Horses are one of the most popular animals in art. For several centuries, they had played an important part in the workforce and in warfare. Horses were the beasts of burden that had had a major roles in several of humankind’s greatest endeavors—farmers manned their fields, couriers delivered their messages between towns, warlords invaded neighboring cities. Most of these wouldn’t have been possible without horses.
A horse’s strength and endurance is evident in its form and structure. You can see it in how artists shade in along the contours of the animal’s muscles. Horses are a great subject for leaning how to sketch living creatures. Speaking of living creatures, check out these animal sketches from our website for some inspiration.
Human civilization would not have been possible without the domestication of animals. One of the most important beasts of burden in the development of cities and settlements were horses. They were resilient and strong, and they could be easily fed and cared for. With the ability to cross greater distances faster and carry with them more resources and equipment, more towns from farther away could communicate, trade, and support each other.
And with the growth of trade and communication, towns prosper, grow, evolve, and eventually become the great civilizations that we know today. Artists would obviously take inspiration from the life and the world they live in, and horses are a great subject. It’s around them that their travel and communication revolves.
Form and Contours
Horses are great starting points when learning how to do living forms. Horses’ natural appearance show off their contours very well, and the same principles can be used when sketching other animals and people. The same sketching frameworks that can be used in sketching horses can be applied to several other bodies. If you want more sketching examples, have a look at these pencil sketches to enjoy or study for your own works.
The more common tools used in sketching are pencils as you can see in this collection we’ve shared with you. But even when done with the same drawing implements, sketches of the same subject could still come out vastly different in their styles from the way the lines are drawn, the way shadings are done—with crosshatching, parallel hatching, contour hatching, tick hatching, or even scribbling.
Some artists rub on their pencil lines to create cloudy or smoother shading. Other tools include pens and chalk. Watercolor, among other mediums, can be mixed in with your sketches to add something different. In this collection, you can see horses drawn in a variety of styles like those mentioned.
Many artists draw their subjects in certain interesting positions or while in the middle of an action or gesture. For this reason, horses are a favorite subject. Many find the way horses run on their fields to be quite graceful and majestic.
Whatever interests you might have for sketching, most artists have their own favorite subjects to draw – specific animals, landscapes, certain objects, or people. If you want to see how faces could be translated into hand drawn art, head over to this collection of face sketches, and you can see for yourself.
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