Tag Archives: horse

Drawing a horse from a tutorial

19 Dec

Horse from tutorial, drawn live on Justin TV

While streaming live on Justin TV I tried to do a tutorial by Ken Hultgren from his book The Art of Animal Drawing. While his sketches of horses are excellent, mine are less so.

You can watch the recorded video on Justin TV or YouTube.

Getting under the skin

15 Jun

Although I said I was going to do a weekly micro-cast and ditto video, I’m going to postpone that until I have mastered animal drawing some more. I would spread myself too thin if I kept doing that while drawing animals is what is powering those other projects. My guess is that it is prudent to first get better at drawing animals, and then return to the other stuff, so I can be more useful to the listeners/viewer. Although some have no problem getting ideas out of their behinds, it is not how I would like to present myself. I’m not much of a meta-person, it seems. I’d rather make content than talking about other people’s content (as a fanboy).

Anyway, I’m using The Art of Animal Drawing, written by Ken Hultgren as my guide now. Hultgren is an excellent draftsman of horses, and it seems to me that if you’re able to draw a horse from imagination, drawing other four-legged animals is much easier, because you can draw upon your knowledge of drawing the horse. So that is what I should be concentrating on.


So here is a first sketch of a young horse, in which I tried to find the underlying structure (the skeleton). The bones are clearly visible, especially in the legs. It’s just an exercise of looking at photos of horses and identifying where the bones are. I used Hultgren’s book to help me with the sketch above.

I will keep doing the incidental sketch from observation, but increasingly I will try to replace those by drawings that use my knowledge of anatomy to construct (or reconstruct) a drawing. This conversion may take several months, if not more.

Rodeo horse sketch, part 4

21 Aug

I decided to draw with a chisel pointed pencil first, and put in the details with a pencil with a round point. This should give me a quick blob of shade with details added to it.

Rodeo horse sketch, part 4

The result is descent. I missed drawing all day, but preparing to program on the iPhone takes a lot of my free time away. Priorities, priorities. We simply can’t do everything in life, a day isn’t long enough.

That is all.

More animal sketches

19 Aug

If you don’t have much time (for instance because you’re busy studying Objective-C and preparing yourself to start some iPhone programming), you should really set apart some time for things like drawing. If you don’t do that, you soon lose interest and the skill gets slowly lost over time. We don’t want that.

So whenever I have time and opportunity, I grab my sketchpad and start drawing. I’ve discovered it is best to have some audio in your ears, preferably an audio podcast, or an audio book, so your conscious mind is busy parsing that. The hard work (drawing) should be done by the “low-level” part of your brain anyway.

The problem if you judge your efforts too soon, you only see flaws and can’t see past the imperfections.

So, here are two life drawings of one of my cats, with a carpenter’s pencil and darkened afterwards on the computer.

Cats, part 19

Cats, part 20

Later on the day I made two sketches based on illustrations from the book The Art of Animal Drawing. Again, they aren’t great, but they are practice.

Horse Skeleton, part 4

Horse Skeleton, part 5

So there is a logic behind this madness. As long as you keep drawing with some effort of trying to improve, you will get better. It is all about taking on challenges that are just out of reach, but by trying to get nearer, you will improve. It is frustrating at times, but it is the only proven method I know of.

That is all.

Loosely sketched animals

18 Aug

Today I decided to make some loose sketches of animals, just to keep the fun level up. Drawing from construction is useful, but not as much fun (yet) as drawing from observation (or memory).

I started with sketching one of my cats, resting, but aware of my presence. The drawing is done with a carpenter’s pencil and darkened after scanning.

Cats, part 18

This horse was drawn from imagination, not with a particular photo or drawing in front of me. I used an ordinary B pencil, and darkened the sketch after scanning.

Horse, part 2

These two dogs are the same dog I drew from the cover of Ken Hultgren’s book The Art of Drawing Animals, with B pencil, darkened after scanning.

Dog, part 1Dog, part 2

All were fun drawing experiences, and that is important if you want to keep doing it. Because if it isn’t fun, why bother doing it over and over again?

That is all.

Rodeo horse sketch, part 3

17 Aug

Well, the carpenter’s pencil is proving to be a very powerful drawing tool to put fast sketches onto paper. This sketch took less than 10 minutes to make. The digital manipulation and writing this blog post took much longer.

Rodeo horse sketch, part 3

The important thing to remember while doing such sketches is starting with an overall action line, force line or through line, whatever you want to call it. This line gives the overall idea of the sketch, and what you as an artist want to express. This horse gave me a spring-loaded look and feel, so I tried to recreate that in the drawing.

That is all.

Drawing animals

15 Aug

In roughly 50 minutes I made three sketches, based on illustrations in the book The Art of Drawing Animals by Ken Hultgren. I started with the skeleton of a horse, constructed using the instructions in the book. It was done in carpenter’s pencil.

Horse skeleton, part 3

Not particularly impressed by the result, I tried some sketches of a tired horse.

Horse, part 1

That didn’t really jazz, so I tried some other animals.

Animals, part 1

It was somewhat better, but not by much. This technique of drawing by construction is just too new for me. I have to take the time to get comfortable with it. Until now, I’ve more drawn from observation.

That is all.