Insight into the commission process

Karen travels to meet her subject, painting the horse on location or to paint “visual notes” as well as taking photos for reference. An important factor is also getting to know the personality of the horse she is depicting. “The most important factor for me is to know “Who” I am painting.” Karen explains, “I need to know about the horse’s personality, your relationship with him and his relationship to other horses. Antidotes and short stories are very helpful and give me insight, especially if I am unable to meet your horse. I think about this while I am painting, and it is what I put into the painting at an emotional level. In this way, you become a very important part of the painting process.” Next, a harmonious composition is arranged. Working form photographs, the paintings done from life and your description, Karen will compose the layouts that best reflects your horse. You’ll get to view and approve one of these prior to the beginning of the painting.

It is now time to paint! Anticipation builds during this time of creation. Generally, it will take 4-6 weeks to complete your painting. Because of the demand for her artwork, there may be a waiting list. After your painting has begun, you can request to receive emailed progress photos of your painting. Oil paintings must dry before the final clear coat and delivery.


Karen McLain’s paintings are a soul-searching quest into each horse’s spirit. They reveal an intimate glimpse at the powerful bond between horse and human. A multiple collector commented, “Words cannot describe the paintings, and to say they are breath-taking is an understatement. It captures my boys perfectly, in image, personality and spirit.”

Please e-mail me for pricing information and to receive a FAQ sheet to start your commission today!

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