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Pencil Horse Drawings

I think all new artists love to try their hand at pencil horse drawings because they are simply beautiful creatures.

I was no different, I couldn't wait to try drawing a horse when I first started and you can see all my beginner drawings here.

There are ways and means of achieving a decent drawing and this horse outline is a good place to start. The template is done in ink to make it better for printing purposes, should you need to do that.

Horse Drawing Template

With each horse drawing that you complete, you will notice a definite improvement on the previous one.

Please don't be discouraged if your pencil horse drawings don't turn out exactly right initially. That is one reason why pencil is recommended for beginners, because we can erase until we are satisfied.

Copy the outline until you're happy with your efforts. Once you have the outline right, the rest of the drawing will fall into place naturally.

Horse Drawing Tips

It's an interesting exercise to create pencil horse drawings, I have looked at many drawing books and each book gives you different ideas on how to draw a horse.

Horse Drawing
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A common idea is to envisage the shapes that make up the horse. So, that means that a cone represents the head, the neck and body are cylinders and the legs are a couple of thin cones with a break between the joints.

I do the shapes for practice and then looking at a picture, I sketch the outline of the horse in and around the shapes. Using shapes is not my preferred method of construction at this moment, it doesn't make me feel confident so I have to keep searching for a standard way to create my images.

It is clear that my pencil horse drawings are amateurish, these were some of my very first drawings yet I am still proud of them. The thing is, there has to be a beginning and if you don't start at all, you won't experience anything, good or bad.

Back then (which is 6 years ago now), I had no idea about shading or anything, I just wanted to know if I could draw different things. And so my little drawing adventure began!


As it turns out, shading forms a very important part in every drawing.

I like to first sketch the horse lightly because that gives the flexibility to erase any incorrect lines and it's important to get the foundation right.

Next, indicate the areas where you think the darker shading is needed. My shading isn't obvious (from scanning the original to computer) but I tried to portray a cast shadow on the legs further away from the viewer. It's obvious that one of my weaknesses is not making my darks dark enough.

Trotting Horse Drawing

Look at your reference photo and squint to see where these darker places appear.

Now that I look at this old drawing, I can see that I could have used a blending stump to remove the streaky lines.

I display my first pencil horse drawings so you can accept more readily that we all have to start somewhere. There is no pressure to be a Master Artist when you begin teaching yourself to draw. It really is amazing how much you learn as you go along.

A Little Bit About Horses

  • Horses are docile, they have their own personalities and they are known to have good memories.
  • Just like domestic animals, horses can be trained to perform tricks.
  • When a horse is trotting, it moves diagonal feet at the same time.
    That means the left front foot and right rear foot hit the ground simultaneously.
  • Sometime during a full stride, all four feet are off the ground -- that's beauty in motion and a magnificent sight.

Drawing Habits

Placing a shadow mark on the ground on all your images makes them look more realistic and not just as though they're floating on a piece of paper.

As a beginner, adding that ground shadow is a great habit to get into with every drawing you do. It's something that I didn't do initially and now I have to remind myself to include it.

Drawing Of A Horse Head

I love to draw and sometimes I just can't get it right. It's a good idea to wait a day or two, then take another look at your drawing. It's amazing what a clear mind does to help you along your artistic way.

Usually, after a good amount of time has lapsed, errors will jump right out at you because when you are "involved" in a drawing, errors are just not obvious.

Be careful though, sometimes you can also mess up the whole drawing if you start tinkering with it. This has happened to me, so now I tend to start another drawing and learn from the mistakes in the previous drawing.

You have nothing to lose by trying to create some pencil horse drawings -- actually, I think you will surprise yourself. If I can do it, you certainly can. I know I still have a lot of room for improvement with my drawings of horses but patience will see me arrive at a good place soon enough.

Considering these were the first illustrations to appear on this site, they're not too bad for a trainee hobby artist. I want you to go easy on yourself too, and don't expect miracles straight away. It doesn't matter what you do, it takes time to perfect anything.

It's going to be interesting when I continue drawing horses and do the comparisons with these. Comparing old with new is a revelation and there is your encouragement, right there.

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