Look, a Horse! Well, almost.

I’m just gonna say it:  I think horses are harder to draw than people.  Can I get an amen from anyone out there?

I attempted to draw this photo from Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd.   (There are a whole bunch of images there, this one is fourth from the bottom.  I’m sorry, Kathy, I know you didn’t take photos of a moose!)   Horses were easier to draw in middle school when I sat in the library with my friend Laura drawing them from (mostly her) imagination!  No clue why, but that’s what’s happening now.

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This first sketch ^^ was drawn late at night, and although it wasn’t horrible, the head was much too short, and I wasn’t happy with the way the burnt siena Polychromos was laying down in my art journal.  (It was a bit scratchy, I’ve noticed a few colors can be like that at times.)  But I thought “No big deal.  I’ll draw it tomorrow when I’m fresh, with a different color, and it’ll look way better.”  Except not.

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I first tried a Sakura design colored pencil because it was closest, and managed only a very slightly better attempt with a nougat Polychromos (on the bottom)….and they both look more like moose(s) than horses!  I checked with Hub, and yes (he doesn’t sugarcoat anything), he agreed if I added antlers, they’d look more like moose.  The moose is on the loose, and roaming all over my sketchpad.  I guess it scared off the horses.

The good news is that this book is on hold for me at my local library.  I hope to do further study, maybe draw some of the sketch examples in the book to help me along, and make another attempt.  I can be pretty stubborn when I wanna be.   So we’ll see how this thing shakes out.

Thanks for taking the time to look at very bad art in the meanwhile!  I think I might try a chipmunk or squirrel or, who knows, maybe another bird for tomorrow.   I need to draw something I am better at drawing.   At this rate, I may go back to portraits for a break(!)

Sayonara, and I wish you a happier creating experience.   I’ll come back fighting on the morrow!  😀

42 thoughts on “Look, a Horse! Well, almost.

    1. Oh, thank you, Rebecca. I appreciate it. Maybe I should table horses for awhile, but I have a friend who loves them very much; thus, I’ve not given up the ghost yet. Thanks very much for your encouragement. They definitely have a lot going on!!

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  1. Good morning Laura – you’ve made a good start. I think your sketches are very good. And, by the way I didn’t see a moose 😎. As long as you are having fun on your courageous art journey, that’s all that matters.

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  2. I think you are being way too hard on yourself! And if I keep reading your blog, I just know I am going to sketch something over the summer. If I do, I’ll let you know, but I’m certain not to show!

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    1. Thank you, Kathy!! If you want to feel inspired about beginning your own art journey, look up Jodi’s blog at Life in Between. Her comment is toward the top. She just started painting and you won’t even believe the portrait she just did of her dog. Anyone can do this. Jodi and I are proof of it! I hope you do show, but even if you don’t, please sketch if you’re feeling called! I ignored that call for over 20 years.

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  3. I’ll give you an amen on that!! It may look like a moose if you put antlers on it (you actually should throw some antlers on that thing, just for the heck of it 🙂 ), but it is still much better than what I could do 😀

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    1. I understand. I always was too. I don’t know what happened. A switch got flipped somewhere during Open Studio. Maybe I inhaled the talent of the other artists exhaling in the room? I still don’t get it. But that’s the day it all changed re people. I may get pretty discouraged if I keep drawing horses! I may have to take my foot off the gas.

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    2. Oh and PS: Changing to colored pencil made all the difference for me in drawing. Stonehenge paper and colored pencil. I’m telling you, it was key. I tried a portrait the other day on regular paper and pencil and it looked like a first grader did it.

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        1. I hope it’s magical for you too. Haha, don’t mean to send you back to DickCrack. 🙂 But yeah for that paper, it may be worth it. I’ve not tried any other medium in that paper, but I’m sure almost anything would work. Even light WC, most likely.

