Friday, 30 January 2009


Another update. Some new highlights on the horse which will be toned down with a brown glaze tomorrow.

Thursday, 29 January 2009


Finally knuckled down and got some work done on the dreaded stirrups. Not sure why they were so dreaded, perhaps because they are the least clear bits of the photo I am working from. That said, I need to adjust the stirrup under the horse's nose as it looks too wide.

Other bits done here and there, including the girth. Just the glove to go now and then the whole painting will have it's basic covering done.

Still so much detail to go on, but there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Bit of a tidying up session mainly today. Refined some of the bridlework and saddle, added some substance to the top of the neck and touched a few very rough bits up here and there.

Really need to get stuck into the riders feet and stirrups but need some new photos printed first to give me the detail I need to work from as they are cut off in the ones I have.

Monday, 26 January 2009


And some more done! Such slow progress! Put a blackish wash over the horse today and started to defind the bridlework. Have included a close up picture now the photos are starting to look the same! It is a big piece of work and there is still so much work to do, really enjoying it though.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Some more highlights on today. Once again they'll have a brown glaze over the top before the process starts again, slow progress!

Really must start doing some work on the rider, I find it far too easy to get bogged down in the bits of the painting I enjoy the most.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


A brown glaze over it all and some more detail here and there.

Sunday, 18 January 2009


Some more work done on the highlights. They look a bit bright at the moment but the next layer will be a rich brown glaze which will tone everything down and hopefully bring it together some more.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Amaretto d'Arco - Finished!

Still not 100% happy with a few bits of it but have decided to call it a day and have signed it. Perhaps I'll look at it again with fresh eyes in a few months and make a few tweaks but for the time being it is done!

Really enjoyed painting him, and learnt an awful lot from it too.


Got some more paint on the horse today, I think this painting is definitely the most challenging I have attempted to date, so much work in it! Going to be a long project...

Friday, 16 January 2009

Polocrosse Practice

First layer of sky!


Quick rough glaze of paint on the rider before I spend some decent baby-free time working on it tomorrow!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Polocrosse Practice

Finally got some paint on my third project- 60cm x 45cm on a linen canvas. Have paid a bit more attention to detail in my underpainting for this one to see if it helps me as I add more glazes of paint.

Many thanks to Kat for letting me use her wonderful photo of her and Woody!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Amaretto d'Arco

Going to need to leave this one for a few days now as I went a bit mad with linseed oil when trying to sort out the background and as a result, it is going to take ages and ages to dry!

Have fiddled about with the front legs but can't do mcuh more until it is dry enough to paint on without stirring the existing layers.

Finally finished the drawing for my third painting, hope to start with the paint on it tomorrow.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Amaretto d'Arco

Background done now. Decided to keep it very simple! Most of his body is complete now too, just finer detail on face, bridle, legs and tail to go and a few tweaks on his mane I think. Struggling a bit with the front legs!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Amaretto d'Arco

Some more done today, worked on building up shadows and highlights and did some more work on the finer face detail.

Not too much work left in the horse now, just need to decide how much light and shadow to put in the background...

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Amaretto d'Arco

Been fiddling with this painting over the weekend and got some more detail on his legs. I wasn't happy with the way his eye was going so I have stripped it back and will work on building it up again.

Saturday, 10 January 2009


First paint goes on the horse... although it has not gone well! I had a RARE baby free afternoon today and had planned to get a good first layer on horse and rider but I was so tired that I just made a muddle of it and gave up after a while.

No harm done as most of my paintings have a really loose first layer, but it wasn't the start I wanted for this painting.

Didn't help that it is huge and I was hunched over a table working on it... might have been rushing a bit as my back was hurting! Decided enough was enough and went out to buy a proper easel (I am still recovering from the shock at the cost of decent easels!)... so at least when I get started again I'll be comfortable!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Amaretto d'Arco

Got a few more hours done on this one today. Probably at least 2/3rds of the way through now!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Basic background in now, will be adding more detail once I get going with the horse but hope to try and keep the 'blurry' focus to suggest distance.

Monday, 5 January 2009


Imaginatively titled 'Dressage' until I can think of a better title! 91cm x 60cm, oil on canvas. Based on a photo taken of Lucy Wiegersma riding Jiglo II at Blenheim last year. Many thanks to Ann Heffron for use of her beautiful photo. First layer of paint on the furthest background now started...

Amaretto d'Arco

The first three layers on the first painting! 76cm x 61cm, oil on canvas. Amaretto d'Arco is an international showjumping stallion currently doing very well in Florida; I am very grateful to his previous owners who have very kindly allowed me to use several of their photographs to work from.

Now that the bulk of the background is in, I can begin work on the horse itself.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

The beginning...

I have started this blog to keep a track of my progress as I work to improve my painting. To help spur me on I have set an ambitious goal for myself- to have at least one painting accepted into the Society of Equestrian Artists (SEA) Annual Exhibition which takes place in July.

As as 'Friend' of the SEA I am able to submit 3 paintings for consideration. Competition is incredibly tough and the standard is extremely high. No artistic assessment is required to become a Friend of the SEA but promotion to 'Associate' requires at least two works to be accepted into their Annual Exhibition three times in a five year period. If at any point within that period you do not have your work accepted you start from scratch again...

For this year at least it would be a huge achievement just to have a single painting hung in the exhibition, but my long term ambition is to become a full member of the SEA.

This blog will follow the paintings I will be working on over the next 6 months, and beyond.