Here’s 5 pics showing the first steps of one of the horse oil paintings I’m working on. Step #1 is enlarging the horse from a copy of the reference photo up to the size of the canvas. I drew a grid in the copy, a larger grid on the canvas, and use them to sketch in the basic outlines. Step #2 is going over the sketch with thinned paint. Steps #3, 4 and 5 are painting thinned layers of the basic colors of the background and subject. Toning the canvas this way makes it easier for me to judge the correct lightness and darkness of the following layers rather than working on a white canvas. This is a Mustang mare called “Hope”, trained and shown to a Top 10 finish in the Fort Worth 2017 Extreme Mustang Makeover.