Horsing Around

I’ve been working out how to create horse art for my mom’s upcoming birthday. I’m getting closer to getting it right. Keep reading to find out how I played around with this concept – and let me know what you think!

First, I did a few studies and sketches:

Next, I looked up the symbolism of the horse, which represents powerful earth energy and soulful beauty (no wonder this is my mom’s spirit animal!)

I tried painting with watercolor…and added the astilbe flower which symbolizes power. But, it felt flat and needed something else.

So I kept at it, and thought about my mom and I together, and thought about the emotion I wanted to put into the piece. I knew I wanted to portray connection and nurturing love. I looked at some reference photographs of horses on Google and I liked two horses together. After some more sketching, felt like the composition was coming together so tried another attempt at watercolor. But, I needed to add my personal style. I sketched again and painted a few layers on top to give more dimension. Next, I added black and gold acrylic in bold lines. I’m not sure you can see the gold reflection in this photo, but I do like how it turned out.

I like how graphic this looks and I’m thinking about exploring this kind of style but add more texture and pattern, maybe in the mane. What do you think of the colors?

My last attempt, I worked out bold colors and kept it to watercolor only. I like how the layers of color in the hair gives movement, and there are still some strong graphic lines.

What do you think? Which style speaks to you? Which would you like to see more of? Do you think one of these would make a cool mural? Should I try adding flowers? I can’t decide….

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