Inspired By My Best Friend On Ep :)

Hey Art fans! :)

I'm back with another step-by-step demonstration of my work. This time I used my day off EP to start work on a portrait of a horse.

I have been inspired by the work of one of my friends, and though this is nothing like the style that she does, it is, at least, a horse.

I didn't get far because I had a late start after being up far too late on yahoo, again. So there wasn't much daylight. Actually I should be out in the studio (garage!) getting a bit more done before it gets dark; but I thought I'd take a break for a few minutes to upload the photo's I've been taking of it onto photobucket.. well I ended-up staying and writing this. I'll probably do another few minutes work on the portrait tonight and then finish-off tomorrow.

I've taken a few more photo's than I did the last time, just to show a bit better how a portrait is done. ..Ok, so here goes:

Step 1: Construction lines.  I started with the two ovals, and the two almost parallel lines down the top of the nose,
then those from the eye area down to the nostril,
then the lines that position the ears.
Then I put in the eye and nostril, the ears and the brow of the hidden eye (his left) and the mouth.
It doesn't have to be anatomical perfection, but it should look correctly proportioned. You should be able to tell at this stage whether your horse looks normal or somehow odd, has a big nose or big ears, or is too tall, or squashed.



Step 2. Sketching-in some deep shadows and highlights:  I started to put in some contours on the face using burnt umber and white. This just starts to show the three-dimensional shape of the horse's face. I began drawing-in the eye, and the shape of the colour patches. I could have chosen a plain-coloured horse for this to make it simple, but I like this colouration. To me it just makes things more interesting... but harder.


Step 3. Starting the mid-tone and basic colouring-in: Well, this one's pretty self explanatory. I just started to sketch-in a few more tones to define the shape of his face. I think he looks a lot more horsey now.

O.k. Break over. I'd better get another half-hour in before it's too dark. See ya tomorrow! 


Sorry it took a while to get back here. I wasn't having the best of times this week. Ok.. so it's still not finished, but here's what I did this afternoon.

Step 4. Mid-tone. Very soft pastel crayon. Again it doesn't need a lot of explaination. Just seeing what he might look like. :)


Step 5. Adding a little red ochre to see how he looks. This is more like the right colouration to start from.



Step 6. Adding some burnt umber. I increased the shadows a bit with some burnt umber and an unnamed old pastel I found in my mum's old art stuff some years ago. I like that unnamed pastel: it's nice and soft, easy to blend.


Optional step 7. I blended-in a bit to cover-up the paper properly. I know it's a bit early to do this but I wanted to see how it looked. I think it gave me a better idea of where I needed to go next.


Step 8. Warm grey highlights. I used a colour called "chocolate", lightest shade, to fill-in some highlights

on the brown patches, and the area between the brown and the white. This colour makes me want to eat chocolate. :P


Lots of ochre all over the work I did before.. I know it looks like I just painted over everything.. but if I'd started with a big brown patch I'd have trouble getting all the contours looking right. I prefer to put lots of colour underneath first so that I'm NOT scratching away the main fur colour when I shade the contours.


Step..umm. Started the nose and mouth now. Hopefully this looks a bit more like a horsie than it did at the start.


I hope you'll come back, as there will hopefully be more tomorrow!


OOPS! Sorry everyone for taking SO ridiculously long to get back to this. I have just been feeling a bit crappy lately.

I finally did some more work today, thanks to a good meal, a Steve Martin movie (Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid) and some inspiration from my wonderful friend and fellow artist, Lunawolff. thanks, Luna! :)


As you can see I'm almost finished now. I may need to darken certain areas to bring-out the contours a bit better, and put in some shadows under his mane. Also I think his mouth needs some work still. I'm happy with this for today. :)  This photo shows why I was painting so small, I had to get a bit of neck and shoulder in and the paper is only about A3-ish. Unfortunately his shoulder looks like part of his neck, so it looks huge, and his neck was already slightly out of scale so the two things put together gave me a horse with a huge neck, lol. Oh well, have to try not to rush when painting the periphery, even if it's meant to be quicker and sketchier, it still needs to look right.. i.e. not like this. >_< lol

I hope you all like it and forgive me for taking so infinitly long!

TheLuckyHobo TheLuckyHobo
31-35, M
52 Responses Jul 26, 2009


I hope that's a good "wow" not a "wow that look sh!te" lol. xD

Lol. Oh it's a wow as in oh wow that is so cool I am impressed!!!! *_*

His neck's too big and his shoulder looks like it's part of his neck and not a shoulder, so makes his neck look HUGE! I wish you could see it finished but I seem to have taken no photos of that. I guess because I messed it up at the end lol.

Thank you for the kind words anyway. :)

Awww. I still love it though. Watching the whole process was like magic, first it was just lines and stuff. . and then it magically turns into a HORSE!! *eagerly applauds* ^_^

2 More Responses

Pictures reinstated. :)

Oh FFS! so ALL my stories are missing photos now? Great. >_

Great job!! Thanks for putting it up in steps like that.

