We begin painting Chesty by blocking in her legs and the flying dust around them. Working in this sequence allows me to fade all but the very front leg into the haze. The left, or near, foreleg has more detail which makes it come forward of the others. The left side is called the ‘near’ side because that’s the side the horse is mounted from. Why the left side? In the middle ages, when carrying a sword was the standard practice, most men were right handed and carried their weapons on their left side with the hilt forward for a quick draw. Mounting from the left reduced the rider’s chance of entangling himself in his sword or stabbing his horse! The tradition of mounting from the left side continues to this day.

What I find interesting is modern research has revealed that the horse’s left eye responds quicker and more strongly to stimuli, and they like to keep humans in that line of sight. To reinforce this, the left side of the horse is known as the “near” side and the right as the “off” side. Probably far more information than you wanted to know but, as Jack would say, “That’s your little lesson for the day!”

After getting her chest covered, the bit and reins are pulled into the wet paint. My left hand is braced against the unpainted part of the canvas, then I rest my right hand on top of it. This gives me a steady support as I delineate the bit. Don’t forget, you may click on any of the pictures to view them larger.

Now I move to Chesty’s muscular hindquarters. The tassel on the saddle blanket casts a shadow down the side of her hip.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Blocking in Chesty’s neck and head. Please keep in mind when I give the color recipe for Chesty’s coat, I forgot to mention that White is added to make the lighter shades. OPPPSSSSS!

Now we’ll begin adding the highlights on Chesty’s shiny coat.

Bill mentioned that Chesty had “Kind” eyes, not like many cutting horses that glare and show the white of their eye when working a cow.

We’re done for this session. I will have to come back to smooth out some of the highlights and do a little more work on Chesty, but she’s close to being finished. Thank you for visiting our studio today! HUGS,


Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


4 Responses to “Chesty”

  1. Jill Olhoeft Says:

    You’re such a talented artist! Thank you for sharing you’re paintings and teaching.

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Thank you Jill. I feel so blessed God has given me the ability and opportunity to celebrate the beauty of His creations on canvas. I feel it’s honoring Him to share and help fellow artists. Hugs, Mikki

  2. roseherczeg Says:

    I just love this painting, and of course, the lesson for the day! I learn so much from you! Hugs!

  3. rpillai2012 Says:

    Very amazing painting

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