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Design

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial I will show you how to draw a realistic horse step by step, without any reference. You'll learn how to build its body out of simple shapes, and how to add all the details. And most importantly, I will show you how to achieve the right proportions for a horse's body.

1. How to Draw a Horse's Body

Step 1

Draw an oval for the chest. Sketch it lightly, without pressing too hard. This is supposed to be a sketch, not a part of the final picture.

horse drawing chest oval

Step 2

Draw a big, fat "6" in front of the chest. This will be the shoulder area.

horse drawing forequarters

Step 3

Gently sketch some space behind the chest to define the "waist"—the gap between the chest and hips. It's very small in horses.

horse drawing waist

Step 4

Draw an even fatter, reversed "6" to create the thickness of a thigh at once.

horse drawing hindquarters

Step 5

Draw a circle on top to define the edge of the hip.

horse drawing hips

Step 6

Connect both parts with a curve.

horse drawing back curve

Step 7

Outline the belly now.

horse drawing belly

Step 8

The main body is done! Let's add the head. Draw another curve for the neck. Make it slightly shorter than the curve of the back.

horse drawing neck length

Step 9

Connect the curve to the body with a straight line. Leave some space right at the tip.

horse drawing neck

Step 10

Draw the curve of the head. Make it roughly as long as the shoulder.

horse drawing head length

Step 11

Build the main shape of the head with a teardrop and a circle.

horse drawing head shapes

Step 12

Close the shape of the head.

horse drawing head outline

Step 13

Finish the curve of the neck.

horse drawing throat

2. How to Draw a Horse's Legs

Step 1

First we need to find the distance to the ground. The safest way is to use the height of the chest + some space for the hooves.

horse drawing distance to ground

Step 2

Sketch the direction of the foreleg.

horse drawing foreleg

Step 3

Mark the middle of the leg.

horse drawing foreleg center

Step 4

Draw the hind legs. The ankles should be placed slightly higher than the wrists.

horse drawing hindlegs

Step 5

Draw symbolic hooves.

horse drawing hooves simple

Step 6

Attach a circle to each hoof. This will give a shape to the joint.

horse drawing hooves advanced

Step 7

Add definition to the other joints as well.

horse drawing joints shape

Step 8

Create a basic shape of the forearms and the calves (that's right—the elbow and the knee are higher than you would expect!).

horse drawing foerarm calf

Step 9

Add more details to the shape of the calves.

horse drawing calves detailed
horse drawing achilles tendon

Step 10

Outline the "hands" and "feet".

horse drawing hand feet

3. How to Draw a Horse's Head

Step 1

Time for the details of the head. Start with a slim ear.

horse drawing ear shape
horse drawing ear details

Step 2

Draw a line between the ear and the tip of the mouth.

horse drawing head proportions

Step 3

Draw the base of the eye socket.

horse drawing eye socket

Step 4

Draw a big circle in its lower area.

horse drawing eyeball

Step 5

Draw a smaller circle inside.

horse drawing eye

Step 6

Draw the nose on top of the muzzle.

horse drawing nose shape
horse drawing nose detail

Step 7

Draw the mouth in the lower part of the muzzle.

horse drawing smile

Step 8

Add the lips and the chin.

horse drawing lips chin

Step 9

There are some interesting muscles between the mouth and the cheek. Draw them as an oval.

horse drawing head muscles

Step 10

Draw some more "muscles" between the nose and the eye.

horse drawing forehead muscles

Step 11

There's a bony protrusion over the cheek—a very important element of a horse's head.

horse drawing cheek bones

Step 12

Finish the shape of the eye.

horse drawing eye shape

Step 13

Add more detail here and there.

horse drawing head muscles detailed
horse drawing head bones

4. How to Draw the Details of the Horse's Body

Step 1

Draw some small ovals where the elbows and knees should be.

horse drawing knees elbows

Step 2

The forearm "cuts" very visibly into the arm/shoulder area, and the thigh has a gentle curve on top.

horse drawing arm muscles
horse drawing thigh detail

Step 3

To make both limbs look muscular, we need to add special outlines of the muscles. Start with the big elements...

horse drawing simple muscles

... and slowly add more detail.

horse drawing hip bone
horse drawing advanced muscles

Step 4

The torso has special details as well.

horse drawing torso muscles

Step 5

Draw the shoulder.

horse drawing shoulder bone
horse drawing shoudler blade

Step 6

The neck has many complicated muscles, but we can simplify it:

horse drawing neck muscle long
horse drawing neck muscle advanced
horse drawing muscular neck

Step 7

Finally, add the tail. It's not as long as you might expect!

horse drawing tail

5. How to Draw Details of the Horse's Legs

Step 1

Cut the lower part of the hooves with a slanting line.

horse drawing simple hooves

Step 2

Cut the back of the hooves to give them a more accurate shape.

horse drawing hooves shape

Step 3

Add a "cap" to each hoof.

horse drawing hooves cap

Step 4

Connect the hooves to the joint with some curves—deeper in the back and gentler in the front.

horse drawing hooves real shape

Step 5

The lower parts of the legs are very bony, with no muscles. So they should have a very clear shape.

horse drawing legs bones

Step 6

Add some muscles to the forearm area.

horse drawing forearm muscles

Step 7

Add muscles to the calves, too.

horse drawing calf muscles

Step 8

Make the joints bonier.

horse drawing bony joints

Step 9

Draw the little hollow under the Achilles tendon.

horse drawing tendons

Step 10

Add more details to the lower legs.

horse drawing special details

6. How to Finish the Drawing of a Horse

Step 1

The sketch is done, and we can draw the final drawing now. If you were drawing lightly enough, you should be able to draw the final lines over it. If not, you can either draw the final lines with a thicker, darker tool, or put a new sheet of paper over the sketch.

Let's draw the hair first, in case it covers some details. Sketch its direction gently.

horse drawing hair outline

Step 2

The outline of the mane and tail should have the shape of rough strands, not single hairs.

horse drawing mane tail

Step 3

Finish the hair with the technique described here:

horse drawing mane tail shading

Step 4

Outline the details of the head. You don't need to outline every "muscle"—just make a suggestion that something's there.

horse drawing face details

Step 5

Outline the whole body. Keep the outline of the muscles "open"—they're not separate objects, they're covered with skin!

horse drawing body details

Step 6

Finish the drawing by making some of the lines darker and "coloring" the dark parts.

horse drawing main outline

Good Job!

Now you know how to draw a horse step by step! If you want to learn more about drawing horses, don't forget to check out our huge tutorial on them—with advanced anatomy and detailed description of all the gaits:

And if you want to draw a magical unicorn, you'll love this tutorial:

how to draw horse step by step
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