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Process of creating a horse portrait in soft pastels

Quarter horse mare "Magic Spirit of Hope" in pastels by Katja Sauer

Process of creating the horse portrait “Hope” in 4 steps

Today, I would like to show you a veeery abridged process (4 steps) of creating my newest commissioned work

I was allowed to draw the beautiful Quarter horse mare “Magic Spirit of Hope” (called “Hope”) in soft pastels, one of my favorite drawing techniques (9.44″ x 12.59″)! :-)

Here is the reference photo:

Reference photo for the drawing "Hope" in soft pastels

Reference photo for the drawing “Hope” in soft pastels

For the horse portrait I used mainly the pastels by Unison Colour soft pastels and the painting surface Pastelcard by Sennelier.

Step 1

Sketch of the horse portrait

With a pastel pencil – and a untiring usage of the eraser – I have completed the rough sketch of “Hope”. A sketch in advance is important so that you can orientate yourself and to have reference points. Therefore, the sketch should be accurate so that you don’t need to erase too much later.

Sketch of a horse portrait  in soft pastels by Katja Sauer

Sketch of a horse portrait in soft pastels by Katja Sauer

Step 2

Undercoat of the horse portrait

If the sketch of the horse portrait is done and the proportions are ok, I begin with the undercoat. Because you paint with pastels in several layers, the undercoat colour doesn’t match the final colour. Additional coatings are following, which are “laid over”. Finally, I work out the details and subtleties.

Undercoat of a horse portrait in soft pastels by Katja Sauer

Undercoat of a horse portrait in soft pastels by Katja Sauer

 Step 3

 Working out the details of the horse portrait

While working on the undercoat or finally, the fun begins: the elaboration of the details and subtleties of the drawing so that the picture will “brought to life”.

Work out of the details of the horse portrait in soft pastels by Katja Sauer

Work out of the details of the horse portrait in soft pastels by Katja Sauer

 Step 4

 The final result

… and here’s the final result after altogether approx. 21 hours of work:

The beautiful Quarter horse mare “Magic Spirit of Hope” in soft pastels on pastelcard!

Quarter horse mare "Magic Spirit of Hope" in pastels by Katja Sauer

Quarter horse mare “Magic Spirit of Hope” in pastels by Katja Sauer

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