A fantastic image to work with this week but a fiddly challenge for pastel! Hope you enjoy the progression.

The finished scan 18″ x 14″ soft pastel and pastel pencil

You can see the photo reference and the edits I chose to make to create a nicer composition. I straightened up the view slightly, removed the person in the background and some of the extra white poles distracting from the horse’s outline. I also added more green grass in the foreground rather than the dull gravel.

I decided to blur both the background and the foreground in the image so that the viewer’s focus would be on the mid ground. Here I’m layering in bigger marks and blocking in areas of sky through the leaves.

Thanks to my Patrons on www.Patreon.com/emmacolbertart I’ve got some new studio lights. Although I have a daylight lamp, it’s not much good on it’s own for filming. These also help my progress shots look really bright.
If you’re interested in learning to pastel, check out my channel for tutorials and lots of help in learning new techniques.

Finishing up the background with the hedge which comes almost into focus just behind the horse.

Beginning work on the horse and I’m so glad of my selection of small shards of pastel. There were times during the painting of this where I struggled to hold the pieces without them crumbling! I also made use of a lot of pastel pencil, but the main solid colour put down was always the softer pastel sticks.

Working over the lower layers on the horse with the soft pastel. I’ll be able to tweak and shape with the pastel pencils.

The face of the rider is smaller than by thumbnail so it’s been very tricky to hint at the features. I’ve worked so slowly on the face, adding one dot at a time and making sure I don’t make any mistakes as it’s too small to correct!

I’m pleased to have captured a little bit of a likeness to the rider, but had to stop before destroying what I had achieved!

Working on down to the foreground. I want the posts to bring the lovely rich browns forward but will not go into too much detail on them as the foreground bushes will be blurred.

Some base coats on the posts and the foreground greenery started. Bringing all the greens from the background forward and keeping it loose in the foreground.

Finished and filmed too so expect to see a full time lapse coming shortly. Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a little behind the scenes here. If you’re interested in commissioning me check out my Pricing  page.

You can also get a few close ups in this short video preview


I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures from the house today. It’s been stormy and raining pretty much every day in Tarifa for weeks, so there hasn’t been much opportunity to go out photographing. Instead I’ve been buried away working and Brocci has been snoozing.

Hairy Maclary’s hair has grown back so much. He finds any sunny spot to dry off in after getting caught out in the showers.