View Full Version : 2nd Ever Horse Painting

Paul Hopkinson
05-19-2003, 02:50 PM
Here it is at last! I have been working on this on and off for the past two weeks, one hour here, twenty minutes there. You know what it's like working full time and a wife and child to look after!

Anyway less of my groans, this one is in Watercolour on cold pressed paper approx. 12"x8.5 inches. The Watercolours I used are made by Winsor & Newton, using mainly a size 0 brush for the horse and grass.

Please let me know what you think. It has scan a little on the dark side even though most of the horse is in shadow.

Cross posted in the Watercolour Forum.



Detail number 1


Detail number 2


05-19-2003, 03:18 PM
great job, paul! your detail is astounding, and the finished painting looks incredibly lifelike! i especially like the whiskers on his muzzle:p

05-19-2003, 04:58 PM
HI Paul,

This is phenominal! I envy you folks who can weild a brush!!!


Paul Hopkinson
05-19-2003, 05:22 PM
Bob & Echidna Thanks for looking!


Paul Hopkinson
05-19-2003, 05:44 PM
Here is a close up of the grass area.


05-19-2003, 05:55 PM
Paul -
Excellent job, especially on the musculature. Also, the fact that all four feet are off the ground is intriguing. You have captured the casual grace and beauty of the horse. Congratulations.

05-19-2003, 06:15 PM
Oh my gosh-this is increadible!!!and only your second horse??????:eek: :eek: :eek: i love how detailed it is!!!! i hope to see more horses from you-they are wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:

05-19-2003, 09:14 PM
You've done a beautiful job Paul. I especially like the background, it stays in the back where it belongs. But, it's still dynamic.


05-19-2003, 10:18 PM
Once again, you've done a beautiful job, Paul! Only thing I can possibly suggest is, since the background is so bright and sunny, maybe there should be some more highlights on his face like the ones on his front legs. You can also put some messy strands of hair in his mane & tail since he's running. Hope you don't mind my nit picks. This is really an outstanding painting! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Paul Hopkinson
05-20-2003, 12:29 AM
Connie you nit pick as much as you want, I will listen to every word from you. I know how dedicated you are with your horses. I will add these details in a few days when I am able to paint again between work. Note that the painting is actually lighter in tone, as the scan did darken it a little.
Jean , Rachel & Snuffy thanks for your ego boosting comments, as you know we all need them here! he, he.:D


Wes Hyde
05-20-2003, 12:35 AM
Absolutely beautiful work, Paul. Smashing!


05-20-2003, 12:49 AM
Paul ,this was worth waiting for!Beautiful horse:clap: How do you get your grass to look so alive?It makes me want to get out my lawn mower:D

Paul Hopkinson
05-20-2003, 02:24 AM
Cheers Wes your work is outstanding so this is great coming from you!

Pippin I got the effect on the grass by first applying different shades of green washes with occasional yellow patches then with a size 0 brush painting one blade of grass at a time.


05-20-2003, 06:01 AM
Holy cow!!! Paul, this is really quite outstanding!!! You sure have got doing horses down pat! Wow! And in watercolor yet!

I just did a flower in w/c, not thrilled with it, but I'll post it in the w/c forum for critique, when I have time to scan it in.

I can't wait to see what you're doing next!

Paul Hopkinson
05-20-2003, 07:07 AM
Cheers Lorna I havn't decided on my next project as yet. I am still trying to get the time to do the human portraits I've been commissioned for. Anything else takes place whilst the oil paint is drying.

I want to see your flower!!!

Peggy Gross
05-20-2003, 07:23 AM

That is great!! I especially like the way you have the lights and darks, he looks like he's coming right at you!!
Wonderful work!!

Applause Applause

Peggy G

05-20-2003, 07:57 AM
It's awesome! I thought it was a photo until I looked closer. Great work! :clap:

05-20-2003, 12:16 PM
Paul - U r really gettin' good at these!!! Just gorgeous!:clap: :clap:

Paul Hopkinson
05-20-2003, 01:34 PM
Thanks PeggyKarin & Jamie for your comments.
I've tried and tried to get a better scan of the horse and this pic of the head is the best I can get, the colour is still off a little though. This is blown up to about three times the origional size.


05-20-2003, 02:54 PM
I think you did a really nice job on the background, and the detail on the horse is excellent. I agree with CJ about the highlights on the face, but if you like the nice, kempt, collected look of the mane, I think it looks fine IMHO. Really a very nice job! It looks like it should be on the cover of a children's or pre-teen book about getting a new horse or something.

05-20-2003, 03:47 PM
Wow Paul,,, this is great!!! I envy those who can control watercolor so well!! Very Nice!


Night Horse Studio
05-20-2003, 06:19 PM
WOW Paul! You are mastering horses very well! More, more!


05-20-2003, 06:25 PM
All this and portraits on the side......;) (not to mention shooting his own ref photos)

Wow Paul you are extremly busy!! LOL

You have mastered this horse very well - bravo!


05-20-2003, 10:40 PM
OH My goodness!!! That is really great!!

