be painting a lot more dark-colored horses!