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faiza425 02-22-2013 01:05 PM

A Very Lost Beginning Artist - Help!
I'm a beginning artist who just got herself a drawing kit (Walter Foster's Drawing Horses) which included 6 graphite pencils - B, 2B, HB, 2H, and H, and a kneaded eraser, tortillion, sharpener, and a sandpaper thing to dull my leads. (It also came with black paint and two brushes for highlights but I doubt I'll use them).
I read the booklet that came with the stuff, but it was a huge disappointment. It barely touched over the uses for the different types of pencils. (Basically, B is the softest and H is the hardest was the explanation) and also didn't show me where and when to use them. Also, it gave me a way to draw a horse's head, but it was very complex even with pictures. He also didn't explain how to shade (his pictures weren't really shaded - just kind of scribbled almost. I can't explain it well).

So I have all these tools and I'm not really sure how to use them. I've played around with them but I'm still kind of lost.
To add to that, I really have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to drawing horses. I'm very much a beginner. My drawings always come out flat and unrealistic, I struggle getting things proportionate. I don't really know the correct shape of the eyes or nostrils or ears, and highlights and shading? Forget it. I basically just wing every drawing I do, especially when I draw from photographs instead of just copying a pencil drawn photo like from a book.

I've tried youtube videos. I've tried art books. They're all too hard to follow and they all have different ideas and are generally frustrating.
Do any of you know of an art teacher who draws horses and puts them on the internet or something? An art DVD that you like? (As of right now, I just want to learn horses but I will branch out once I learn that) Anything that could teach someone the basics without making them want to stab themselves with their pencils? :lol:

Thanks in advance!

P.S. I drew a piglet last year (if you go to my page it's the only drawing in My Drawings :) album) for reference of how simple my drawings are. I will put up a picture of the horse I'm currently attempting, too, if anyone would like.

Horsesdontlie 02-22-2013 03:49 PM

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The artists here are actually very helpful if you are willing to post up your work and ask for critiques. I have some drawing 101 tutorials that I can dig up for you that I found helpful.

For basics the pencil hardness is a thing that you learn over time. There are quite a few people here that do great work with just a mechanical pencil. Its all just practice.

For starters, as far as I know, hard pencils (on the H side) draw lighter shades of colors and tend to leave a sharper feel. Then soft pencils (B) draw darker colors and have a much softer feel to them.

The scale goes (you can have more in between)
Hardest -> Softest
4H 2H H HB B 2B 4B 6B

I've always used sand paper as a sharpener as well. Its nice to create and edge without having to worry about braking off the edge in a mechanical sharpener.

Kneaded erasers are awesome. They can do a light amount of smudging (with really light pressure) and can be shaped into what you need to erase. Then on top of that when your eraser starts to turn black. Just pull it apart and smash it back together a few times and voila! Its good as new. They never really die out.

Study other people's art. That is one thing that has always helped me. Watch to see if they post works in progresses (WIP) look to see where they post circles, lines blocks for joints. I have a very simple design thats at the bottom of the post. I start with learning basic circles one for nose/muzzle one for the cheek, one for forehead. For the legs I like to draw straight lines then circles/squares for the joints. It keeps the anatomy of the bones correct. Also study musculature, know where joints are, learn their rotation, learn where the bones are prominent to the skin (in the face, in the legs, the hip characteristics) study muscles, know where they are in relation to the bones and where they are close to the skin.

Then after that practice practice practice. It takes a lot of work to be able to even start getting down what you want to get down. Learn, ask, study other work and the anatomy of what you want to study. I even spent some time tracing get help understand what the beginning stages of what a drawing should look like. Try to see where the circles go, how far the joints are down....ect. If you have questions ask...

Hope that helped a little. =)

HorseCrazyTeen 02-23-2013 01:48 AM

Great above post!

Here is a book that I used heavily a few years ago. It explains practically everything and has all sorts of animals. I don't know of a better book for you and it has basic stuff to more complicated stuff. It helped me so much to get where I am. Here's a link:

Ken Hultgren - The Art of Animal Drawing

I can hopefully help you more when you post the picture. Horsesdontlie told you everything already!

One thing to add. It's best to use the light, hard pencils for outlines or fine details, and the softer, darker ones for shading.

Horsesdontlie 02-23-2013 01:44 PM

Ah HCT you're bad for my wallet. I just bought that book after looking through it....ugh. (but really it looks great ;) )

Okay so i went through and found some decent tutorials. I suggest looking through Deviant Arts Tutorial tab, they have some good stuff in there.

Really good general Knowledge

Basic Circle Diagrams

More Circle Diagrams

Head Basic

Little More Detailed How To Diagram (Ignore the words, just look at the process)

Some Anatomy for Drawing


If you want more let me know. There are tons out there.

HorseCrazyTeen 02-23-2013 08:03 PM

Oh that's funny! Well, I hope you'll get a lot of good info out of it! I did. What's money, anyway? Just wrinkled-up green stuff. Meh!

Selaya 02-24-2013 11:38 AM

Well, it's true that all those supplies and their "tutorials" are a real pain at first. I'm mostly a self-taught artist, and I learned by the aid of books, actually! It seems so useless at the start, but when you gain experience it really is worth it.

The books I had were books for animals in general, for perspective, houses, that sort of thing. I don't know the translation in English, of the title, so I'll just leave it. ^^;

Anyway - horsesdon'tlie is right! You'll learn the use of 2B, B, and all the others later on. Every person has their own preferences in that, though. When I'm drawing traditionally, I avoid H and F and anything above like the plague. I just think it's too sharp for my liking. I use a HB to sketch, B and 2B to shade or make line arts, and finally 4B For the darker areas, 5B or 6B for the darkest.

The only real advice I have here is - have confidence! If you don't, you'll always think you're not good, and that way, you won't improve. I've lost some of my arrogance along the way, and sometimes that really isn't a good thing. At times you need to think like a kid - "My drawings are awesome, I'm really good!" and then proceed to show it to your parents.
Um. Scratch the latter.

Skeletons and basic forms are always a huge help. Look at artists on dA - they've got experience! If you ask them, I'm sure they will help you out most of the times. :)

Keep drawing!

faiza425 02-26-2013 11:55 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Hopefully these will show up (this is my first time posting pictures on a thread). Any 'markings' on the neck or forehead are just places where I've erased the mane and forelock 6,000 times :-)
This is a drawing of a Percheron stallion (I used this horse as my model File:Percheron cluny102.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) It's not supposed to be exact because it's actually a drawing of a horse named Ritz, a Percheron gelding who used to live at a barn near me. He was sold last year and recently I was thinking about/missing him, so I decided to draw him. This stallion in the link captures the sort of gentleness in his eye. Thanks for any constructive criticism in advance!

faiza425 02-26-2013 11:58 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Sorry, that last one was supposed to be this one.

Flintlock 02-26-2013 12:21 PM

Just don't bear down too hard trying to make it darker - if you start seeing it "shine" you are pushing too hard in most cases. Softer lead=darker for the most part.

Don't be afraid to try for more contrast, let the lighter places be lighter and the darker places, make darker - to create more contrast.

Good luck!

tinyliny 02-26-2013 12:41 PM

you did a good job of capturing the shape of the eye, and the relaxed,peaceful expression.

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