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Mares in the Mist - Jennifer Marshall

Mares in the Mist - Jennifer Marshall

Mares in The Mountain Mists

Jennifer Marshall

This was a fun painting to do, and I took photos as it developed so I can share it with you.

  • Having determined the composition I put a warm sienna/burnt umber wash over the entire canvas ( you can still see remnants of it in the foreground under the thicker paint
  • I then drew in the horses and roughly shaped them in light and dark- still a wash- only thin paint was used. The lighter areas are where the white canvas is showing through the transparent wash.
  • I then worked on the misty background through to the foreground, cutting around the horse shapes with thicker paint, establishing the lighter and darker areas.

2 .

  • I then mould the forms of the 3 back horses, establishing their structure and colour, and I rough in the fallen log.


  • I have now roughed in the foreground horses, I had some fun playing with those lovely dapples in the grey mare!
  • I also decided that I would like the lead bay mare to look directly at me and I have refined the big white blaze into a big star on her forehead and a dribble down her nose!
  • Memories of my own horses trotting towards me – they way Doeline my palomino mare used to lift her head like the palomino here-( in which I have deepened her shadows and established her highlights, giving her mane tail and white socks) She is probably neighing to me!
  • I remember how my horses would sometimes shake their heads and look at me sideways, prancing - like the grey mare – I always imagine I’m the horse and how I’d feel in the situation that I am painting them!


  • Now I have worked on the foreground adding fallen bark and twigs and leaves as well as grass, and another log on the right side to lead into the painting.
  • I have added more foliage and trees in the background, I want it to look natural the trees receding into the misty distance.
  • I do a bit more work on the lead mare, cutting back on the redness of her bay coat – in this dull light – bringing more of the bluish grey surrounding her and reflecting off her coat, and I decide a bit of blackness on her face might be a good idea.


  • Here I have finished of the details in the foreground adding clumps of grass, and a few spots of brighter colour.
  • I have worked on the middle distance hazing over the 3 horses so they do not jump too far foreward, but appear as though they are in the mist.
  • I have fattened the belly of the grey horse, and added highlights– this brings out her lovely dark muzzle. I have finished her legs and given her a luxurious dark tail and mane.
  • I have further refined the lead bay mare – she is broader (it’s the foal she carries inside her) and developed her muscles, the dull grey light now reflecting off her coat.
  • I decided to give her white socks on her hindlegs- to spread the bits of white around the painting.
  • I liked that black on her face around the star, so I develop that, and work on her lovely big dark brown eyes- I like her face now!
  • Last of all I give her a decent forelock, knotted long mane and tail. Then a few flicks of grass and there they- are trotting through the mist straight towards me!

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