Capturing Movement in Art

My favourite subject to paint, although difficult, is horse and rider. I have owned several horses in the past and competed in dressage so of course I'm biased! but it has really helped me to understand the characteristics of a horse's movement and conformation. I love the elegant shapes that dressage horses naturally create. The photo that I worked from for this painting was taken by me at a dressage yard, where I saw an advanced dressage horse during a schooling session.

To convey the sense of movement in this painting I kept the brushstrokes in the background quite loose and free and following the shapes made by the horse rider, and I added in the dust he was kicking up. I always tend to paint in an impressionistic style - this leaves your eye to imagine the detail you can't actually see and also helps convey that feeling of movement. If you look closely you will see there is no detail on the rider's face, just a slight impression of her features. I used black Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper for this painting.

Dressage Horse and Rider painting in pastels
Dressage Horse and Rider Study

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