View Full Version : Horse portrait of Arab Stallion

05-02-2003, 07:40 AM
Here is my 8 hour project from yesterday...My first portrait that I dared to attempt right now...I am not happy with it... any advice?


05-02-2003, 07:55 AM
Okay I forgot how to draw eyes.....????? I think this my main issue with this portrait!! Most definatly!!

I did a small touch up, but I will keep working on it at work today I'll post it again tonight....


05-02-2003, 08:02 AM
One last try to fix it before I head off to work!!

05-02-2003, 10:11 AM
this looks great! i love hoe you've done his mane. the eyes look okay to me horses eyes are SO hard to draw, getting the shape just right is tricky!!!! but you've seemed to have gotten it down! maybe adding a tiny bright "highlight" in his eye, instead of a larger dull one would help to bring it to life.
i think it's REALLY good!!!!!!! i love it!!! great job!!!

05-02-2003, 12:50 PM
you have no reason to be unhappy with this!!! i agree that a brighter highlight in his eye would help bring him to life. also, i would tone down the shadow on his chest from his mane- i find thisa bit destracting. good job, tho!!!!

05-02-2003, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by echidna
you have no reason to be unhappy with this!!! i agree that a brighter highlight in his eye would help bring him to life. also, i would tone down the shadow on his chest from his mane- i find thisa bit destracting. good job, tho!!!!

My sentiments exactly, Christy he's beautiful - if u can't get the white by erasing, do u have a white colored pencil or a piece of white charcoal - try that, may be a help?:clap: :clap:

05-02-2003, 05:49 PM
Looks great, Christina! I would just suggest shading closer together so you can't see the pencil lines as much. There are no real definite lines on his body, just different amounts of value.

05-02-2003, 07:01 PM
First, thank you to all of you for your kind comments!! I apprecaite the support, I am still really depressed and don't seem to be happy with any thing right now... But I am glad you guys think its ok looking.... I was seriously worried about this one!

Okay I have played with him some today.... I think he looks better now??? What do you all think? I am waiting on you guys before I send a scan to the owner.... I will post the photo of him after this update....

I changed the eye from the photo...so you will see why I am have so many issues with that area... the owner wanted him to have an "EYE" not a black smudge..... You'll see when I post it!

Oh and for you copy right Concerned artists the Photographer and owner signed the contract... ;)


05-02-2003, 07:08 PM
Here is the referance photo now that you see what I am working from you might have harsher comments though they are always welcome!! I am not really sure of my ability this time...so??? Lay it on me I see a million things I should change but can't seem to bring myself to do them.....


05-02-2003, 07:15 PM
The cheek area should be lighter than the muzzle & jaw. There are also some darker darks in his neck. Instead of that line on his cheek, try some darker shading since he does not have a line there in reality. (Sorry if that sounded harsh!) ;)

05-02-2003, 07:22 PM
Oh Please Harsh is the way I have been cursing at this dang Portrait all day!! I am so not in to it...But I need to get this one done!:rolleyes: I am just in the mood hence the reason I am just sick of looking at it!! Anyway......(NOW that I vented some!)

You are so RIGHT!! This is totally why I hate this portrait...I would be more apt to just fix rather than sit here and complain if I were in a better mood!! :p But I am working on it now maybe the next update will show improvment...I hope.....:rolleyes:

Thanks again!! Chrisitna

05-02-2003, 07:56 PM
christina- you hav no reason to doubt your abilities. i think your version is an improvement over the photo! that said, do i notice some dapples in the photo:evil: ? would the owners want that included? his eye looks much better, btw! keep going!

05-02-2003, 08:04 PM
Christina, I can see a lot of growth with this piece. I loved it! You're getting better all the time.

I know your "real life" is having it's affect on your art life (mood) right now, so don't let it worry you. Just work it through. Every thing has to run it's course. There will be sunshine at the end of the tunnel, and we're all walking beside you through the darkest parts.

Smile! :D

05-02-2003, 08:14 PM
Oh my...thanks Guys now I have to put it away before I get tear drops all over it!!:crying:

I am just so down I hate it!! thanks you Enchidna and Sherri!!

