How to Draw a Horse Tutorial

4 Comments | December 3, 2011

How to Draw a Horse Tutorial

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.

wild horse wallpaper

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:

Horse Printout

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:

Artograph Lighttracer Elite

Horse on lightbox

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:

Horse shapes

What this gives you now is a general sense of the shape masses of the horse and the proportion they have to one another.

Horse body shapes

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 horse sketching

Freehand horse sketching

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.

Finding the shading shapes

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.

Shading the horse

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:

Final pencil rendering of horse

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.

For more horse madness, here are additional horse tutorials worth your time.

More Horse Drawing Tutorials

Draw a Horse by Helen South

Draw a Horse by Helen South

Short and sweet, breaks down the overall shape masses of the horse fairly well.  Definitely worth your time to study.

How to Draw a Horse by emfrank09

How to Draw a Horse by emfrank09

Video on Youtube – nicely rendered horse, always helpful to watch someone else drawing something you’re trying to get down!

How to Draw a Horse by kimibee91

How to Draw a Horse by kimibee91

Another nice tutorial on Youtube, again based on the constituent shapes of a horse.

Drawing Horses by Suz on Elfwood

Drawing Horses by Suz on Elfwood

Nice compilation of different aspects of drawing horses. From anatomy to various horse poses, this should definitely help you out.

Draw 50 Horses by Lee Ames

Draw 50 Horses by Lee Ames

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 ;)

How to Draw Horses in Simple Steps by Eva Dutton

How to Draw Horses in Simple Steps by Eva Dutton

Another book worth your while, again highly rated.

Drawing Horses by Walter Foster

Drawing Horses by Walter Foster

This book really takes a detailed look on all aspects of the horse and Walter Foster’s drawings are superb.

Drawing Made Easy Horses and Ponies by Patricia Getha

Drawing Made Easy Horses and Ponies by Patricia Getha

And finally, this book by Patricia Getha is great if you want to learn how to draw different types of horses.

Use our book links to support Drawn in Black! If you are thinking of buying something on Amazon, simply use this link to go to Amazon – I get a small referral commission from Amazon and you don’t pay a dime extra!  It helps me a lot in continuing this site, so thank you in advance.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, please let me know when you think in the comment section. Happy drawing :)

Comments

  • amazing :)

  • Love all these pictures! Amazingly Awesome!!!!

    Erin Miller
  • Awesome

    stephnie
  • :):):):):):):)

    stephnie

Thoughts?