One thing about painting portraits–there’s always a new challenge, just to keep things from getting routine or boring! Royce had several issues to be resolved, not the least of which was his toothy expression (probably in reaction to his rider pulling him in a direction he didn’t particularly want to go just then). Thanks to the magic of Photoshop, I was able to uncurl his nostril and push his lips back down over those lovely teeth!
The second issue was his unique pattern of white on his face. It’s difficult to see what’s going on with the pattern under the bridle, but fortunately I was provided with additional views, showing his face from the side. So I’ll be able to translate that onto the 3/4 angle of the source photo without much trouble.
Finally, there was the saddle. Hard to see where the back is under that saddle. Fortunately all my hours of sketching while at horse shows paid off–I had a couple of ink sketches which were almost exactly the same body angle, minus saddle. The were facing the wrong way, but once again flipping them around in Photoshop made them perfectly adequate. I don’t know how many hundreds of people worked to develop Photoshop over the years, but each and every one of them has my undying gratitude!
Now for a little bit about Mr. Rolls Royce. It appears that he was quite an accident, the result of a neighboring stallion escaping one night and having a bit of stallion fun. About a year later, out pops a nice little Arabian/Paint mix. Here is what my client has to say about him: “Royce A Roni pony, which is what my kids call him, is the reason we have owned 5 horses. He was our “first”. My 6 year old daughter fell in love at first sight but I was not the horse person and quite intimidated by horses. He patiently taught me to care for him and trust him and taught a timid mom to ride. In the last five years, he has taken my shy 6 year old from a walk/trot kid to a competitive rider jumping 3 foot fences. He is such a flexible pony, who goes from the show ring, to teaching my youngest who is 5 to trot, to going for a casual bareback ride. He has that pony sass once in awhile and we call them his “arab moments” which rather than frustrates, sends my daughter laughing. He is the love of my daughters life and the reason my whole family rides.”
Sounds like accidents can be quite a good thing sometimes!