In this how to paint a horse demonstration I am using Windsor and Newton pastels and here is the photograph that I am using to paint a horse munching hay. To draw and paint animals successfully we need
to observe proportions like how many times the size of a horse's ear fits into the head from the top of the head to the bottom. This isn't a really good photo but I will have to make the best of it.
The trouble with painting horses is getting the length of the horses nose right in relation to its ears and the rest of its body. Holding the pencil vertically down the middle of the nose we can determine its angle. Before we actually start to put pencil to paper we need to see if we can get the whole head onto the paper and one way of doing this is to measure with the pencil. Hold the pencil vertically with the top of the pencil at the very top of the head and see where the other end of the pencil comes to down the horses nose, here it comes about three quarters the way down, mark it off on the photograph.
Holding this measurement bring it down to where you have marked it off and place the top of the pencil there and see where the bottom of the pencil comes to on the horses nose. Altogether one and a quarter pencil lengths fit into the length of the horses head so then its a simple task to mark on your paper one and a quarter pencil lengths from about four inches from the top of the paper. Here I have started drawing the horse from the top of the head and working downwards, look at the angles of the ears, one sticks out to the left and the other slightly to the right. You can use the same pencil measuring technique above to find the distance between the ears, first measure with the pencil held horizontally on the photo and compare this measurement with say the length of the ear.
Here I am holding the pencil vertically down the middle of the horses nose on the photograph to check that the nose is vertical.
Sketching in the bottom area of the horses nose and good observation is needed here to coordinate the shapes here.
Here I start to paint in a basic burnt umber colour for the ears, the top of the head and the eye shapes.
Here I am painting in a basic light pink all the way down the horses nose.
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