Painting Gallery

Ponies Shading in a New Forest Copse

On Wootton Heath, very near to our own horse’s field, there is a small oak and holly copse. The copse has always been a popular haunt for the New Forest ponies and cattle, as it provides shade from the heat and flies in the summer, shelter and valuable forage in the winter. The hollies are often cut by the Forestry Commission during the winter to provide a source of food for the commoners ponies.


I was working from some reference photos that I had taken the previous year, but you must take into account that the contrast will always seem higher in photographs compared to real life.

Pastels were used as they are a great medium to show the real contrast between the shadowed, dappled shade and bright sunlit areas. They also make it possible to show the lovely shine on the strawberry roan’s coat in the foreground, which is hard to achieve with other mediums.

Reference Photos

You may notice a few artistic changes made as the picture developed. The bay pony behind the roan was give a more relaxed stance which also helped to push it back in the picture, making the roan a more dominant focal point.

Shafts of light through the trees were added to give a softer feel.

Finally, to lead the eye through the picture, a small pathway was added through to the other side of the copse. This gives an impression of the open area beyond making the picture more inviting.

The Painting Stages

The original pastel is approximately 24” x 16” unframed. It will be stored safely away until my next exhibition.

Prints & Cards
If you would like a copy of “Ponies Shading in a New Forest Copse” the picture is now available as a print or cards through both Red Bubble & Fine Art America. Follow the link to your chosen site to see options.

Shading in a New Forest Copse
Designed and sold by Claire Kitcher
New Forest ponies taking the cool shade of a beech & holly copse at Wootton in the New Forest.
The Final Painting