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Easy Watercolor Horse: Painting The Secretariat

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Step 10: Speed Lines For Movement


With the entire background finished, you could stop here, but there is one more step to add to this experimental painting: abstraction.

While this is a generic term that covers several techniques, the concept we’ll focus on here is to introduce speed lines to emphasize the movement of one of the fastest racehorses who ever lived.

To do this, take the smaller no. 12 round brush and make a slightly diluted pink using the Permanent Carmine paint. Starting from the pink area on the jockey’s hat, streak horizontally from right to left, with the lines getting lighter and tapered as you move away from the starting point. When you’re done with the pink speed lines, switch to the Cobalt Violet Light for a few purple ones. For consistency, the starting point of each speed line will always correspond to the color of paint you’re using.

Following the same vein, dilute Burnt Sienna – the horse’s base color – and add speed lines coming from the watercolor horse. Focus particularly around the legs, as they’re moving the fastest.

Step back once in a while to check the overall feeling of the painting, and vary the lines’ thickness to break up any regularity. If the colors get too bold, you can use a rag to lift out wet colors without damaging your paper. However, don’t forget the paint will dry lighter than it looks, and don’t be afraid to experiment with the different tones and values!