When I first started painting, my horses were not the best. Okay, that is a little bit of an understatement, but I thought you might like to see what my work looked like when I was just starting out. Click through the following slideshow to see some of my earliest work and my critique.
Well, I had to start somewhere, and overall my general ideas and anatomies were not totally bad. I had taken a few oil painting classes at this point, and was just starting to get the hang of the medium.
Then something happened. I went on a trip to Brazil, and when I came back I painted this:
Totally different you say? I could not agree with you more. So what happened to me, what made this difference?
On my trip to Brazil, I went with a few equestrian friends of mine who are well connected to the Lusitano breeding farms. Every day for ten days I rode eight to twelve horses, and saw at least 50 per day. I saw all colors, shapes and sizes of the breed.
This is what made the difference. I looked, and really looked, at horses all day long. This truly helped me understand the anatomy and movement of the horse.
What I recommend to you is to go out and spend some time looking at horses. If you own a few, spend a day just looking at them. Do a few sketches. Watch them run around. Take note of the way they move.
I cannot guarantee that this will make your horse paintings perfect right away, but you will notice a difference. Time, patience, and practice is the key. Also, if you create a really good painting and then suddenly the next one you do is not as good, do not panic! Everyone has duds. I have made quite a few duds (and still do!). Learn from your mistakes, try to identify what did not work and why, and most importantly, try again.