The final painting of Mark Meakins on his horse Maxi Taxi, watercolour 18” x 14”
Creating a Horse Racing Painting
I was recently commissioned by jockey Mark Meakins to create a bespoke horse racing painting featuring him on his old racehorse Maxi Taxi. Mark wanted me to use the original photo which was taken of them from the ’70s as a reference and then to paint him on top in colour in his jockey silks.
The original photo of Mark Meakin taken in the 70’s on Maxi Taxi
Above is the black and white photo which Mark wanted me to use as reference for his watercolour painting. The horse was called Maxi Taxi.
Mark Meakins Jockey | Horse Racing
Above is an old photo of Mark racing. Below is a picture of his jockey silks which he wanted me to paint in colour on top of the black and white horse.
Below is another photo from the 70’s of Mark racing.
Mark Meakins Jockey | Horse Racing Art
The first thing I did was to create a rough outline sketch from the original black and white photo of the horse and then to draw Mark on top wearing his jockey silks. I also did a rough colour block as a guide to check that I had drawn the silks on correctly.
Rough layout drawing of jockey Mark Meakins riding Maxi Taxi
I sent Mark the layout sketch for him to sign off before starting the painting. Once he gave me the go-ahead I then started to outline the composition onto cold-pressed Arches watercolor paper.
The first stages of watercolour horse racing art
I decided to start with the monochrome watercolors first as I always do the easier bits first so that I can get into the flow. I have to think about colour more so the monochrome is a good place to start without having to think to much.
The painting took form very quickly which was great and I enjoyed painting in monochrome as I think it looks really strong and dominant. The original photo was quite a low res one but because the watercolour paper has a really strong texture (tooth) the fuzziness worked well and I was really pleased with the outcome.
Once the monochrome horse was completed I then moved into colour to paint Mark. I had to mix a few different greens to create the correct green to match the silks as reference. Then I painted the rest of Mark in colour with his tan topped riding boots and silks. I loved the look of the finished piece and thought that the whole painting was really strong and was very happy with the final outcome.
I boxed the painting up and sent it to Mark. It arrived safely and I got this absolutely wonderful photo back of him very happy with his final painting.