Saturday, 29 August 2009

'Cooling Off'

A bit more done on this one here and there. Quite pleased with it so far, just lots of tidying to do on the horse and handler now, and the grass to sort out... I hate painting grass! This isn't a great photo of it, for some reason I am finding it really hard to get decent photos of my paintings recently!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

'Cooling Off'

I have started a new painting but I'm not getting anywhere fast with it as most of my (limited!) painting time is being taken up with commissions at the moment. Managing to get bits done here and there! I'd like to enter this one for the next SEA exhibition in Newmarket but time is tight... will have to decide whether or not I'm likely to be happy enough with it by the end of the month before the entry deadline! So far I have completed the underpainting and added the first thin glaze of colour.... because I have been working in tiny bursts I haven't really kept much of a photo record.

The painting is based on some great photos I got of Rosie Thomas's horse Barry's Best being cooled off at Badminton this year; it is oil on linen 18" x 14".

I had a wonderful day out photographing beautiful Dales ponies at the Nipna Dales Pony Stud on Tuesday. I'm quite excited about a lot of the reference material I got! After promising myself to paint on smaller canvases after the trauma of lugging big paintings to and from London (not to mention the framing costs!) I succumbed to the lure of a 36" x 28" linen canvas (the biggest I have ever attempted) which I intend to paint ponies on! I now plan to start a really big detailed project to keep me slowly ticking over without any pressure during the winter months once our new baby arrives.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

'Idalgo' Finished

I'm still not totally happy with it (am I ever?!) but for now at least, I'm calling it done and have signed it. May go back and fiddle about with it with fresh eyes in a few months!

Struggling to fit my own work in with the commissions I have on the go at the moment but may start something small as I'm keen so enter something new into the SEA Newmarket exhibition which closes for entries at the beginning of September.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Almost there! Quite a bit of tidying up left to do on the tack and rider but the horse is pretty much done. I'm not totally happy with it and think I will be a little bit disappointed with the end result but have got to the stage where I'm starting to make things worse not better so time to call it a day I think, and move on to the next project. The sky has much more blue in it in real life, for some reason the camera doesn't seem to be picking it up.

Hopefully I'll get it finished tonight and then be able to post a photo of the finished painting tomorrow when the light is better. I usually traipse around the house and garden with the painting in one hand and my camera in the other, photograph it in as many different places as possible and then pick the photo that looks most like it! Amazing the difference between the photos I end up taking, accurately photographing oil paintings is so difficult!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009


Some more colour on the horse and sky today. Bottom photo is this mornings work, the one above this evenings- I get 2 slots a day to work in: my toddler's daytime nap, and once he goes to bed! Getting there gradually with this painting and I'm pleased he is starting to look a bit richer in colour- lots more to do though!

Monday, 17 August 2009


First colour glazes on today! For the glazes I scrub neat oil paint into the canvas over the underpainting, the paint is spread thinly enough to see the underpainting underneath, I then go back over picking out highlights and shadows ready for the next glaze to go on once it's dry.

The first glaze earlier today was a gold ochre (photo below) which spread thinly looked a horrible mustard colour... some red ochre was glazed over the top this evening (photo above) and the main highlights picked out again.

At this stage the colour looks washed out and lack-lustre; as more and more glazes are applied over the top it *should* become much richer and deeper in colour with more and more depth. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, 16 August 2009


Another layer onto the underpainting today. I should probably spend a little more time tidying it up but I'm impatient to get on with the colour so knowing me, it'll have the first glaze of colour next unless I spot anything glaringly wrong that I need to correct first!

Saturday, 15 August 2009


The first rough layer of underpainting is now finished, from here once dry I'll continue working on the underpainting until it essentially looks like a black and white version of the final painting- lots more work to do on the underpainting before any colour can go on!

Friday, 14 August 2009


I have managed to make a start on a new original painting this week; it is based on a series of photographs that I took of William Fox-Pitt entering the cross country warm up area on the very beautiful Idalgo at Badminton Horse Trials this year.

The painting is oil on canvas, 20” x 16” (50cm x 40cm). The canvas has been gessoed and sanded many times to provide a lovely smooth surface to work on, and a few layers of thin paint applied over the whole thing before the drawing went on. I'm currently working to complete the first layer of the single tone underpainting, which will form the basis of the painting over which layers of colour will eventually be applied.

Just the sky started so far, and the first rough layer of paint started on his face...

Monday, 3 August 2009

'Acquiescence' awarded the The Ingleton-Beer Associates Prize

On visiting the Society of Equestrian Artists Annual Exhibition this weekend I was absolutely thrilled to discover that 'Acquiescence' had been awarded The Ingleton-Beer Associates Prize for best picture of horse and rider!

We had a wonderful time at the exhibition, which featured some incredibly beautiful work. It was a huge honour to have my paintings hung amongst the work of many many equestrian artists that I have admired for such a long time.

The next SEA exhibition is scheduled to take place in October, in Newmarket.