Horse Oil Portrait of Schnapps

Welcome to the latest Horse Oil Portrait of Schnapps. we received a lovely email from our client Iain asking if they could commission a portrait of their stunning horse Schnapps who sadly they lost the previous year.

Hi Melanie and Nicholas – we are looking to have an Oil Portrait commissioned of a beloved horse which we lost last year. Unfortunately and as is often the case we do no have any really high quality close up photos of her. We have plenty of distance shots of her in competition but few without tack. She was always very full of herself and would show off her paces even whilst out on a hack – why just trot when you can extend? My wife would like the portrait of her shown without tack against a neutral background.

Iain and his wife initially wanted the portrait of their horse without tack. However sadly when they sent all of the photos they had, none of the ones without tack were suitable. It can be extremely difficult to remove tack when painting or drawing. As soon as you start changing things, there is a possibility the artwork can move away from ‘your horse’ and not feel right or structured. There are changes in the structure of the face, only slight, but its there. So in this instance, without other reference, we were unable to create a portrait without tack.

The photo that they loved however, the one Nicholas used as reference, was a wonderful photo and perfect for a portrait. It was a good compromise I think and I hope you all agree too.

Horse Oil Portrait of Schnapps

Horse Oil Portrait of Schnapps in Progress

The following photos show the portrait in progress, form the initial drawing out stage to the final stages of detail. The photo below shows Nicholas has drawn out and lined in the artwork and added a sienna wash over just to knock back the white of the canvas.

Oil portrait in progress

This stage is quite a messy stage as it shows the main colours and background blocked in. Most of what you see will be overpainted so it doesn’t matter at this stage, it just important to get the correct colours and tones in.

Early stage of the painting

Here the stronger coloured layers are being added and you can see Schnapps is starting to take shape. The photography lights were shining on the canvas, what why you can see the texture. This isn’t so apparent in natural light.

Horse Oil Portrait of Schnapps

The final photo is Nicholas painting detail on the tack. The brush is a little blurry as it was moving at the time!

Final details being added

Happy Clients

The portrait was a 16 x 12  oil painting, traditionally painted by Nicholas. Iain emailed us a beautiful email when the oil painting arrived home to them…

Hi Melanie and Nicholas,
She arrived safe and sound, has been hung and looks beautiful thank you. Maybe a little emotional when she emerged from the bubble wrap. We might be in touch with a view to having one of your pencil drawings of Molly (dog we lost a couple of years ago) commissioned in the New Year.

And finally, fi you would like a portrait of your horse similar to Schnapps, please do drop us a line. We can let you know what might be possible using your photos. If you would like to read about our latest dog portrait, head over to see the Vizsla painting of Jack.

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