Portrait of a Quarter Horse

Reference photos for Quarter Horse

This week I am working on two different portraits. This one is of a Quarter Horse and the finished painting will be for a 12x12in size. To begin a mock-up has been generated so the client can see better envision the options.

rough block in for horse portrait


A rough two-tone block in of the colors is the beginning stage for this painting. The horse was wearing a bridle in the reference photo. Sometimes leashes, collars and of course in the case of horse bridles do not add value to the painting and act rather distracting. So when creating the initial layout it is a nice way to show a client what the painting would look like without these distractions. There was also a building in the background that I replaced with foliage. 

scenery for horse portrait


After roughly adding some color I concentrated on the fore- and background. As the painting progresses the scenery around the horse will undergo further fine-tuning.

Horse Eyes


The eyes are said to be the gateway to the soul and I love spending time on developing the eyes. The surrounding area of the eye is as important as the eye itself. Above the eye, there is a triangular shape that makes up the eyelid. In some horses, this area is very pronounced, in other slightly less. Once that is done, the eye gets popped in. Since I already placed the dark pupil in the black and white rendition of this painting, I now can add a glaze of dark warm brown for the eyeball. There is a dark shadow that runs over the pupil, which is cast from the lashes and the eyelid. That area is left out when the brown glaze is applied. The catchlight needs to be soft white. I like to work back and forth before I really make it a brighter white. Since the catch light also shines a light on the eye, caramel color is used to lighten the opposite side of the catch light. This, in turn, gives the illusion of a round, moist eye. 

Painting of horse Muzzle

It's crazy busy in the studio, so today's post is short. I just wanted to show how the muzzle is coming along. First I wanted to add some grass that this horse was chewing on but took it out since it looked weird. I will leave the greenish tint on the muzzle though since it hints at what the horse might be doing in this grassy area. 

Love how this horse painting is coming along. The next step will be adding more texture and then it will be finished. 

Quarter Horse Horse Portrait

The painting of the Quarter Horse is finished. As soon as my client confirms that she is happy with the look, the final varnish will be applied so that the painting can be shipped out. 

If you like to order a similar portrait of your loved one click below for more information.

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Meet the Artist

"My Name is Enzie (NC) and I am a multi disciplinary artist based in southern California, USA.

I specialize in life-size commissioned pet and people portraits and custom-made miniatures in 1/12, 1/24, and 1/6 scale.

My art sales are supplemented through imported items that you can find in my shop.

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