Shire Horse Portrait

Shire horse portrait completed

I fancied working on some horses for a little while. Shire horses are one of my favourite breeds which is why I chose to draw this shire horse portrait. We used to have this big black shire horse called Jess at an old riding stables I was at. She was a bit grouchy and would pin her ears at most people but she was stunning. As a young girl I was totally fascinated with her. So when I found a gorgeous black shire reference photo it was love at first sight. This shire horse portrait was a continued experiment of using the coloured pencil solvent and also the coloured pencil touch-up.


For this shire horse portrait, I really wanted to focus on the details. I loved my arabian horse portrait but it was rather zoomed out. So I wanted to focus on hair direction, whether or not I could layer the hairs ontop of one another easily.


As I got to work, I thoroughly enjoyed it, I played with layering browns, blues and greys to create the dark fur of the shire horse portrait. I think adding the browns gave it an extra dimension look. Had I have used just greys the drawing would have looked flat. I struggled a lot with smudging for this piece. Dark colours always smudge so easily, and so I found it a bit of a nightmare in that regard.


Progress shots of the shire horse portrait

I really love the whispy hair of this horse portrait. I noticed it was something I loved about the arabian horse portrait. Furthermore, I found it added that extra realism, even at a horse show some hairs are still out of place. I think that sense of unkempt makes the portrait more realistic and adds details that are important.

 Overall I am really happy with this shire horse portrait. It has definitelt laid the path for more intricate work in the future. I learned a significant amount about layering colours and how to detail more effectively.

I ended up buying glassine paper to stop the smudging and I am really happy with the difference! It works so well to stop smudging. Its actually very cheap so it didn’t break the bank and I don’t mind spending the money on something that will make my artwork better.

I hope you all like my shire horse portrait!




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