A Special Graduation Gift


Black Jack – acrylic on canvas – 2′ x 2′

I’ve never painted a horse before… I’ve illustrated horses before but never painted any.
I had no idea how this one would turn out… Eep!

This was gift for a special high school graduate – a portrait of the greatest love in her life, her horse, Black Jack. Her Mom was awesome – she provided me with a ton of photos and careful descriptions of the horse and his physical details. I’d also had the privilege of photographing this horse and rider myself in the past so I had a lot of resources.

The challenge was painting a recognizable portrait of a horse in my style while still featuring the graduate’s favourite colours, red & black. Phew… Thankfully the horse is mostly black (that helped – apparently he lightens up in the summertime with copper highlights but in the winter he’s almost solid black). Then red in the background – I added other highlight colours to keep it from looking gothic and tried hard to fill it with movement.

This was an interesting endeavour. In the end she loved it, her Mom loved it and I’m so GLAD!


For some reason I took the first progress photo with this one and then forgot to do anymore – HA! Sorry…IMG_9988IMG_0013IMG_9993_Small