No problem. Thanks for reading. =)

oil pastels or chalk pastels? I use the chalk pastels(because I could find them in pencil form and I'm left handed and therefore messy) in my mixed media pieces but have never used oil pastels due to the smearing problem.

chalk pastels.. though I'd call em soft pastels.. I have a few semi hard pastels but I didn't use them in this painting. I am left handed too. I used the pencils on a few bits- shading the nostril, the line of the mouth and under the mane; but otherwise it's all done witht he soft pastel crayons as these are softer and leave a thicker layer ont he paper. I never used oil pastels since school because when I was at school I got some pretty lumpy results with them. Soft pastels blend really nicely, and can then be fixed with fixative so they're smudge-resistant, and I really like that. :)

I haven't used them in the crayon form because I was afraid I would be making a mess on the paper but I might have to try them if they apply more onto the paper-I have to layer the pencil form quite a bit to get a stronger opaque color-when I've used them exclusively and then sprayed with clear acrylic to finish it the pics will often be much lighter than I wanted-one of the reasons I use them with other media and layer...mostly with acrylic paint but sometimes with watercolor.

Ah, I see what kind of smudging you mean now.. Soft pastels do produce dust; but your easel should be tilted _towards_ you so the dust falls away from, rather than running down your painting and ruining it with streaks. By "lighter" I assume you mean less opaque, so it does sound like the tooth is being damaged. For me, the technical aspect of painting with soft pastels is protecting the tooth; so I usually work mainly with soft pastels first, then later with the hard pastels. Soft pastel (that isn't falling as dust from the edge of the crayon) really clings onto the paper (or whichever other grounds you're working on) because very little pressure is needed to break off particles which can then cling to the paper, thus not damaging the tooth (tooth: the harsh fibres of the paper or rough rock fragments on marble-coated grounds which holds onto the pastel) as you apply it. Semi hard pastel crayons in their usual square shape can be used after the soft pastels, to produce a sharper edge. They blend well into the thick empasto you've applied with the soft pastels. I often apply a light coat of fixative before using the pencils. The hard pastel and finer point of pastel pencils ruin the tooth of the paper if over used, but are great when used with light pressure to add a thin layer for details, or with more pressure to drag the layer below whilst leaving a faint mark (especially if no fixative has been used) or actually scrape away at the softer pastel. :) I have seen some paintings with pastel over watercolour that are very impressive; but I have always used (usually dark) coloured pastel paper. .... You might wonder why you can see pencil shading on the nose and mouth in earliest stages of the painting above.. that's because I didn't use lot of pressure and I nearly always use sugar paper for practising or even paintings I only intend to photograph. It has a very resilient grain compared to the cotton paper; but ages terribly fast. It's a tenth of the price of cotton pastel paper so it's great for practising on. ;)

hmm, its seriously good, i love seeing the progression. again, not much i can say except you are amazing!

Thank youu! :"D

This is anything but amateurish. Even with the use of contour lines most people would struggle to get their pictures looking half this good. You have a real talent. Thanks for sharing.

tankz!!! i lovez it too! i lovez bunniez and catz!! lmao and thiz had a bunny and it was anime; which i lovez lmao really off topicz

Oh okay.. yeah I was wondering how you found me when we've no groups in common except an animal quiz, lol. =P Love your avi, btw. It's super cutee! =)<br />
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Lol, yeah we are sliiiightly off topic now, but I don't mind. =)

thankz!! i just go on a peoplez chain on thiz site, like i addz a friend then i look at their friendz and pick a friend to see from there and if i likez them i add them then i see their friendz because if i like them i should like their friendz and then i just keep going lmao!<br />
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I feelz like im spamming your story, soz!! ^.^

Hey, no need for that. =) Just think about ways you can practice and get better that feel good and enjoyable.. <br />
EP is actually really good for that, I think.. You are not too shy to comment on stories by ppl you've never met, so I think you are already practicing getting better at talking to strangers, and that's great. =) Lots of EP and then some kind of activity IRL will definitely help you to overcome shyness. =)

oopz lmao stupid me!! soz. =(

Hmm.. I guess the key to doing that is finding a way to practice that you would _enjoy_.. maybe doing a drama course or something or a job that is enjoyable but involves working with people? I dunno.. something like that.. but getting good at stuff takes practice and finding good techniques, and it's a lot easier to practice stuff you enjoy. I did say you can do anything you would enjoy practicing, not just anything at all, lol. =P

Maybe notz everything, lmao like making me less shy!

Thank you. =) Lol, all I'm saying is believe you can do anything you would enjoy practicing and working hard at, because you can. =)

Well you are very skilled thenz lmao! Because your picturez are really detailed and i thinkz you could probably make some moneyz off of it! id buy it!

