How to Draw a Horse Jumping

Horses are beautiful, swift and sporty creatures. However, when drawing them, it can be hard to catch them in motion, especially during jumping.

Steps

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    Get familiar with the horse anatomy, and the gaits of a horse. Make sure you understand the positions of the legs and the awkward shapes they can be in from different angles. If you aren't quite comfortable drawing horses at first, just spend some time sketching simple bodies/faces before hand.
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    Have a high quality image or model of a horse jumping at the desired angle, either launching or landing. You will be able to zoom in if you have difficulty seeing certain details. This will help you draw the correct shapes.
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    Determine how high the obstacle the horse is jumping is. This will create the angle of the body, mainly vertical or horizontal. You don't want the distance to be awkward!
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    Start with the body of the horse. If it is going over a jump, the upper body will be tilted upwards. If the horse is landing, the front should tilt downwards. Use circles for the chest and hindquarters of the horse.
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    Finish at least the body above the legs, in both the front and back. Make sure to watch the proportions! Add muscle detail if you want.
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    Note that if the horse is launching or has just done so, its front legs will be curled under its body, while its hind legs are extended, on the ground or not. If it is landing, it will be the other way around. Horse always land on one hoof, placing all their weight here.
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    Sketch circles where the knees, ankles and hooves will be, in all four legs. Make sure that there is a reasonable gap between the horses' legs and the top of the obstacle, unless its very high so that it is clearly difficult. It can be brushing the obstacle here.
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    Draw in the correct leg shapes using your image or model, either folded or extended. Make changes if the angle is strange. Finish the legs completely, along with the hooves. If something doesn't look right, take a closer look!
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    Move up to the neck/head. The neck should be arched, but not to a distressing degree. Try and mimic the position of the horse's neck and head in the picture. Depending on the height of the obstacle and the completion of the jump, the position will vary.
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    Complete the regular shapes needed for a neck and the head. Add all the necessary muscle features.
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    Finish the entire body. Make sure that the mane and tail are not flat, but blown back.
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    Add all the detail of muscle you might have missed, and shading if desired, before comparing to your image. If you like the result, fill in the actual obstacle and draw or sketch the immediate surroundings if you haven't done so already.

Tips

  • This may get frustrating. If you make a minor mess up, don't scratch it. Keep going. Take a break if needed, and continue practicing.
  • Be careful with the body proportions! If you aren't too experienced with drawing horses in the first place, its okay to rely on the reference picture! Play lots of attention to the shapes and the way they correspond with each other.

Article Info

Categories: Drawing Animals