Horse Portrait For A Wedding

Welcome to our latest blog post where James commissioned a horse portrait for a wedding… well, not just ‘A’ wedding… HIS wedding! James got in contact earlier this year asking if we would be able to have a portrait completed in time for their special day. We were absolutely delighted to be able to say yes! It was to be completed and framed in time to be presented to his wife Emily, on their wedding day. Nicholas was very much looking forward to getting started.

The Photo for the Portrait

James emailed us a number of photos of Assy who is sadly no longer with us. Some photos they had taken themselves and some from a professional photographer. We initially chose a more striking post that the photographer had taken, however in contacting her, she wanted a very large sum of money for us to paint from her photo. We were all in shock to start with and had to double check the price with her. For a private commission that isn’t going to be used for business purposes, only displayed in our clients home, we collectively decided this was definitely not the way to go.

So we settled on a lovely photo James had taken of Assy which you can see above. Upon reflection, James felt the photo actually captured the character and personality of Assy beautifully and also captured her colouring well. So we were all set!

The First Stage of the Horse Wedding Portrait

The first stage of the portrait is always to draw the portrait out carefully on the canvas and line it in. Next is to block it with a sepia wash. Nicholas always completes this stage in all of his paintings. It helps to firm up the initial pencil drawing lines and knocks back the white of the canvas.

Horse Portrait For A Wedding

The second stage is always quite messy. Also as you can see, the lights above Nicholas’s easel have reflected on the photo. However hopefully it gives a good idea of how the portrait looks as this stage.

Oil Painting of Assy for the wedding surprise.

The next stage is to firm up the lines around the eye and add some more details on the horse itself. The undertones are important here as they have to be correct before starting to add the fine fur detail.

Horse Portrait For A Wedding

The Finished Portrait of Assy

Here is a photo of the completed painting which we photographed under our photography lighting so that there is no shine. It has also captured the colour of the portrait pretty well. Photos never really do our portraits justice. However hopefully this will give a good idea of what the portrait looked like when finished. We sent the finished photo of the painting to James on WhatsApp. James was over the moon. The message started with lots of shocked faces… : )

OMGGGGG it’s absolutely beautiful! It’s perfect! I don’t think there is anything I would change on it!! You guys have done an outrageous job! Thank you so much! It’s like she’s alive again!

The final oil painting of Assy for the wedding surprise

I took a photo of the painting with some of Nicholas’s brushes to show scale. The portrait is a 16 x 12 oil painting on linen canvas.

It’s even better in real life!! We had some of Emily’s horsey friends over last night and I showed them and as soon as I took it out of the box they immediately knew who it was! I’m so please! Thanks so much!

The oil painting ready to be packed

The Portrait Framed

James asked for advice in choosing a frame for the oil painting, as of course we don’t frame any longer. Our lovely framers for our hand made frames retired during Covid. We never really found a good replacement for them. We are always happy to give help and advice though. As you can see James did a marvellous job in locating the perfect frame for Assy. James said this below… probably quite nervous ready for his big day!

It’s lovely isn’t it! I’m so please I measured right and it fits! Big day is next Saturday. I’m all prepped to hand it over during my speech!

Horse Portrait For A Wedding

The Wedding

We cant thank James enough for sending us photos of the big day and the hand over of the portrait during his speech. We also want to thank the wedding photographer Katie Drouet for allowing us to post them here on our blog. If you are located in Suffolk or Essex and are looking for a lovely wedding photographer, then look no further! In the first photo below, James is holding the painting and you can see his wife Emily is definitely surprised!

The wedding! ….her reaction was better than I expected! She absolutely adored it and it’s now proudly hanging up in the house. Here are a few photos from the day…

The wedding in progress, handing over the horse portrait during the wedding speeches

Kate the wedding photographer took the photo above, at the start of the speeches.

Hanging over of the oil painting. Emily's mum looks shocked and surprised!

I think this is our favourite photo of Emily with the portrait of Assy. We are just super delighted that the whole surprise went so well. Its definitely not easy keeping portrait a surprise. Clients are often so excited they sometimes can’t contain themselves and end up sharing their excitement. James did very well in keeping the surprise. We hope it made their wedding even more special.

Emily with the oil painting on her wedding day.
And Finally…

We hope that you have enjoyed following our Horse Portrait For A Wedding blog post for James and Emily. If you have a wedding that you might like to commission a portrait for, please do get in touch!

If you specifically have a horse that you are having a portrait of, it might be an idea to read our blog post. It is about how to take photos of your horse for a portrait. Get in touch of you need any help or advice!

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