Looks alot like my new horse...I will post some pics when I can...
great job though!!!


Christina:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

05-21-2003, 02:23 AM
Originally posted by CraftyHopo

I want to see your flower!!!
Paul [/B]

You can see it now at:

Paul Hopkinson
05-21-2003, 06:53 AM
Thankyou Lorna, Christina, TJ, Stephanie, Gemma & Suzy for you kind words.
Just to let you all know that my dream has finally come true. You see I've always wanted to paint full time and be able to make a living out of it. Due to constant commissions I've now decided to hand in my resignation to my council employers and paint full time!
This has been my dream for almost twenty years and at the grand old age of 34 my dream has finally come true!

Wish me luck!


Peggy Gross
05-21-2003, 08:37 AM
Congratulations on your early retirement Paul! I know it sure won't be like retirement when everyone finds out you are a full time artist you will be sooooo busy painting to your hearts content.
Don't forget to let us see what is for sale and everything you are painting !!
Again Congrats and best of luck!!!!!!

Peggy G

05-21-2003, 01:50 PM
way to go Paul:clap: :clap: :clap:
it must be so freeing to be able to do what you've wanted your whole life! i wish you the best of luck!

05-21-2003, 01:52 PM

A friend of mine from one of my art groups just did that very thing! It's a huge and risky step, but, I know you won't have any problems and you will be a big success!! I wish you all the best.

Just make sure you aren't too busy to visit us here and show us your works! lol

BTW, you should crosspost this piece in the watercolor forum, they'd love it!

Paul Hopkinson
05-21-2003, 02:16 PM
Lorna I have posted this horse painting in the W/C Forum at the same time I posted it here. I am keeping my fingers crossed all goes well.

Echidna thanks for the encouragement, I need it all to suceed!

Peggy you always know how to say the nicest things. I will still be here on Wet Canvas, everyone is brilliant and soooo helpful!

Thanks to all here on WC!


05-21-2003, 05:17 PM
Way to Go Paul,,,,, I'm envious!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:


Margaret Dent
05-21-2003, 10:42 PM

The horse is gorgeous. The proportions are just right and the detail is beautiful. And all this in watercolour! Wow!

I have only one minor comment - this horse seems to be trotting and when horses trot, they usually have at least one leg firmly on the ground. It is only in canter or full gallop that they lift all four feet off the ground. So, to a horsey person like myself, he seems to be magically "floating" above the ground.

Regarding your "early retirement" - CONGRATULATIONS:clap: :clap: :clap: . Now, do you have any suggestions to the rest of us "wannabe retirees"? How did you do it?

Thanks for sharing the horse,


05-21-2003, 11:18 PM
sorry, Margaret, but i have to disagree about the trot. the trot is characterized by a split-second of suspension, which is longer and more noticible when the horse is moving quickly. i have included a couple pics (sorry for the poor quality) and you can look up photos of harness racers that race at the trot for further examples:D

05-22-2003, 01:51 AM
Originally posted by CraftyHopo
Lorna I have posted this horse painting in the W/C Forum at the same time I posted it here. I am keeping my fingers crossed all goes well.


Boy they post a lot over there in w/c, I had to go back 4 pages to find it!! And I was right they do like it!

Paul Hopkinson
05-22-2003, 02:55 AM
Lorna, Gemma, Margaret & Echidna thanks for your comments.

Margaret when I get home from work later (ok, don't tell my boss I'm on WC, hey I might get fired! LOL), I will post the reference photo for you. I can see what you are saying and fully understand your point of view however I do only paint what I see.

Echidna thanks for the photo's, at least I know that I'm not seeing things! Oh hang on! Was that a UFO in the sky?!

Cheers all,

05-22-2003, 12:45 PM
Congrats on leaving the structured work force, now you can really start working! I hope you can get pictures of all those people before you leave! Welcome to the world of the self employed.

You have the talent necessary to succeed, now add on determination, some business savvy, and a little luck and I predict you will go far. :)


Margaret Dent
05-22-2003, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by echidna
sorry, Margaret, but i have to disagree about the trot. the trot is characterized by a split-second of suspension, which is longer and more noticible when the horse is moving quickly.


I guess I stand corrected:p I think it's the angle that bothers me. You cannot truly tell the position of the legs and the horse does not look like it's in extended trot. But if the ref pic looks the same, so be it!


Paul Hopkinson
05-22-2003, 01:26 PM
Here is the reference photo I worked from for this horse, just to help decide how things should be.


05-22-2003, 02:53 PM
WOW Paul - this is absolutely WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!

So well done - dont know how you did it - I'm envious!!! :)


Margaret Dent
05-22-2003, 09:57 PM
You're right, Paul. It's perfect. Now I'm feeling a bit embarassed for opening my big mouth...


05-22-2003, 10:11 PM
hey, don't worry about it. we all make mstakes:D . personally, i've given up on feeling embarassed. i'm *ahem* rather clumsy, so humiliation comes far to often for me to fret about it!:p