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Activities for kids: Drawing a horse

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Drawing your war horse is not so hard...A few pencil strokes, a splash of colour...that's all there is to it! Giddy up horsey!

1. Draw the figure

This first step is extremely important, for a horse has a distinct yet complex figure. Before dressing up your horsey, be sure it has the right proportions: if not, you might end up with a donkey! Use a pencil to make thin, soft lines.

  • Be careful not to make its head too big or put its eye in the wrong place. The bottom of its neck must widen out nicely (otherwise it's a giraffe!).
  • Its chest and croup are especially muscular: they should be highlighted accordingly.
  • Its stomach and back must not be too big. Draw them with slight cavities.
  • Don't forget that the spot where the rider sits must be lower than the front or back of the horse.

2. Outline the details

  • Quickly draw the eye, mouth, ears and mane.
  • Give structure to the horse's legs: they support a massive amount of weight, and since they are especially thin from the knees down, they must be able to bend accordingly. The hoof and pastern (the short part above the hoof) must always be facing forward, almost in opposition with the legs.
  • Draw the tail as you see fit, but be sure it is not too low on the croup.

3. Bring your horse to life

  • Emphasise its powerful muscles by creating shadows: add a few hatches here and there.
  • Give your horse a characteristically soft and smiling expression. If you wish to draw a more expressive (and thus more exaggerated) horse, then have a look at the Lucky Lukes by the artist Morris, by far the best drawer of "humanised" horses you'll ever encounter.

4. Colour your horse

The colours of horses do not vary all that much: try to play with contrasts. Choose one colour for its mane, tail and hooves, and another for its coat. You can also speckle it with a third colour.

If you're more of an eccentric type, feel free to transform your horse into a unicorn. Add a horn to its forehead, colour it pink and give it a large multi-coloured mane!