This lovely horse portrait was created from my own photograph using quality Strathmore Bristol Smooth card and the expert Prismacolor pencils.

The Bristol Smooth card has less texture than the cardstock I sometimes use but is great for shorter, smoother fur, where fewer layers of pencil will be used.

I drew out the outline of the horse, paying careful attention to the shape of the eye and the direction of the mane.

In horse portraiture, it is essential to keep your pencil strokes in the direction of the coat, even when rendering short hairs.

I always begin with the eye. I find this is the most important feature of a horse portrait or any animal portrait. I layer up colours from light to dark to give depth, keeping the highlight white. The reflection of the tree line and sky in the eye also helps realism in a horse drawing.

The nose is a tricky area to create, making sure the grey blends into the beautiful orange-brown colour softly with no harsh lines. The white whiskers were indented with a fine embossing tool then when colouring, the pencils skips over the small dent in the paper. The lovely colouring on this horse portrait is created using layers of deep orange and a wide variety of browns.

Creating highlights on the longer hairs on the mane require lots of patience. Going from layers of light warm browns gradually working to the darker black shadows. Often this requires a little lifting of colour using a trusty battery powered eraser to get back the lighter tones. Basically, I am drawing, rubbing out, then drawing again!!

When drawing animal portraits is it vital to remember this is a three-dimensional object, with highlights and shadows.

The out of focus, soft trees in the background were created using lots of layers of various greens and softly blending.