A few weeks ago I was talking about horse art angles
and how a three-quarter view made for a really effective picture, if I had the courage to tackle something a bit more difficult than my usual side-on pictures. She suggested 'a nice heavy horse ploughing' as a fitting seasonal subject, and I thought yes, I have a nice heavy horse or two, sitting about not getting used much
, and so, eventually, this happened
Horse on the left is Orby, on the right is Blackjack - Wil's family farm isn't prosperous or flashy enough to get them little personalised brass nameplates for their harness, but they look different enough that no-one would get them muddled up, a matched pair they are not, heh.
This would be around 1920, a lot of people have had tractors by now, but Farmer Hilliard is old-fashioned enough to insist on horses being the better option and won't hear a word on getting rid of them. Wil's rather fond of them himself, having grown up working with shires since he was only as high as their knees, he's a natural horseman through and through. He learnt to plough by walking along with the lines in his hands, steering for his father when he was too small and light to handle the plough itself, but now he's able to do it all on his own - the horses know the sound of his voice and he speaks to them to adjust a little left or right.
This took far longer than I expected, the time taken to pose and outline two horses as opposed to the usual one, and even though I know my way round working harness well enough, I realised I knew next to nothing about ploughs (the nearest I get to working the land with my shetland is flattening the grass by pulling tiny logs around on it!), so I had to spend a while researching what exactly I needed to draw in there between the horses and their young master, heh. I also had to make a new brush for GIMP cos none of my grassy ones had cut tops to look like the stubble being ploughed in; my brush collection gets ever more full of vegetation types