Skip navigation


The above painting is one I have done for a friend of mine. This is her half Halflinger mare, Lilly Mae.  I used frisket for the white strands of mane and whiskers and highlights on the eye and the hardware and stitches on the bridle.  After painting strands of mane in for hours!, I had to do some lifting with a sponge to blend some of the lighter colors. Her mane is lighter than her body, but not white.  I worked extra hard on sculpting her face and capturing the veins and the jawline to lead the viewer’s eye to Lilly’s huge soft dark eye. That took several layers of very light washes.  After removing the frisket from the metal hardware of the bridle, I went back in and shaded areas of it. I used Harvest Gold, Raw Sienna, Halloween Orange, Copper Kettle, Burnt Umber, Sepia, Prussian Blue and Blue Stone to create this portrait.

Thankyou to those of you that have enquired as to my whereabouts. I have been fine, but the Holidays and all the shoveling and blowing of snow that I’ve done has kept me away from painting and blogging. I will try to be more present!


  1. Les, This has to be my favorite equine ever and you have painted many! The expression, whiskers, and capture of the light are outstanding. I may need to buy this one.

    • Thankyou, so much, Nancy! Maybe I do better on those that are someone else’s and I know I have to get it right. This is my friend in Minnesota’s horse and I have just now gotten around to painting her for her….. You made my day!

  2. She looks so sweet! Absolutely love it!

    • Thankyou, Caroline. She’s a bit darker than your Cooper, but they’d make quite a pretty picture together with all that golden color. I guess her temperment is wonderful so I did try to bring out that softness. You are so kind to follow my work, here. Thankyou!

  3. Very nice horse. Thanks for sharing and also for sharing the techniques you used.

  4. What a beauty you created Leslie, had been missing you!

    • Hi Padmaja! I have missed painting and posting. Just seemed like I could not get to it. Thank you for your visit and comment! Your watercolors are beautiful that you have recently posted.

  5. Lilly Mae is stunning Leslie! So sweet, and I see the time you’ve put in on her mane. Love her bridle.

    • Thankyou, so much, Sherry! I really enjoy seeing your watercolors, also!

  6. Great to catch up Leslie, Lilly Mae’s Painting is so full of life and light, I keep scrolling back, again and again to catch different nuances you’ve created. Good to see you back here again, I took a short break too, doesn’t life intrude so ? 😉 xPenx

    • I don’t really know what happened. I just wasn’t painting because I was addressing other things like physically moving snow around or something. Then going to some of these movies that are up for Oscars and the paintings weren’t happening. Thankyou for this comment, Pen. I like your two souls poem! 🙂

  7. I think I’ve been blogging about 8 years and am well aware of how sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. So does ones mood (in my case). Anyway, Lillie Mae is a beautiful girl! I’ll bet your friend is over the moon with this portrait! Your attention to detail is exquisite and her mane is stunning.

    • You are correct about my friend. She likes it. Oh, don’t get me going on mood after all this snow and I know you have had to deal with this too, being in Illinois. Thankyou for this comment, Sherry! 🙂

  8. Lilly Mae is so beautiful and your painting of her looks just like her 🙂
    You could add some red ribbon and it would be a beautiful Christmas card!

    • You know what? Didn’t we have a Christmas card one year that did sort of look like Lilly Mae? …and, if I remeber correctly the pony had red ribbon and jingle bells on it. Yes. I remember. Thank you for that Corey! …and for this comment! 🙂

  9. I want to reach out and give her an apple. (From a safe distance, of course.) My eye went right to hers! I like the detail in her bridle and her mane. And I really like the soft blue background. I’m glad you’re back.

    • You are so funny with this distance thing. Lilly Mae is just a little bigger than pony size. You would feel very comfortable around her, Carol. Thank you for confirming the eye thing…… I did try to make that happen and it helps if I know others experience that. I love that blue! FYI It is called Blue Stone and is one of the American Journey brand of watercolors from Cheap Joes. It is great for fog and creating grays with soft reds and stuff.

  10. Incredible.

    • Thankyou for the visit and this comment, Corey! I really enjoy visiting your blog and taking in your paintings and journal sketches… 🙂

  11. Leslie, as you will know by now I did not sign up for the current class but am signed up for Exploring Watercolor in March. If that is cancelled I hope to join the Masa and rice paper class. I missed your blog.

    • Hi Margaret,
      I figured that is what you did. I am glad you will be coming back to this group following Exploring Watercolor. Good choices! I hope to be back to painting and blogging. This repeated dumping of snow does not help, however. I’m spending more time clearing my driveway and sidewalk than anything else……Then I just rest up for the next round! Thankyou for coming here and commenting! 🙂

  12. She looks adorable! Love her eyes❤️

  13. Beautiful horse! It was worth those hours on the mane! Wow, the head and details are amazing!

  14. He looks like a kind horse! I love your use of colors and lines! Such an inspiration you are!!

    • She is kind, Isabelle. Thankyou for that about the lines. I think I’ve mentioned, before, that I am so intrigued with what a line can do. 🙂

  15. What a sweet little horse. You have captured her expression so well. I always forget about the frisket and mine has probably dried out anyway. LOL I know what you mean about the snow and cold this year. My motivation has been zilch and if I didn’t feel like I had to do something to post on my blog, I don’t know what I would have accomplished this nasty winter.

    • I have accomplished more on the shoveling than the art, methinks, Ruth. Hope we have about seen the last of it. Thank you for this comment on Lilly Mae. You guessed it about her being sweet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: