How to draw a horse in 7 simple steps

how to draw a horse

To draw different animals can sometimes seem very difficult—so many anatomies and so many specifics that you have to consider when depicting animals. If you want to learn how to draw a horse, it will be no different. Even the correct positioning of all joints of the horse’s legs can be a challenge. Also, getting the shape of the head right takes a little practice.

In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to draw an anatomically correct horse.

List of materials

  • HB Pencil
  • Drawing paper
  • Eraser
  • Reference image

Step by step tutorial: How to draw a horse

During the first five steps, take care not to apply excessive pressure with the pencil. Start with light, gentle strokes that you can erase later. First, look at the basic shapes of the animal before working on them with precision.

Step 1: The basic shapes of the horse

Draw three semi-circular shapes as reference points for the horse’s body and head. The circles do not have to be perfect. They are only clues.

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Step 2: Connect the main shapes

Connect these forms of the horse with four lines – two between the head and the shoulders and two at the hip.

How to draw a horse 2

Step 3: Draw the legs of the horse

The best way to do this is to take a closer look at the anatomy of the animal. The legs of the front pair each have a carpus joint at about medium length and a pastern joint at about 3/4 of the length. A joint just above the hoof also influences the position of the foot but is only really relevant if you want to draw the horse in a completely realistic way.

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Step 4: Connect the legs to the trunk

Now connect the legs with the torso of the animal. Pay special attention to the shape of the muscles and joints and how they influence the silhouette of the horse.

How to draw a horse 4

Step 5: Draw the head and tail on the horse

The most important characteristics to give the horse expressiveness are still missing. Draw the head and tail of the animal in this step.

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Step 6: Erase all overlapping lines

Great, the basic form, and thus the most challenging part is already over. Now erase the overlapping guidelines that you needed to construct the anatomy.

Except for a few suggested lines which emphasize the shape of the animal (e.g., single lines on the legs, joints, or head), you can erase all overlapping lines.

Step 7: Give the face expression

Draw the horse’s face. Pay special attention to the placement of the eyes and nostrils to give the horse’s head the right proportions. Then you can indicate the mouth and draw the mane with a few strokes. Isolated strokes that emphasize the volume of the animal’s head help to create a dimensionality.

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