Finally the horse

This commission was finished at least a week ago but the logistics of the surprise presentation to the recipient had still to be worked out. So as much as I wanted to share, I couldn’t without spoiling the surprise.

I mentioned in my last (actually the first and only) post about this commission that it was special and now I can tell you why.

Reva is my horse Charm’s last foal, all grown up now and owned by a very nice gal named Beth, whose wonderful husband Dillon wanted to make her dream of a beautiful stall plate for Reva come true.

It just so happens that Reva occupies the stall right next to her mama Charm, and Charm has her similar style stall plate hanging on her door for a few years now. As luck would have it, Beth had her eye on one like that, and on another same style one across the aisle that I had also done.

So I get a message from Dillon, “How can I get one of these?” Easy, you give me a good photo and you pay me. Ah, but photo, photo, Where art thou? Enter Serendipity. I remembered seeing a nice large collection of photos Beth had had someone take which she posted on, where else, Facebook. There were enough variations that I could choose the perfect one to fit the portrait’s oval shape. A right-click with the mouse and I stole it!

I will jump ahead here and just briefly say that elves hung the stall plate when they knew Beth would not be at the barn, and when she did show up the whole family was there to see her excitement.

So for the curious, here’s a quick rundown of how the stall plate came into being.

Text created in Photoshop, traced onto panel and hand painted in acrylic–black and gold. Horse drawn into oval space created by layers of sanded gesso. Oil paint for horse.
Working the black horse into the black background while preserving the shades of black so as not to lose the horse into the background.
Getting the ears and the eye right. If you don’t get the ears, the eyes and the muzzle right, you’re toast…
Painting done, with four coats of spar varnish to protect the work. Varnish makes the contrast pop, increasing the separation between the horse and the background. Photographed on a neutral hunk of beige carpet with better light. You can see the nice gold drop shadow under the text in this higher resolution photo.

About Alli Farkas

Equine and landscape artist specializing in rural Americana
This entry was posted in art, drawing, horse portrait, horses, oil paintings, stall plate and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Finally the horse

  1. Kathy Noone says:

    Alli, This is so wonderful. K


  2. Nancy Powers says:

    Could not love this more!! Excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is gorgeous! I first thought that it was sculpted -it was such a tromp l’oeil effect – amazing… The story – and the smile on Beth’s face -make this a heart-warming post! Buen trabajo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas says:

      Thanks Lisa! It’s always an advantage to have a good photo to work from. The unusual jewelry was a challenge. I knew it needed to have depth and sparkle, but wasn’t sure how to pull it off. So I just got into “the zone” (I’m sure you know what that means!) and let my hands do it instead of my brain.


  4. Emma Cownie says:

    What beautiful work!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rangewriter says:

    It is so cool to see the stages of this creation, but I also love the backstory of the little bits of serendipity that made it possible. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

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