This painting was an exercise in getting out of my comfort zone! The background was my issue as it had to complement the rearing horse and not detract from it. I had to be careful that the background didn't suggest a fantasy image as this is not the impression I had intended for the painting. I initially put in a dusty effect but wasn't happy with the result and contemplated on it for a while, churning over ideas in my mind. Then, with a fresh start and the day ahead of me, I began to mix colours that already existed in the horse and would therefore harmonise the whole painting. I started to smear the assortment of paint onto the canvas with a palette knife and thought "wow... this is the effect I'm after!" and off I went continuing in upward strokes layering the paint on thickly and adjusting the colours to add variation and interest. I must say it was quite scary but also exhilerating to try something new and create a painting with a very different style to my usual approach. As always, art is about getting out of your comfort zone and enjoying the journey it takes you on.