I am guess I can't see the growth...Sherri...thank you though! I think this the worst one I have ever done!:(

thank you, that is what we are to do as artists right??? (make the art better than reality?) I just hope the owner see it the same way.....:rolleyes: ............

Oh and those DANG DAPPLES!! Yes they are there...I am tring hard to forget them...but yes I think I need to deal with them sooner than later...:rolleyes:

Heres an Update.... It is starting to look like I am gonna need to redo the whole dang thing!!


05-02-2003, 08:21 PM
DONT redo the whole thing. DO add some shading to his cheek to smooth the transition from neck to cheek to muzzle. add a few more defined streaks to the forelock to make it match the rest of his mane. also, add a bit of shading between his eye and his ear, cuz horses have a bit of an indentation there. finally, i would add a bit of shading to the far ear to pull it more into the background. a couple of minor tweaks should finish this one up nicely! then you don't have to look at it anymore!!!
edit-hmmm... i kinda disagreed with cj on the cheek thing...i think a little shading, but not as much as in the first version, would make this work!

Paul Hopkinson
05-02-2003, 08:25 PM
Christina this has come out lovely. You have achieved a nice blend within the horse. I take it you used your finger for this. If you want to add a highlight into the eye but very small though this is what I would attempt to do...............
If you have overworked the eye and you cannot get the white of the paper back for a highlight then get a piece of card, put a pin throught it and wiggle it around a little to widen it slightly. Then place it over the horses eye in the position you want the hightlight. Yep you guessed it rub over the hole with a putty rubber or even blue tack.
Oh and by the way, THE CHALLENGE IS STILL ON! Give me a few weeks though to get some of the commissions done first.


05-02-2003, 08:43 PM

What do you all think?

Enchidna, thank you I tried to follow your advice...Any thing eles??? That I should chang about this Beasty?


05-02-2003, 08:57 PM
looks pretty darn good to me!:D

05-02-2003, 09:05 PM
I am off to email it to the owner then!! I hope they like it! I would be so upset if they hate it as much as I do...LOL:rolleyes:

Just kiddin... I am tring to like the dang thing!! It has just been a long day at work and I am just ready for a vacation!!

thanks again for your advice and encouregment!!

I will let you all know what the owner says as soon as I get word from them....


05-03-2003, 07:28 AM
Looks much better!! Good luck & let us know what the owner thinks!

05-03-2003, 07:56 AM
Christina, this is absolutely beautiful! I cant think of a bad thing they would have to say. It has a very soft and loving quality about it..:)

05-03-2003, 08:40 AM
Thank you,

Crazee Jumper,

I am glad you like... I was conserned. I trust your opinion totally! I feel much better now. Thanks again!


You are too sweet! You know, I hadn't really looked at it that way till you said that.... It was true labor of love! Thats for sure! I really didn't want to do it, but I knew Anthony (my husband) wouldn't want me to stop doing what I love just because...
Thank you, Caron!

I just hope you all are right, I can't seem to concentrate. I am probably just being to hard on myself as ussual.;)

I sent out the Email last night to the owners so hopefully I hear some thing soon!



05-03-2003, 09:36 AM
It's beautiful Christina..I love how you did the mane and the shading on the nose:)

05-03-2003, 10:57 AM
OK first of all let me smack you up side the head for being so hard on yourself..
SMACK!... Now that your paying attention
Do you realize how much you have grown since coming here???
You ar doing fantastic with this. This is tons better than your earlier work!
Ya the eye is not perfect but the changes you've made are an improvement.
I'm sure the owners will love it.
And please give yourself some credit sometimes.

05-03-2003, 11:28 AM
Hey Girl!!!!

Ya know, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the eye in your first post, the shape was right on!!! All you needed was a highlight. The eye you have now is a little different from the original shape but equally expressive. I think all you need now are some cast shadows on the neck from the wispy mane and call it done!

I've always been told that when you are frustrated with a piece, put it aside for a couple days before you start making any changes. You'll come back to it with a fresher eye and quite often you'll either figure out right off where the problem lies and fix it, or......you'll wonder what the heck was wrong with it in the first place :confused:

I'm sure your customer will be very happy ;)

Oh!!! BTW Welcome to the EAG!!!!!!!!!!!



