How to Draw a Horse Tutorial
4 Comments | December 3, 2011
This post is divided into two sections: first, the horse drawing tutorial that I have put together (immediately below); second, links out to other worthwhile tutorials on how to draw a horse.
How to Draw a Horse: the Drawn in Black Tutorial
Now let me start by saying that before this tutorial, I have never drawn a horse (that I can remember anyway). However, I know I can do better than most tutorials out there, so what I want to show you is how I would go about if I wanted to become an expert horse drawer (heh). This method would work well for me, and it might work well for you!
First, find a good picture of horse. If I want to draw a realistic horse, the best thing to do is actually look at a horse. If you don’t have one in your backyard, find an awesome picture online. Some clutch resources are Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and of course Google Images. We’re looking for pictures that are large in size, good resolution, and with proper contrast so they make nice print-outs. Here’s a picture I found via Google Images: a pretty badass wallpaper a wild horse on its hind legs.
Next, print out the picture. The first thing I did was crop it in Photoshop so that it would fill out the entire sheet, and then printed it out:
Now the first thing I want to do is explore the shapes of this horse. I’ll do that using my lightbox and a separate sheet of paper (don’t worry, this is NOT a tutorial on how to trace a horse). The lightbox I’m using is the Artograph Lighttracer Elite:
Then, trace the major shape masses of the horse. Put the horse printout on the lightbox, overlay it with a sheet of paper, and then find the large shapes that make up the horse:
What this gives you now is a general sense of the shape masses of the horse and the proportion they have to one another.
Next, freestyle an outline of the horse. The final drawing will not be traced, but by tracing, our hands and minds get acquainted with the horse so that when we freehand we already have a much better sense of how all the parts fit together.
Now that we’re more familiar with the horse, let’s go ahead an sketch it out freehand (remember, we’re NOT tracing this drawing!):
Freehand the horse outline. This was my first pass just getting the basic shapes of the horse down. Having traced the horse before, this is much easier to get down.
Find the shade shapes. After you have the basic outline of the horse on paper, it’s time to explore in more detail and putting the outlines of the various gray values down. I like to just go ahead and pencil in absolute black value shapes right away.
Finally, shade the horse. Here I’ve completed most of the shading using cross-hatching. Finally I cleaned it all up a bit and darkened the outline so it would pop a bit more:
Overall, I worked fairly quickly, so there’s obviously a lot of room for improvement. I wasn’t particularly loose, so the horse actually looks stiff. You’ll also notice that the neck and head are a bit shrunken and that the tail could look a bit more like hair.
But if you want to learn how to draw a horse, this is how I would go about it. Hopefully this little how to will be of benefit to you, definitely let me know in the comments what you think.
More Horse Drawing Tutorials
Short and sweet, breaks down the overall shape masses of the horse fairly well. Definitely worth your time to study.
Video on Youtube – nicely rendered horse, always helpful to watch someone else drawing something you’re trying to get down!
Another nice tutorial on Youtube, again based on the constituent shapes of a horse.
Nice compilation of different aspects of drawing horses. From anatomy to various horse poses, this should definitely help you out.
If you really want to get serious, I suggest thinking about buying a book devoted to the topic. This is a really nice one and highly rated on Amazon. You can also check out the book preview for some freebie tutorials
Another book worth your while, again highly rated.
This book really takes a detailed look on all aspects of the horse and Walter Foster’s drawings are superb.
And finally, this book by Patricia Getha is great if you want to learn how to draw different types of horses.
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Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, please let me know when you think in the comment section. Happy drawing