• Amy Elizabeth Fine Art

Horse Pastel Portraits UK-Drawing a Horse using Pastel Pencils.

Creating a horse pastel portraits using pastel pencils to create a realistic horse portrait.- By Amy Elizabeth Fine Art Pet Portrait Art | Derbyshire UK


Horses are beautiful creatures, with the most exquisite faces. They are such a wonderful subject for me to create a portrait of. Horses have been a classic subject of portrait artists through the ages, and create such a timeless piece of art for your home.

A horse portrait of a chestnut horse, along with material from Amy Elizabeth Fine Art
Horse Portrait in Pastels UK- A detailed pencil portrait of a horse, created from a photo

The first piece of equestrian artwork I created in pencils was a horse eye study for a secret postcard show in Cromford Derbyshire. I absolutely love how that horse portrait came out and was keen to create a horse head portrait in pastels to show off my skills.

In this piece I worked entirely using pastel pencils. These are ideal in creating both the fine texture of the horses hair and the smooth textures of the horse's rug. I loved the colour combination of the blue rug and the bright russet colour of the beautiful chestnut coat.


As I am a pet portrait artist who works from photos, I end up working from a range of quality photos. The horse photo I used for this portrait was of a high standard, and therefore a joy to create. The more detailed the photo the more details that I can include in the horse portrait. This horse drawing ended up being very highly detailed, showing the texture of the hair and the colour of the horses eyes. I could also include the detail on the horses halter.


I chose to leave a plain white background on this portrait, as I felt the simplicity meant your focus was not taken away from the horse, whilst it also worked with the cream mount I used.



A chestnut horse with halter portrait drawing in pastel pencils
Horse Portrait in Pastels UK- Chestnut horse portrait using pastel pencils

I was pleased with the final portrait. I thought I was a very good likeness of the horse, whilst still having artistic appeal. I like drawing horses wearing either tack or a halter, as it adds another texture to the piece of artwork.


Horse Pastel Portraits Photography


One thing to consider when commissioning a horse pastel portrait from photos is that the horse needs to be wearing what you want in the final portrait in the photo you take of them. This is important as I cannot add or take away pieces of tack from a photo.


Think about what piece of tack you would like your horse to wear, as different pieces can have a very different effect in the final piece. A fine leather bridle looks very different to a fabric halter. But one may suit your horse more. Maybe you own a happy hacker and therefore they would look odd in a dressage bridle! If you want any advice on photography for your horse portrait do not hesitate to contact me, I can give you a wealth of advice on what is specifically best for a picture that is used in creating a horse portrait from photos.


Highly Detailed Horse Pastel Portraits

Here you can see the high level of detail I can create using pastels, they allow me to layer up both colour and texture. This is perfect for horse hair. In this horse portrait it is of a dark bay horse, a colour which looks lovely in pastels. The change in colours of the hair make for an expressive portrait, that can show a true likeness of your horse.


I love using photos of horse where you can see the colours of the eye. To get this there needs to be the right lighting conditions when taking the photo. It may take a little effort and patience to get the right photo, but it will pay dividends with the final portrait. In this pastel horse study you can even see the specific structures within the eye.


If you are thinking of commissioning a pastel portrait of your horse do not hesitate to contact me. I create portraits from photos of your pets. All portraits come with a mount and can be fully framed on request. You can read more about how to commission a portrait of your horse here.


To get in touch about commissioning a horse portrait click here.



Amy Elizabeth Fine Art | Pet Portrait Artist | Derbyshire UK