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  4. Seriously, you do a lot better than you give yourself credit for sometimes. 🙂 I don’t think horses are necessarily harder than humans to draw. A horse just has to resemble a horse whereas humans have to look like specific people.

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    1. Teresa, thank you. I always soak up your encouragement like a sponge. I just want my horses to be less like moose. lol. At this point, they’re harder for me. So many curves, shadows and lines. For me, way more than the human face, and all so close together. Even the veins pop out. Egads.

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  5. I’ll give you an amen and I totally agree, they are hard. I always make the face too short and have to measure constantly. I think you have done a great job with having a go at them. I especially like you first one. The book you are getting also looks great, let me know how it goes, but seriously don’t be too hard on yourself, they are really nice 🙂

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  6. I think your horses are coming along very nicely :-). And they most definitely look like horses – the jaw, the slope of the muzzle… It is interesting that you mentioned the similarity between moose and horses. I never really thought of it before. I found this moose image which makes the similarities quite striking. Books are awesome. I went to the art store yesterday and felt the desire to get a book on how to draw. There are just so many materials to choose from!

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  7. I like the details you captured in their heads (faces). When I draw, I have to remind myself over & over – draw what you see, not what you think you see! It is tricky getting proportions done correctly and something I really struggle with! I think you did great but I have that “perfection” gene too so I understand how you feel. I want to have my drawing or painting look like what I envision in my head! And when it doesn’t, I get discouraged. Kind of silly when it is the first time I tried to draw it. Hope it helps to know I wrestle with that inner critic in my head too! 😊

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    1. It does help, thank you Jill! I wish I could bop that critic over the head sometimes lol. I feel exactly the same as you and I get very ticked with myself if the drawing isn’t really close to the photo, or at least, what I see in my head. Most often with watercolor I find that there is quite a difference between the two.

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      1. A friend of mine is really good at painting watercolors and she sells them rather cheaply and donates the money to a women’s shelter. She says she never gets very attached to her painting. I on the other hand get very attached to mine when they turn out surprisingly well. I want to throw a party! I don’t know why I’m telling you this but thought it might help.

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        1. First of all, I love your friend, and that’s a wonderful idea. ❤ I understand this completely. I did a watercolor rose that I really love on one of those ATC-sized pieces of WC paper. I tried to duplicate it and the second looked pretty blecht. So tonight, I may try a third time. I have several cards to mail out, and they've been delayed because I want to slip a little rose into each of them, but I don't want to send away my first one that I really loved! I feel like it'll never happen again. :)) I know what you mean, and it does help. Thanks Jill. You should be an art therapist, lol! Your happiness and way of looking at things is quite contagious! (((((Jill)))))

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  8. We’re all our own worst critics – these look like very creditable sketches to me. Don’t be downhearted! If this is the worst you have, I look forward to seeing the best… 🙂

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  9. Can you get this book from your library?
    http://www.amazon.com/Rien-Poortvliets-Horses-Poortvliet/dp/1556704305/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431455508&sr=1-8&keywords=Poortvliet
    It’s pages and pages of sketches and drawings of horses and bits of horses and bits for horses… Very inspiring. What I like best is that not everything is perfect. He did a page and it had to go in the book. As practiced and observant as he was, he didn’t expect to get it just right every time 🙂

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  10. I like your horses! If you ask me, moose and horses have rather similar head shapes, so I think it’s more the color than anything else that creates the perceived resemblance. Maybe a little bit due to the noses in the second one. Not that I’m an expert.

    I agree with you–horses are hard. Even in my simplified cartoony style, I struggle with their legs.

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  11. Somehow I missed this yesterday…I think the wordpress feed sometimes plays tricks on us! I just want to add to the chorus of people telling you this looks good. I too drew horses endlessly as a child, but I’m not sure my mother saved any of them (if I ever get into that storage room…maybe this summer), but haven’t tried any since. I do remember also having a book that broke the horse down into shapes, and doing some that way to try to get the right proportions. Good luck!

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