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Sketch a Running Horse

By Dan Lewis

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Running Horse Reference Photo
running horse reference photo

The horse photograph used as a reference for this tutorial.

Dan Lewis, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Here is a horse photo that we'll be using for this lesson. A large, crisp image is really important . This one had a busy background, so I've cleared all that away so you can see the horse very clearly. Remember that you can click on the photos in this tutorial to see the larger image to view on screen or print out. You might want to keep this picture open in a separate window for reference as we work through the steps.

If you want to draw your own horse or a different photograph, try following the IDEA of each step - capturing the basic structure, shading and so on - using your own photo, as we work through this tutorial.

Finding Horse Photographs

Using your own photograph, or one that is public domain, is really helpful when drawing horses. You want to be able to share your work online, publish or sell it without any copyright restrictions, as well as respecting the photographer's ethical rights. Use the Advanced search in Google Images (found via the little settings 'cog' button on the right, when you're in the Images search) to search for images that are free to share and modify. If you plan on selling work, use the 'even commercially' option. You can also search on Flickr for Creative Commons licensed works, as well as on Wikimedia - for example, take a look at these horse pictures on Wikimedia commons.
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