I am not sure about putting the source photo up, since it was a commission. Suffice to say, it was only 124 KB file size, blurry, showed 3/4 of the horse and was taken in a shed with no light reflection in the eye.
I have not met the horse, which made it difficult to know how to approach getting his character to come out in the pic. I always think you may as well have a nice photo on the wall, if the painting of it does not express more than the original photograph.
The trainer commissioned this for the owner. A week prior to collection, the horse had to be destroyed, due to a newly sustained paddock injury. Bittersweet timing.
I hope the owners get some joy out of it.
I had trouble stopping work on it. I kept finding myself "tweaking" bits whilst waiting for it to be collected. Then I read somewhere words to the effect...."You never finish a painting, you just stop working on it" Very apt for this picture!
I did not varnish it, but did oil it out a few times. I also painted it on gessoed craft plywood since no canvasses were available in the town I live. I probably did it all wrong for longevity, it is a leaning curve and why I suppose, my pics are not worth a fortune (lack of talent aside)!
I found it hard to give the client what they would be happy with, verses, how I want to explore looser and less photorealistic pictures.
I will put up one I did of my horse at the same time in another thread, to show a comparison. I think it shows more of the personality of the horse and a "life" however, I know him quite well, so that probably helped.
Below are some of the studies I made for this work, to help it all come together. There was one the client loved, but was on paper and not good enough for me to feel comfortable selling since I ruined it. The finished work is a better painting all round, but I am not sure if it captures the actual horse as well, since I did not meet him.
Any comments and suggestions welcomed.