Horse and wildlife art by Mona Majorowicz.

Wild Faces Gallery Wild Faces Gallery & Frame

Horse Portraits

Kirkendahl - Thoroughbred Stallion (work in progress)

Commissioning A Horse Portrait

A Couple Of Things You Should Know

  • Style & Mediums In Which I Work
  • What I'm Willing To Do Portraits Of.
  • Horse Portrait Sizing
  • Cost Assessment

Assuming you have looked through my website you now have an idea of my style and technique. I do equestrian art both in a realistic style which is highly detailed with every hair drawn in, as well as a more expressionistic style which tends to be more vibrantly colored and painterly looking.

Though technically they are referred to as "horse paintings" they are in fact done in a drawing style. The two artistic mediums that i work in are watercolor pencil for the realistic works, and oil pastels for the more painterly style. Most paintings are created on a museum grade board though on rare occasion I do use watercolor paper. As a result when framed all works are to be protected with glass.

Horses are pretty much the only animal I do portraits of at the moment. If you have another type of animal that you'd like a portrait of feel free to contact me and I'll take a look. But I never do people.

Most of my paintings range in size from 16x20 through 24x30, though I can and do work larger and smaller. Final sizing of your horse portrait is usually determined with the preliminary drawing. However most horse portraits range between 16x20 and 18x24 in size.

The cost for horse portrait vary depending on the size of the painting, the style in which it is done and the complexity of the overall image. My original art generally runs between $500-$2500 with the average portrait landing somewhere between $800-$1500.

So if all of that works for you read on for more details. If you have additional questions please feel free to Contact Me.

Kirkendahl - Thoroughbred Stallion (work in progress)

Getting Started

To Create An Effective Portrait I Need ...

  1. Reference Photos
  2. Background Information On Your Horse
  3. A Deposit
  4. Patience

1. To Get A Great Portrait I Need Great Reference Photos This is especially important in cases where I am unable to photograph the horse myself. The only information I have to go on is the images you submit. You are welcome to choose a specific photo and say "Do This One" but I would still like to see several dozen more photos of the animal if at all possible. This helps me to get a feel for the horse. Also it will help me to understand it's coloring in various lighting situations and may also help me to develop an idea of what sort of personality your horse has. Please Note: Professionally taken photos that you might wish to use for your horse portrait must be accompanied by a copyright release or letter from the photographer stating it is acceptable to use their image in this way.

Tips For A Selecting Reference Photos

  • Clear crisp images. Blurry, fuzzy or ill lit photos don't work well as primary reference photos.
  • Well lit photos with some shadowing make for a dynamic painting. So taking your photos on a sunny day or partly sunny day works best.
  • Make sure your photos accurately reflect your horse's coloration. Avoid using a flash as this may wash out the colors. Understand that when emailing a photo it may read differently on my monitor and print out differently than how you view it at home. To best avoid this simply post mail me photos that are true.
  • If you don't want tack on your horse make sure he isn't wearing any. It is very difficult (and by very difficult I mean impossible)to remove the tack and be accurate of your horses facial structure without actually seeing it. I can certainly make my best guess but that is what it'll be.
  • I can work from as little as just one photo. However, 10-20 additional photos would be helpful. All photos will be returned upon completion of your horse portrait.
  • Taking both detail shots and full body shots gives me a better understanding of your horse.
  • Encourage an engaging expression. If your horse is feeling nappy try getting an alert expression with treats or visual stimulation.

2. Tell Me All About Your Horse In addition to photographic references, stories about your relationship with your horse help me to get a better understanding of your horse. A good portrait isn't just about copying the outside of a horse but also trying to catch the spirit and attitude in art.The information you present doesn't have to be complicated. It can simply be things like your horse's funny quirks or personality traits. Perhaps a few of your experiences or what your horse means to you.

3. A Consultation & Deposit Based on what you want I'll create a preliminary drawing for your approval that will be the basic outline for the overall look and composition of your horse portrait. At this point a price will be set and a deposit will be required. Upon completion and your approval of the finished painting, the remainder of the fee is to be paid prior to shipping or delivery.

4. Patience As a full time working artist it may take some time to get to your portrait. I often have a wait list. Sometimes I can just jump right in and get started, while at other times it can take several months. Once I begin the horse portrait, it is usually only a matter of 3-6 weeks until completion. Factors contributing to the timetable are size, complexity and medium.

Archival Quality Custom Framing Available

Wild Faces Gallery is a full service gallery. We have a extensive line of framing to fit any taste or decor. So we offer you the option of having your horse portrait professionally framed. This can often be figured into the original estimate.

All framing of original artworks uses conservation grade or museum grade materials. From the glazing to the backboard you'll know that your original painting has been framed to not only enhance the artwork, but to protect and preserve it as well.

2 Ways To Select Framing For Your Portrait.

  • Describe your style and the type of framing you'd like. We'll select an assortment of samples (sent to you via email) from which you can choose.
  • Or you can allow the artist to select the framing she thinks best and let it a be a surprise.

Either way this extra service means that upon arrival, you can open your new painting and hang it and enjoy it immediately.

Eye Detail For Kirkendahl Horse Portrait.

The Process Of Creating Your Horse Portrait.

A Brief Explanation Of The Artistic process

The Drawing Stage When working on either museum board or suede board I often do the preliminary drawing on a separate piece of paper. Once the drawing stage is completed I transfer the drawing onto my final substrate by tracing it and then copying it over.

Adding Color I begin each painting with the eye. It's not so much the whole "eyes are the window to the soul" thing as it is that if I don't get the eyes right, nothing else matters. Since animals are unable to speak their expressions are their main form of communications and as such the eyes are perhaps the most critical part of breathing life into a painting. I work out from the face and the background is often done last.

Tweaking Stage This stage consists primarily of setting the horse into the background. And making any final adjustments. Often I will send a photo of the painting at this point so you can make any suggestions.

Copyright While you may own the painting know that copyright legally remains with the artist. I may choose to create print reproduction from the art I create for you, though I do not always do so.

Catch Penny II


''I LOVE my new portrait of Catch.
Mona Majorowicz has captured his spirit and personality; not just his good looks.
The Fabio-inspired mane is the icing on the cake. Catch is a character - no doubt about it -
and I wanted to see if that part of him could be immortalized. Success!
Thank you a million times over, Mona. As they say in the credit card ads, "PRICELESS!" ''

- Carol Eilers


Peruvian Paso

''Thank you seems so inadequate. It is amazing. I could "feel" him again!
I am so grateful that he lives on in your work ... and that you are able to put it on canvas so that he lives on.
As I said, thank you is not enough, but Thank-you!''

- Shaun A.

Note: "Leo" passed away prior to the creation of the artwork.

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Text and original graphics copyright © Mona Majorowicz, 2000-2018.
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