Horses are curious

I don’t know much about horses, and I certainly have no experience drawing them. But even before I arrived at Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, I knew I would want to sketch them, and that was the first thing I did today.

Luckily they were in a temporary paddock because the regular one was getting cleaned so I had a better view than is normally possible. At first when I arrived, they were almost all standing still. Some were even sleeping on the ground in the early morning. (Excuse my ignorance if I say anything stupid about horses because as I said, I know nothing about them.) The fact that they were all so still made them easier to draw. Occasionally one would get frisky, annoy a few others, and the whole group would shift positions. But once they stopped moving around, I was able to draw again, and since one horse mostly looks like another except for the colour and the markings, it was easy to continue the drawing.

Many of them were quite curious about me and my sketchbook. A lot of them came over to say hello and try to block my view. I had to move my sketching stuff because a few wanted to see what was in the bag.

Once you study their anatomy for awhile, they get easier to draw. The curves of their necks, the knobby knees, the way the eyes are situated on the head are all important details. I’ll be teaching a workshop here with Madeline Island School of the Arts this week, so there will definitely be more horse sketching with my students in the next few days!

16 Comments on “Horses are curious”

  1. beth says:

    I think you did very well

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jeremc1maccom says:

    Hi Shari 

    Love your horses


    div>When I went to the U of A


  3. deedster56 says:

    Such breathtakingly beautiful and ‘good-for-the-SOUL’ energies coming off that picture! Strong energies, POLICE/ DO NOT TRESPASS


  4. pjenz1 says:

    These are lovely. I was at Tanque Verde with Ian Fennelly last week and experienced the same horse behavior on my early morning walk. I suspected they were sleeping, like you I don’t know anything about horses. Unfortunately it was so cold in the early mornings while I was there that sketching wasn’t happening (even for this Minnesota girl). I hope you enjoy your week there, I certainly did.


  5. These are beautifully observed for someone who isn’t around horses, and hasn’t studied their anatomy! I grew up obsessed with horses and for the my first decade of drawing, I drew nothing but horses. As an art student, and beyond, I pored over horse anatomy books and became very adept at recognizing errors in the way that many non-horse-obsessed artists, present and past, rendered them. You have done some very beautiful sketches!


  6. Iona says:

    So well done!! Like Kathryn, I grew up around horses – a horse crazy girl – and drew them exclusively, and they aren’t easy to draw, even standing still. You have observed them so well. Your drawing skills show many, many hours of careful and considered observation. And again I agree with Kathryn’s comment about becoming adept at recognizing errors in rendering. Here I see wonderful sketches of my favourite animals. Thanks so much for sharing these.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was going to ask if any of them came over to see what you were doing. It’s been my experience that farm animals are often interested in finding out what the visiting human is up to. I don’t know anything about horses either, but I have had a few opportunities to note their curiosity when I was doing what you did. Cows will come over and visit too.


  8. You did well and masked your unfamiliarity with horses well. I don’t have much experience sketching them either but I do know that sketchbook or no sketchbook they tend to come over to check out visitors.


  9. They are very inquisitive animals. They also probably were hoping you had some wonderful treat in your bag for them. Many years ago, way before COVID, I use to go for walks past farms and the horses would always come over as I passed. They are very beautiful creatures. I like your drawings of them.


  10. sandidureice says:

    This is lovely.


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