This is a portrait of the many-times award-winning grey shire stallion, "Illusion Crystal Clear," but it's also a study in light. I was particularly taken with the power in his hindquarters, and the way the reflected light cast a glow from beneath him. This painting won First Place at the California Draft Horse Classic in 2002, and was used for the posters and advertising for the following year. It was also featured on the cover of Equine Vision Magazine.

Crys was foaled in 1997, so in this picture, he was only two years old. In the years since then, his dapples have faded to pure grey. He has grown noticeably taller, more massive and more powerful, but his gentle and kindly nature has not changed. He is owned by Knight Haven Shires in Merced, California.

Acrylic on maple plywood – 32" wide by 36" high.