Realistic Drawings In Pencil - A New Drawing

THE SORTING PEN – Graphite Pencil Drawing
15 x 22 inches

*This ORIGINAL DRAWING is available for purchase. All art purchased on this website includes FREE SHIPPING in the U.S.

ORIGINAL - 25 x 32" framed               $2500

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

15 x 22” signed and numbered    $125

12 x 16” open edition                   $75  


I really enjoy creating realistic drawings in pencil, especially when it involves horses and cowboys! In this pencil drawing I get the best of both. The inspiration for this drawing started with the strong contrast in direction  between the cowboy and the calves he’s sorting. You get sort of a zig-zag sense of movement that I thought was compelling.

The second factor was the uneven rough-sawn fence. What character it has! I had to draw it and include it in this composition.

This scene is from a day in the life of a rancher. Springtime is especially busy. From the time calves start hitting the ground in late spring until they’re turned out with their mamas to pasture, they must go through several transitions before being turned out for good.

Sorting the calves


Calves are branded, inoculated, castrated if needed and have ear tags put in. Ranchers with a lot of cows and calves do it in manageable batches a couple of weeks apart, starting with the oldest calves and finishing up with the stragglers. But eventually all the calves are ready to go.

This cowboy is sorting through a bunch of calves, having separated them from the herd and driving them to the next stop. The air is filled with the sound of bawling calves and mama cows trying to find each other. The corner of the pen is a nice place to get the calves turned, and the cowboy casually swings his rope to keep them moving.

good horses make the difference


When I was visiting with some of the cowboys on this day, I noticed that many of them were riding younger horses. I learned that they start a lot of colts in the spring, and they need experience to go along with their training. There’s nothing like a good cattle drive to take the buck out of a colt and make him start focusing on when he's going to get his next rest!

That’s why many of these ranch horses are so calm and level-headed. They quickly figure out that work is hard, and there is no point in wasting energy fretting or trying to get away. When the work is over, they know it’s time to take a break and conserve energy before their next job. A good, well-broke ranch horse is "worth his weight in gold" and is highly sought after.

When creating realistic pencil drawings like this one, it was important to me to pay attention to the details and successfully "tell the story" of the scene. I hope you found it enjoyable!

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