05-03-2003, 12:14 PM
Hey Christine :)

First of all I agree with Caron - you have grown immensly since your first post here.

Your stallion is ok - I see a few areas that look stiff still ( such as the mane and forlock) and about the eye..

YOUR WORK WILL ONLY BE AS GOOD AS YOUR REFRENCE MATERIAL! What do they want you to do? pull his eye from your imagination? Well of course you could, but are all eyes generic? NO. With this lighting his eye needs to be in shadow, you could add some reflective lights but thats about it. Bright highlights will seem harsh and not quite right. Check your values and see if your happy with them. If so sign it and call it done.

good luck


05-03-2003, 12:36 PM
Hi Christine,

There is just one more thing I would do, I'd soften/lighten the shadow you have that defines the large muscle in his neck. I know it's rather harsh in the picture, but I think if you soften it it will draw more attention to his face and be more in keeping with the soft feel of this portrait. :)


05-03-2003, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by ironhorse
OK first of all let me smack you up side the head for being so hard on yourself..
SMACK!... Now that your paying attention
Do you realize how much you have grown since coming here???
You ar doing fantastic with this. This is tons better than your earlier work!
Ya the eye is not perfect but the changes you've made are an improvement.
I'm sure the owners will love it.
And please give yourself some credit sometimes.

I want to echo Twyla's comments - I couldn't be more impressed with your drawing progress - especially in view of your personal issues - you are very brave!!


05-03-2003, 08:45 PM
Some very good advice here :) and I think its just beautiful! Your work just keeps getting better and better!

05-04-2003, 12:12 AM
Ok, here is trip down memory lane.......

This was my first pencil Portrait done in early Feburary 2003.....

05-04-2003, 12:18 AM
and now the newest one....

I see what you guys are saying!! thank you! But I can't take any credit for my Improvment!! If it wasn't for The WC and all of you wounderful artist!! I would not be even close to where I am today!! I love you guys!! Thank you!

YUK!!! It is scary to think I was so proud of that first portrait when I first did it!! No wounder the owner didn't want it!! BLAH!!:rolleyes: Oh well!! I might have to revisit that portrait and do it again with the knowldge I have now!! the owner would be greatful I am sure!!:D

Oh well!!

05-04-2003, 12:39 AM

Thank you, Stalks the Dawn!!, your a great friend!!

Iron Horse,

OUCH!!:eek: :p :rolleyes: I guess I need that, Huh??? Thank you, It is hard to see improvment when it comes so fast! I guess I never really took time to cirtique my own growth. I appreciate the wake Up call! You are the reason I found this Place!! THANK YOU!!


WOW, I have seen your comments on others work and admired your honesty!! I am surprized that you like this!! It is a true Honor to me!! I love your art and admire it very much!! It is really nice to hear! GOD BLESS YOU!! You have really made my Day!!


LOL:D You know it is funny how when people send you referance photos they think ....Hmmm its a great Photo!! But not realising that it is a totally different subject when it comes to a Portrait in an art perspective!! I am Glad that I am not the only one with that problem!! You would laugh if you saw some of the referance pic.s I get... some of them are not only blurry but the orse is like 30 feet from the camera!!! And then they question why I need another referance photo??? DUH??? I am not Phsycic!! LOL
Thank you!!


You know I have never been allowed to be weak...My family is very stern and cold in a lot of ways... I have always been taught from very young "Suck it up and move on!" I find it harsh in many ways... to say the least, but I find that my strength comes for GOD and with him as the wind beneath my wings I shall never fall! I am most definatly not Brave just gliding with the Lords grace through each DAY! I am not ok but I am resting in the Lords Grace. Belive me I am a wreck right now, But I have to be strong for My children, too. I am taking my life One breath...one heart beat at a time!
Thank you!!


Your a trip!! I was looking at my past posts... and I ran across my first post... I want to again apollogize for the incident on that thread! It made me realize though... You have been a very important player in my Growth!! I want to thank you so much for that!! Your the best! Thanks again!!

To everyone that has been so supportive of me and helpped me grow thus far... thank you! You are all the greatest! I don't know what I would do with out the WC! God Bless all of you!

Oh, Before I forget... I haven't heard back from the owners yet...??? I hope they like it.....????? I will post a reply as soon as I get word!