Aw, thank you Chrissy! =) I actually copied from another pic to do this.. I'm not really any good at drawing/painting from imagination. I like to have something to look at.. usually a photo as it'll stay still and it's easy to copy something that's already in 2-D. <br />
I wouldn't really say I have talent.. I just learned good techniques, like breaking down the pic into basic shapes to start with and getting those approximately the right sizes and getting the proportions right that way.. then turning it back into a horse from there. <br />
Finding good techniques, then practicing those is what gives me my skill, I believe.. not talent. :) So don't believe you need this invisible intangible thing called 'talent' to be a good artist (or a good anything). You can do anything you enjoy enough to practice at. If you find good techniques to practice and you enjoy it, then you'll develop your skill. =)

Wow theze picturez are amazing!!!! How do you doz that! Doez it just come into your head and you draw it? My friend sayz that you have to have a good imagination and be able to picturez it in your head to be able to draw it. <br />
You have so much talent!! Wow!!! =^.^=

no problem. =) Thank you for reading! =)

what a beautiful drawing,thankyou for putting the instructions up ,have only draw a couple of pictures of my own dogs,not very well !,

WHOO HOOO!! THIS GOT 1,000 VIEWS! =D hehehehe Thanks for reading. =)<br />
*dances a happy hobo dance*<br />
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Thanks mothersdaughter, I will have a look for some of your stories. =)

I love your work; I don't think I could do a step by step of how i achieve my final product of most of the "many mediums" of my different works. My latest favorite of mediums is scratchbord. I would love to hear your opinion of my work, as I think yours is fabulous.

Thank you very much. ^.^ <br />
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My thanks to Lunawolff for inspiring me!

Beautiful work!

Thanks, strawberrystar. I'm really not gifted, though. I just enjoy painting.

Lovely work! Thanks for sharing it. I like horses alot. Did you know they have the largest eyes of any mammal? Keep drawing and practicing with color. You're gifted!

Thank you very much, e.w. =) <br />
I am glad that you have learnt from it, even though I really only intended to demonstrate what I do and how I work to get to my finished portraits, rather than lead anyone to work the same way.. there is no correct way, but I often wonder HOW other artists arrive at their finished work.. so I thought I'd share how I get there, myself. :)

your work is awesome!!and i have learnt so much from your teaching.

Sure I would. =) Do you have any work on your profile? If you have photos anywhere online you can copy and paste straight into PMs too, btw. :) ..though they still come out pretty small, or no actually now I'm remembering they come out the same size as they were posted on wherever, but they get chopped off to fit in the PM, so some resizing is nessesary sometimes. I'd love to see your work, though, and discuss what you want to do and the easiest routes to it, but like I said I don't know how to do much except what I do myself. I'd like to see some step-by-steps of your work so I can see exactly how you work too.

Thank you Amy. =) <br />
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..but I really don't. I don't really believe in "talent". I just practced a bit, I put in (guided) effort and repeated to increase my skill.<br />
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Effort (applied intelligently) X Repetion = Skill.

nice!u r really good!!u have talent:)

ok, now I am REALLY blushing! xD Thanks, AviX =)<br />
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Aw, I do too! I don't post those ones! =P Well, I would really love to help you improve your drawing skills, but it's a bit difficult online. I would really love to be an art teacher.. though I really only know how to do what I do: straightforward portrait art, using soft pastels and sometimes graphite pencils.<br />
I'd certainly like to see some of your work, though. If only EP didn't block me from your profile I'd send you a "scribble" to let you know I'd commented back. =/

Well it looks like a paint to me...maybe a quarter horse paint cross.

Aw.. thank you, but we just have different styles, there's no "better" really. You are more creative, I just copy what I see.

wow thats really cool. Way better then me.

My daughter is a great observer, though she is only 6 she loved drawing and painting and she does a great job.<br />
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I might show this to her so she can draw from it.<br />
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You are so good, and this is so beautiful, thanks for sharing this

thank you so much. =) *blushes*

it does look awesome

Amazing! <br />
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I hope someday I can be half this good. :D

=D that looks awesome well done! you should be proud i can't say how amazing it is =) WOW


WOW highly impressed!

lookin good =D

Aww. Thank you. *blushes*<br />
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Meadows, streams and scenic stuff like that requires some different techniques not shown here. I do portraits because that is what I have taught myself to do. <br />
I hope you'll come back tomorrow to see if I've added any more to this. Hopefully by then it should look finished.<br />
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Don't mope. Practice. :) Don't forget you are almost a decade younger than me, so if you practice now you will overtake me really quickly.

Wow!!!!!!! Really good! :-O<br />
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If I were half as good as you I would go crazy and have all kinds of fun. Drawing horses in meadows, and on mountain ledges, streams and sunshine all sorts of things!!!! <br />
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Great work, it looks so real. Perfect!!<br />
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*heads off to mope about my lack of talent -oops I mean SKILL!*

Its really interesting to see how you build up the drawing right from the construction lines at the start - thanks for sharing. It looks pretty good so far :)

Thank you all for your comments. :)

awsome =D i can't wait to see the finished thing. it looks great already =)

yes.. construction lines help :) maybe next time I will draw some handicapped dog :P LOL

keep sharing your pics. you have much talent.

LOL, Yeah I know that look. I've drawn a few animals who looked like they'ed been hit by a truck. I guess you have to just get the construction right: Use the right technique. Some people can just draw the whole picture without using any construction lines at all, but for us amateurs I think it's best to start with these basic shapes and build from there. :)

I've tried once to draw a horse.. i was about 11 yr ... I think for the first time it was not so bad.. just the horse looked a bit handicapped :D