Realistic Drawings of Horses, Cowboys and Ranch Life

HURRY UP AND WAIT – Graphite Pencil Drawing
13 x 22 inches

Giclée print on Fine Art paper
Limited edition of 300 S/N

13 x 22" signed and numbered  $120


When creating drawings of horses, or paintings for that matter, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I want to place them in the composition. (detail) In Hurry Up And Wait, I wanted the horses’ colors to be the dominant feature. The challenge in this piece was using my pencils to create the “color” of the three horses. Hopefully the viewer will recognize them as a bay, a buckskin and a sorrel.

Each color of horse requires its own special application of pencil to achieve the right value that makes it look like that color. For instance, I used different pencil grades (3B-5B) on the sorrel to get medium tones, vs the bay (5B-9B) to get those really dark blacks in the legs, shadows and tail. The lighter- toned areas of the buckskin needed a soft touch, but he also had black legs, mane and tail, so I was all over the place on that one!

When designing this drawing I also found the patterns of dark and light squares in the trailer openings to be an interesting addition to the whole picture.

I chose this long, horizontal composition to convey the relaxed attitude of the horses as they wait. This scene is at a team roping jackpot. After chores are done on a week night, cowboys load up their horses in trailers and meet at the arena to compete in some friendly team roping and to maybe score a little cash at the same time, if they win. 

creating drawings of horses

Being right-handed, I usually start a composition from the left and move right across the paper with my pencil, so as not to smudge the work that has already been done. It's more difficult to draw horses from the tail to the head; it's like walking backwards.

One of the most delightful things for me in creating this drawing were the three different tails on the horses. I almost wanted to call the drawing “Three Tails” because each one was unique, with its own personality...who knew a tail could be that interesting!

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