Large Spanish Horse in progress

 'click on any of the pictures to view the larger image'
once open click again for even larger view.
This was sketched in graphite, then the background laid in with acrylic using a drying retarder to achieve the blended effect

The second sitting, I concentrated on getting the mid section of the face, I like to get the eyes in first once you've got that you've got the character. Most of my tutors would have fit at the way I paint, they say you should work all over the painting from dark tones to mid tones then highlights. I cannot work like that, its just a personal thing, I like to work in sections and then go over the whole thing at the end to bring it together.

I'm trying something different at the moment, underpainting as much as I can and then putting in the fine detail in coloured pencils

Here you can see the underpainting of the muzzle.

Here is the muzzle after I have brought it together with the coloured pencils, click on the picture to enlarge, theres a droplet of water just under the nostril....

Next came the ears and the forelock.

This neck area took about 4 hours.
This is just the underpainting of the chest & shoulder area...

Believe it or not this is another 4 hours work on the Chest & Shoulder area, bringing it together, next the mane and bridle.... I'm trying to do as much work in paint as possibl as it gives much richer tones, then right at the last moments pulling it together with the pencils....

Another 4 hrs, just doing the mane, still getting down to the last little details now. I thought this part would take no more than 2 hrs, but just having to get the direction of the mane plait was so difficult and as I kept looking at the reference picture I would get lost, and have to count the plait bumps to see where I was. Once again first painting in and then over drawing the highlight. Sorry its not a great impact update, but I'm getting there.....slowly but surely.
After 5 hrs on the bridle, its amazing how long this small area takes just trying to get it to the look of leather & steel, I still have just a few more tweaks here and there, and then the all important 'varnishing' then that will be it.
 Here are some close ups of the bridle and brass work,

 And after a few little tweaks, and a signature, (which I normally forget) I literally held my breath and spray varnished the entire painting, first across and the from top to bottom.
Hope you have enjoyed watching me paint this as much as I have enjoyed painting this wonderful horse 'Decreto'