Melissa – Pastel Portrait

I have always had a fascination with heavy horses, there is something about their sheer size combined with their gentle and almost stoic nature which makes a beautiful combination. I have very fond memories of visiting The Shire Horse Centre as a child, an attraction we had here in Cornwall which was a mainstay for my generation’s family outings.

A few years ago I was walking on Par beach, a large sandy expanse which is very popular with a wide variety of residents and visitors alike, including the local equestrian community. I was lucky enough to meet this magnificent horse, Melissa, as she was being ridden one summers evening and had come to the beach for a wade in the sea. She and her human Claire were very friendly and were happy to wait whilst I took a few photographs for drawing. It took me some time to get to creating this artwork, but the dark December evenings were filled with memories of sunnier times by the sea whilst I had Melissa on my drawing board.

Despite her stature in real life this portrait of Melissa is only small, approximately 16 x 23cm, which gave rise to some challenges when adding such small details. But as with every artwork I create, I enjoyed being stretched and welcomed the opportunity to hone my skills.