This is an oil painting on stretched canvas, 10 x 10 x 1.5 inches thick. I listed it on Art Helping Animals and eBay last night, and scheduled it for Daily Painters today, but it sold before I could blog about it here. Certain breeds of dogs and horses seem to inspire loyalty in their people, and the Friesian Horse is one of them. I get requests for paintings of them, and the paintings never last long. They are beautiful animals, usually gentle despite their strength, and they move so gracefully.
Most artists I know would agree with me that "black" animals are the most difficult to paint, because they aren't really black at all. There are warm colors in the shadows - browns or rusts, even reds in the right light. And the highlights aren't white, they are blues or lavender. Or sometimes it is the reverse, depending on the source of light. I have been working on a commissioned portrait of a black lab and it seems to be taking forever. It seems that way to my client also, I am sure. But it has to be just right. The temptation is to paint them black, but if you do that, the painting looks flat and the animal looks artificial, not alive. I work hard to put life in all my paintings.
One of the nicest things about selling art online is getting to know great people from all over the world. Since many of my subjects are animals, most of my collectors are animal lovers like me. This painting was sold to a wonderful lady who has lots and lots of animals, she actually raises Friesian Horses, takes in dogs to foster for the humane society and ends up keeping them.
If you haven't visited Art Helping Animals, please do so. You will find the work of many artists who donate a portion of their sales to animal charities.