Horse portraits are thoroughly enjoyable to draw. They are stunningly beautiful; majestic and elegant yet large and strong at the same time. In addition to this they have an abundance of character and can form very special bonds with humans. I also love drawing their expressive eyes and beautiful markings. Lastly, I love all of the little details in their faces such as veins and short hairs. With so much character, it’s not surprising that many of my customers commission a portrait as a personalised horse gift or commemorative piece.
These are a few examples of commissioned horse portraits I’ve drawn over recent years…
Horse Portraits by Emma Gorton
Siege the horse was my first horse drawing after he sadly passed away in 2016. His owners Tahnee and Mike were devastated; they commissioned his portrait as a way of commemorating him.
The portrait was a little challenging as I was creating a large sized piece yet working from a low resolution photo. However, I managed to bring out lots of details regardless and Tahnee and Mike were thrilled with the finished article.
“Having lost my precious boy in most unfortunate circumstances earlier this year, i literally cannot be more happy to have such a lifelike portrait of him. Time has evidently been of no concern when recreating each hair and vein on his face! I am eternally gratefully for Emma giving me a sweet ending to such a hard time. Many thanks Emma for your hard work.”T. Canon
This horse portrait was of a very handsome chap named Danny. Raymond wanted an extra special Christmas gift for his wife.
I am often asked to remove the head collar in equine drawings. As you can imagine, this poses some challenges with having to fill in the gaps, whilst ensuring that the portrait still looks like the subject. Furthermore, it can alter the visual proportions of the subject. For example with Danny, the harness has the optical effect of making his head look shorter than it does without the harness. Despite the challenges, I completed Danny’s charcoal portrait in November in plenty of time for Christmas.
Jean asked me to draw Bebe the Piebald horse for her daughter Tracey’s birthday. Jean wanted me to do a full-body portrait of Bebe to show off her distinctive markings and we decided that a large detailed drawing would work best.
Bebe is one of the most challenging horse portraits I’ve done. Firstly, Jean asked that I remove both rider and harness from the portrait meaning I had to fill in the gaps. Secondly, the only other images Jean could get hold of (without ruining the surprise for Tracey) were of Bebe’s other side. Consequently, I had to use a bit of artistic licence with the markings underneath Bebe’s saddle! Lastly, two of Bebe’s feet were obscured, adding a further complication. Of course, despite these issues I worked as hard as ever in order to create a beautiful piece on schedule. It took around 18 hours to draw and I finished off the portrait with a striking black mount.
Tracey was delighted with her personalised horse gift and it now takes pride of place on her wall.
“Bebe was received with great delight, by my daughter-in- law Tracey. The portrait is now framed and has a place of pride hung on their sitting room wall. Your drawing is a true picture of Bebe the horse. The portrait will be looked after for years to come, giving pleasure to a lot of people to admire your work. I would recommend you to anyone looking to commission you to produce a portrait of their pets.”J.Denniss
“My Mother in Law Jean Denniss commissioned you to sketch my piebald horse. I received it for Christmas and was absolutely thrilled with my portrait of my gorgeous Bebe. You have such a talent and I wanted to thank you so much and tell you how much I loved it.”T.Denniss
I drew Pete for Alison who wanted a very special custom horse gift for her maid of honour Yulia. Alison and I chose this photo of Pete because he has so much emotion in his eyes and we felt that his character shone through. Pete had sadly died suddenly in 2017 leaving Yulia devasted. This was therefore an extra special gift.
I had the added challenge of removing Yulia’s hand from the portrait and therefore filling in the missing section of Pete’s face!
Pete’s portrait was 8 x 10″ in size, and took around 20 hours to finish. It was a bit of a tight deadline but Pete was finished in time for Alison’s wedding day and Yulia was delighted with him.
“Pete was a gift to a dear friend who had lost him the year before. Emma captured his details so well that when my friend opened the gift she was very emotional – the likeness to Pete was incredible, the drawing captured his unique personality and it is a gift that will be treasured for a long time, thank you so much!”A.Boyes
Order a Special Portrait
Have you got a special horse you’d like to commemorate? Or perhaps a horse loving friend has a big birthday coming up and you’d like to give them a personalised horse gift? To commission a horse portrait, either for yourself or as a unique gift, check out my page on How to Order a Pet Drawing or Get in Touch.