Edie Campbell | Horse Wall Art | Horse Art

Edie Campbell | Horse Wall Art | Horse Art

I really love the look of supermodel Edie Campbell. She has that lovely English Rose beauty about her. I love the bigs eyes and the pale skin and would love to paint her portrait in the future. 

She is an accomplished horse rider, riding from the age of 5. A lot of the modeling pictures you see of her she is often standing or posing on and off a horse. She clearly has an infinitive close bond with these animals. She is an active eventer, competing on her beautiful horse called Dolly at a national level. She does showjumping, dressage and cross country, she even took part in the  Glorious Goodwood in July 2011 and became the first winner of The Magnolia Cup an inaugural all ladies charity horse race. She is originally from Westbourne Grove in  London and rose to fame as a model starring in a shoot by Mario Testino for Burberry alongside Kate Moss.

I found this photo of her on her dapple grey online and I absolutely loved the pose of both horse and rider. I tried to find out the source of the original photographer but I couldn't find out who had originally taken it. If anybody who is reading this blog knows anything about the original picture then please let me know as I would love to contact the photographer. From the original picture, it looks like she is competing in a showjumping arena with a big crowd and is between jumps.

The original photo has a crowd in the background. I didn't want to paint the crowd in as it would be too distracting and this painting was about the horse and rider. I wanted to create a feeling that whilst competing in front of hundreds of people there is still a stillness between the animal and human. She seems to be very much in tune with the animal, a real natural rider, and horsewoman.  As both the rider and horse are engaged I wanted to silence the background and really draw both subjects out of the painting. I did this using abstract paint marks with a roller, this was to get across the energy of what is happening in the showjumping but to silence the outside world. 

I drew a pencil outline of the composition onto the canvas of the horse and rider with a little of the background detail. I always start with a loose sketch. I then started by painting in the background. I always paint the background in first as it is just as important as the subject itself. If I can get the flow of the background correct then that really helps with making the painting work as a whole. This piece is stylised, so the background is made up of chunky paint marks representing the trees and a little of the sky. 

Once the initial background layer is done then I do the first base layer of the subjects. This is when I can see if the painting is going to work. Luckily this painting did seem to just flow, sometimes I get to this point and I start asking myself what was I thinking, this is never going to work. This painting did start to take form pretty quickly which I was really pleased about. The blue which is running through the painting is called Winsor Blue, which I thought was very fitting for Edie and I love the richness of this blue on the ribbon, it is a very English strong colour. Once all the base layers were down I then went over with about 3-4 layers of fine detail. The detail is what takes the most time, but it is pointless doing the detail until I know that I have that initial flow correct on the base layers. 

Once the subjects were nearly painted in, I then boldly got my roller out and started to make chunky big roller marks over the background. This is a little nerve-racking as I can't undo this once it is done! I tried to get just the right amount of abstract brush marks to really get the feel of the crowd but to isolate Edie and Dolly together in this painting, I wanted you to feel their engagement and concentration between jumps. 

After I had made the abstract marks, I then got a finer brush and started working in the fine detail over the top to add all the finishing touches. The painting is really coming together now and I am happy with the way it is turning out. The hardest thing is knowing when to stop, I always have to leave it for a few days then come back to it. I am really happy with the final result and I am going to use this piece and exhibition it at Bramham Horse Trials this June. 

Please feel free to comment below, I love hearing your thoughts and feedback.