View Full Version : Black Horse Painting

02-29-2012, 10:13 PM
Hi folks, I posted this in the acrylics forum because I was looking for specific help but now that it's done I thought I'd post it here too. This is my first acrylic painting and it was basically a bunch of trial and error. It's just a small canvas at 12" x 16" but it took 2 weeks to complete. I enjoyed myself so much that I've just bought another canvas and I think I'll resign the coloured pencils to the back of a cupboard!


Dave Hawk
02-29-2012, 10:54 PM
Very interesting pose. The horse is fantistic,you dis an.awesom job. Learning to deal with issues is what makes or breaks an artist and you deal with them great.

02-29-2012, 11:18 PM
This looks really nice--especially for your first acrylic! Love the gloss in his coat and the blurred background. How did you get that effect? Did you use a drybrush technique of sorts?

Nonie Wideman
02-29-2012, 11:36 PM
very beautiful, I'm working with watercolor as I work too slow with acrylics, everything dries up too fast, but looking at the vibrancy of your palette of colors I may have to reconsider.....looking forward to your next submission

02-29-2012, 11:43 PM
Beautifully done, congratulations on your first acrylic painting being such a great success!

02-29-2012, 11:46 PM
Wow...that is a beauty!! :thumbsup:

02-29-2012, 11:51 PM
Thanks for the feedback :) I researched the hell out of techniques to achieve the look I wanted before I ever picked up a paint brush and then it was a matter of trying stuff til it worked. I basically slapped down the underpainting and then did a ton of glazes using W&N paint thinned out about 50/50, or more, with W&N gloss medium. The medium made it really translucent without messing with the colour, and it stopped it drying so insanely fast. I found it was a balancing act thinning the paint enough for the glazing, but not thinning it so much that the binder in the paint couldn't do its job.

For the blurred effect I just dry-brushed with a really stiff-bristled rounded brush for the base layers, and then used a smaller flat edged brush (sorry I don't know the proper names for the brushes yet) and used glazes in areas I wanted to put shadows or highlights into. I had -no- idea what I was doing for the background as I actually found very little information online to help me so it was all a big experiment really. I'm pondering getting an airbrush to help with the soft background stuff for portraits because that would make it a million times easier.

I find painting with acrylic such a freedom after using coloured pencil because if I made a mistake I could just put down a thick layer or two of base colour and build up the glazes again. I wasn't at all happy with the eyebrow area the first time I did it, so I painted over it and did it again!

03-01-2012, 10:42 AM
Wow fantastic job - well done. :thumbsup:

03-08-2012, 12:03 PM
Oh my God!!! I think this is beautiful!!!:clap::clap:Nicki

03-08-2012, 01:38 PM
:eek:WOW!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: ! Amazing realism! Bravo! I just love the blurred BG too! The horse is very well done and the mane and bridle are just incredible. Black animals are difficult to do, and this black horse is spot on! You've done a superb job on the subtle tones of your colors, very effective!

online art
03-08-2012, 04:13 PM
Lovely piece

03-08-2012, 04:32 PM
very nice job. our one daughter is a professional photographer specializing in horses and she uses this view/pose often, it's popular right now.

03-08-2012, 06:03 PM

03-08-2012, 07:45 PM
Thanks everyone, glad you like it :) kasey1 it's a very attractive pose, I saw this shot in a friend's facebook photos and asked if I could use it as reference. The photo was taken by the horse's owner, she's pretty handy with the camera!

03-08-2012, 08:11 PM
Very impressive! Great job!!!!!


03-09-2012, 08:15 AM
Gorgeous! Wow!:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

03-09-2012, 08:46 PM
Great work! I look forward to seeing your future paintings.

03-10-2012, 02:26 AM
I am amazed that this is your first acrylic piece. You have already developed such a sense of color, and have seemed to master the acrylics in a way that would take a lot of people years to do! I hope to see more of your work around here.:D

03-10-2012, 09:38 PM
This is stunning! The sheen on the horse's fur is outstanding as are the fine details; or lack thereof (background). Incredible that you've mastered the medium this quickly and that you've painted this to completion at this level in two short weeks. Show us more!

03-11-2012, 08:20 AM
Thanks folks :) It's not so much different from what I was doing prior to acrylics, with coloured pencil... layers layers layers! I basically just bullheadedly work on a part of it til it looks how I want so its probably less about good technique and more sheer bloody-minded determination haha.

03-11-2012, 08:45 AM