Exploring Colorful Horse Art

When I was a young girl, I was obsessed with horses, and not just My Little Ponies, but that was a big part of it! My room was decorated with horses and unicorns and I was constantly making horse art. I’m sure it started with coloring books, then there was the barnyard scene I won an elementary school art show award for, and then books that showed me how to draw horses. From that point on, I drew horse after horse. 

But at some point my tastes changed, I probably got too cool for school, and my love for horses faded into a memory. I had enough other things on my mind for so many years, I didn’t even think twice about horses until one day a couple years ago. My daughter and I were walking a local trail that happened to meander by a ranch or stable of some sort and I heard neighing in the distance that stopped me in my tracks. I looked at my daughter in excitement and said ” there’s horses over here! Let’s go see!” She kinda shrugged (she was currently too cool for school) but humored me as we walked to the edge of the trail and peered over the ridge to the valley below where I watched horses run around gracefully and make all their cute horsey noises and I was just elated!

It Started With a Horse Drawing

Something changed in me that day – it woke up that childlike wonder from that little girl that used to love horses so much. I found a random horse photo on Google, and sketched it. I wasn’t even really practicing art at the time but had some old drawing pencils and sketchbook that got the job done.

Horse art  graphite sketch

Inspired by Horseback Riding in Colorado

Not much longer after that encounter, I was on a girls hiking trip in Colorado and finally got my riding fix! A few of us reserved a two-hour horseback ride through the foothills and aspens and an amazing place called Rusty Spur Ranch. We didn’t have to ride nose to tail and were able to spread out, which was so much more relaxing.

Horseback riding in Colorado

My Colorado trips were a catalyst to inspire my art making – I had three trips that summer and came back from the third, started painting and haven’t stopped since. But it took me awhile to get back to making horse art. I’ve been so busy with pet portrait paintings, I’ve mostly experimented with abstract art in between just to change things up and keep things interesting.

Horse Painting on Wood

Recently, I was working on some small wood blocks, mostly abstract stuff, and wanted to try my hand at small figurative pieces. So I did a mountain goat, and then a colorful horse painting. I loved it! I knew immediately I wanted to make more colorful horse art.

Colorful horse art and goat painting on small wood block
Colorful horse and goat paintings on wood, SOLD.

Colorful Mixed Media Horse “Painting”

Another time, I was messing around with some watercolor brush pens, trying to sort of learn watercolor, when I decided a horse needed to be my subject. I found a stock photo I loved, a 12” x 12” acrylic paper, and began sketching that horse with a fine tip. I really don’t know how to watercolor paint, and I don’t think this counts as it’s more like drawing and then adding water. But I liked the effects, and finished with some oil pastels to increase contrast and add drama. 

This colorful horse drawing is available in print in three sizes.

Colorful horse art  with mixed media

Going Big With a Colorful Abstract Horse Painting on Canvas

After experimenting with small and medium-sized horse art, I decided to go big. I layered a 36″ x 48″ gallery wrapped canvas with textured modelling paste, and went to work on a colorful horse portrait painting. I wanted it to be a fairly abstract horse painting, with lots of texture, color and movement. I had a party with this one, combining the bold colors with black and white drippy accents to give it a dreamy, ethereal feel. She is titled “Leave Her Wild,” and is currently the centerpiece of my living room gallery wall.

colorful abstract horse portrait painting
Leave Her Wild” 36″ x 48″ colorful horse painting on canvas

Get Your Custom Colorful Horse Paintings

If you are a horse lover, let’s chat about a custom colorful horse painting commission! I can work from photos you provide to create a one of a kind colorful horse painting in a size and colors so you can add a dramatic piece of original artwork to your space. I’d love to work with you, so contact me here!

2 responses to “Exploring Colorful Horse Art”

  1. I do remember the Royal Gorge ride! Such a cool experience – one I’d like to do again, minus the hail of course 😉

  2. Loved reading this!

    Remember our family vacation when we did the trail ride? You were probably about 13 years old. The noteworthy thing from that ride was getting caught in the hail storm and having to stand beside your horse and calm it with your voice and touch as both of you were being pelted by hail stones!

    Your Aunt Karen would be interested in this also!


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