A new horse portrait painted in oils

The horse is called called ‘Zinda’.
I was commissioned to paint her for a birthday present, with instructions​ to try and capture her ‘chestnut’ colour.
I worked from photographic reference. However, I had to change the light direction from what I considered to be the best view of her head.

Oil Painting – Alla Prima

I thought that the best way to capture her colour was to paint her using oil paints. Using a canvas support, 30 x 40 in., I started with a grey Gesso primer. Before going straight into painting ‘alla prima‘ (wet in wet), working my way down the painting. I like painting with oils using the ‘alla prima’ technique, as I find I can blend the tones well. Though I did come back over with some highlights, using the ‘fat over lean rule’. (That’s more ‘oily’ paint on top – ‘fatter’. Usually mixed with a medium, over a ‘leaner’ bottom layer. Leaner is paint with less oil content, thinned with solvent for example.)

Chestnut Colour

The paints I was using to capture the Chestnut colour were Winsor & Newton Artists’ Oil Paints. I started with Burnt Sienna, adding Raw Sienna, Winsor Violet, Yellow Ochre and Blue Black as required.

I was pleased with how the painting turned out and hopefully the birthday girl will be too.

© Copyright Nick Watton.
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