05-04-2003, 09:47 AM
Christina, Wow! You have come along way in only a matter of a couple months. This is a true sign of passion and dedication, to come such a long way in such a short period of time, it shows in your work. I've never taught art before, but if I was a teacher working with a artist/student like yourself and watched your growth I'd be very proud. You obviously take criticism with grace and use it as a positive, valuable tool. This kind of attitude will take you as far as you want to go my dear, there are no limits. As artists, no matter what stage we are at in our craft, we are *always* learning.

You deserve a thousand clappy hands!!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


05-04-2003, 10:27 AM
Thank you, Heather

I have to say it is all of you here at the the WC and EAG that have been my Teachers!! I have never had any formal "Art Lessons" Except for a couple high school classes and when I was very young I visted the art league alot!! So go ahead take credit for being my art teacher!!:D I would love to tell people that you and your art played a role in helping me learn!! :D

But had I not found the tools I have found on the internet... I would be lost!

Just for a note... I didn't always take advice so gracefully... trust me!! But I had a lesson on my first post here on Feburauy 28th of this year!! It got pretty nasty!! But It changed my attitude and my thinking! Opening the door to where I am today!

I love the WC and The EAG So much!! I just hope that I can someday pay back them both for the invaluble lessons I have learned and still have to learn at Both!!

Thank you!!!

All the Members of the WC and EAG Deserve those thousand Hand claps!!;) :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

05-04-2003, 08:56 PM

I know I'm late to the party on this one, but I think you've done really well with this drawing. I love the mane and the arch of the neck, so typical of an Arabian.

I have three suggestions that might help.

1. His eye is a little too "human" looking in shape and it looks as though it is flat on the side of his head rather than facing 3/4 forward when you look at his head in profile. Horses' eyes are really difficult to get to look right. Arabians have very fine skin around their eyes and you can usually see some fine skin folds on the upper and lower lids (or just below the lower lid, that is). If you could turn that eye to make it appear to be more of a 3/4 view instead of a full profile, I think it would help immensely.

2. I think his nostril is a bit too small. Arabians are called "drinkers of the wind" because their nostrils can open up into HUGE, round wind scoops. Although this stallion's nostrils are more relaxed, I think they should be a bit larger in proportion to his muzzle overall.

3. Arabians have wonderfully, delicate little pointed chins. This handsome stallion has a nicely shaped muzzle with a well defined lower lip that should show a bit more separation between the bottom of that lower lip and the small chin.

I have some Arabian horse paintings and drawings on my web site, if you would like some examples of what I mean in the suggestions above. Feel free to visit and look at these pictures, if you wish. The URL is:


All in all, I think you have done a wonderful job with this horse and your latest efforts have made him even better.

Nice job!



05-05-2003, 11:24 PM
Hi, Beverly!!

Nice to meet you! Thank you for the advice!! I visited your website Nice work on there!!

I appreciate the help, every thing you said was right on point!! YOu know now I really hate this portrait! I knew there was something I hated about that DANG EYE!!! But know I totally see what you are talking about! I already sent the scan to the owners haven't hear back yet...they are more than likely busy with foaling and breeding season.... so I will let them respond first before working on him more... I am considering toally redoing him... But I will wait to here for the owners first to see what they think I should do...

But again ADVICE well taken!! I hope you follow my progress and be of help in the future!! I am really busy with my new horse right now... But I plan to start a new portrait soon! I have 15 more waiting for my attention!! I have 5 Paintings I need to start as well! So.... Please watch for them!! I could use all they advice I can get!! 80% of my Portraits are Arabians so..... thank you for your help!!

God Bless, Chritina:)

05-08-2003, 01:23 AM

I still haven't heard from the owners!! I guess they hate it!

Oh well! I will add it to my pile of "learning experiances"!!

:( Christina

05-08-2003, 01:44 AM
sorry hon but you needed that:rolleyes: . i'm sure there is a good reason they haven't gotten back to you yet. it certainly isn't due to the quality of your work. just relax...you'll probably hear something soon. (hey- how good was the scan you sent them? maybe they took that and ran:evil: )

05-08-2003, 08:57 AM
Well, it looks really excellent to me! If the owners don't like it, you can send me it ;) :D