A Dramatic Horse Head Drawing

I’ve been thinking about creating a horse head drawing with dramatic lighting for a while; something with a dark background behind a light-colored horse. To get the creative juices flowing, I often have to let the idea roll around in my head for a bit before I settle on “the one” I want to draw.


Looking Back by Annette Randall
pencil, 12 x 16 inches ©2015


ORIGINAL - 21 x 24.5" Framed           SOLD

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

12 x 16" signed and numbered         $100

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Recently I was at a friend’s house taking photos while she fed her horses, when the idea hit me. It was late afternoon and the sun was low in the sky. I’d taken a lot of reference photos of other horses while I was there, but then this good looking palomino gelding caught my eye, and the lighting was perfect.

I happened to be standing near him when he saw my friend come around the corner with a pitchfork full of hay. He raised his head up with great interest at the food alert. He was standing in front of the barn, which was in shadow, and the late evening light spilled across his coat in such a dramatic way that I felt compelled to start snapping pictures.

I only had a few seconds to capture the moment before he snorted and shook his head, and quickly trotted over to fence to investigate just where that forkful of hay was going.


Before I begin the horse head drawing

I take lots of pictures when I'm out gathering reference material, and many times the photo I think is a winner isn’t, and the ones I didn’t really try to control turn out the best. Those are the "happy accidents" I love to encounter!

When I got home and looked through the photos I’d taken, I came across this shot and thought “Yes! This is the one!” The pose was compelling and was just what I’d been looking for.



Even though this gelding was on high alert because it was dinnertime, that’s a pretty mundane reason for looking so elegant. I like to imagine a more dramatic story for my drawing. Maybe he’s a stallion who’s coming out of the shadows on a hillside, looking back at his band of mares…what do you think he could be looking at?


Looking Back
20 x 24 inches  framed ©2015



     



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