Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Complete Pictorial Saga of Misty ...or ... How to Paint a White Horse

Reference photo - it looks like it was taken in an indoor arena.

Mask, then a wash of thin purple-grey.

I start adding some thin glazes of local color.

Add more mask around her muzzle, and do more darkening of existing colors.

I need a background to judge how dark to go with her coloring. I chose  soft pink, orange and blue - to maintain the softness of the painting, and to compliment her coloration.

I darken her eyes and add more pink/orange to her muzzle.

I've painted around her mane and forelock to bring them to notice.

The mask is all off, and I am working on the bridle. I don't want it as dark as the photo, as it will overwhelm the painting.

Here she is - DONE!!!
Photo taken outdoors.

This is at the same stage, with indoor lighting.

Well, she is finished, and [surprisingly] I am quite pleased with the finished painting! Her owner is up in northern Alberta, visiting family for the holidays, so I won't get her reaction till the New Year.
As ever and always, if you have any questions about color, technique ... whatever, please ask. And ALL comments are most welcome!
Even though I am a complete and total humbug at this time of year, I wish all of you and your families a most happy and wonderful Christmas! And Peace and Love to you all!! 


  1. LOVE it Kathryn, may be one of my favorites of your animal portraits. I was just wondering when you send to your client, do you trim the staple holes, or mat? I have been stretching and stapling my paper, but wasn't sure of the correct way to present to buyer?! As always thanks for sharing your work and your knowledge, Maria

  2. Holy smokies! Awsome job! You did it! You made Misty more beautiful than ever!
    I can feel her nuzzle my neck!

  3. You can rightfully be pleased with the result Kathryn...he is gorgeous, I find so much feeling in your horse portraits. The background is beautiful...am sure the owner will be thrilled. Big hugs and wish you a Merry Christmas.

  4. She is just beautiful Kathryn!! So well done, and you've captured her expression just perfectly. :)) Merry Christmas!! *hugs*

  5. love that look in her eye! beautifully done!