How to draw a realistic horse with this how-to video and step-by-step drawing instructions. Easy animals to draw for beginners and kids.
Please see the drawing tutorial in the video below
You can refer to the simple step-by-step drawing guide below
Build the main body of the horse
For all of our animal drawing tutorials, we always start by using construction shapes and lines. Construction lines are simple and easy-to-draw shapes that help us build a basic outline of the animal before we start adding intricate details. Construction lines are used by professional artists and beginners alike, and they are sometimes considered an artist’s best kept secret.
To start drawing the horse, we will use a long, horizontal oval to represent the main body of the horse. This first step may seem simple because even though it’s just an oval, you need to make sure it’s perfectly placed on your page.
Around this oval you’ll be adding other limbs and details, so you need to make sure there’s plenty of room so your horse doesn’t get a flat neck.
Build a horse’s head
The second step in this easy pony drawing tutorial is also a simple construction step, but it’s essential. In this step, you will use a small circle to represent the head in your horse drawing. To the right and above the main body building oval, draw a small circle. You want the circle to be directly above and in front of the main oval.
At this stage, it may seem strange that your horse’s head is hanging away from the body. In the next few steps, you’ll draw the pony’s neckline to join the two body parts together.
Build a horse’s snout
Before connecting the head to the body, you need to quickly raise the horse’s muzzle. For the muzzle, you’ll use an oval that’s tilted at a 45-degree angle to the bottom right corner of the page. The top of this oval will overlap quite a bit compared to the top circle.
Over the next few steps, you’ll use this oval to help perfect the shape of the horse’s head and nose.
Building Horse Neck
Finally, it’s time to combine your horse’s head with its body. Start with a curved line starting at the top of the head building circle and curving down to the top of the body oval. You want this line to join the body oval just before the midpoint. Use another, smaller curved line to complete the neck, starting just below the horizontal midpoint in the head circle and connecting this line to the torso. You will use these lines to help you complete the final contour of the horse’s neck in the following steps.
At this point, you can begin to see the silhouette of a horse poking through the construction lines.
Horse ear shaping
Adding horse ears instantly transforms your construction drawings and helps you see the horse come to life. To create the ears, you will use two ovals of slightly different shapes. Start where the neckline joins the top circle. At this point, draw a long, thin oval with a point at the top. This front ear will look a bit like a long petal. Just behind this first ear, draw another oval that is larger and not as pointed.
The difference in ear shapes is a result of the perspective we are using for this drawing of the horse.
Build a ponytail
For all the steps so far, you’ve used shapes to represent different parts of the horse’s body. In this step, you will use a freehand curve to give the general shape of the ponytail. The horse we are drawing is moving, so the tail will flow backwards.
It may take a few tries until you’re happy with your tail shape, but be patient, these take time.
Raise the horse’s first front leg
We have divided the steps of drawing a horse’s legs into several parts because they are said to be the most difficult part of drawing a horse to nail. In this first step of drawing the horse’s legs, we will deal with the front and rear legs. Start by drawing two small circles about a centimeter apart. These two circles represent the two joints in the front legs.
The top ring should align with the top circle and be about the same distance from the body as the head.
Attach these circles to the main body oval using two lines as wide as the circles. You want to make sure that these lines are not two solid lines all the way down the leg. Instead, you want the lines to split in the middle of the circles. At the bottom of the bottom circle, draw a small curved triangle. This triangle will be the outline for your horseshoe.
Raise the horse’s second front leg
In this step, you’ll use the same process to build the second front leg. This front leg is the leg closest to us and it bends when the horse is in motion. Again, you want to draw two circles to represent the joints, but these need to be in slightly different positions.
If you’re using two circles for the first front leg as a guide, then you want the top circle for this second leg to be behind but in between them.
Then you can draw a second circle just below the first n
and about a centimeter behind it. Use two lines to connect these circles to the main body and to each other. Since this front leg is closest to its intended use, you can make the leg a bit wider in the upper part, where it joins the oval of the body. The final part of this step is to draw a teardrop shape around the bottom circle. This round teardrop shape will represent the nail for this foot.
Build the first hind legs of the horse
You know discipline from now on. In this step, you need to put your hind leg closest to you. The two matching circles should align with the two loops on the front leg. You also want to make sure that the bottom circle is in front of the top circle. Since the latter is the leg closest to us, you want the top of the leg to be fairly wide.
Finish this step by drawing another slightly curved triangle extending from the bottom circle.
Build the last leg of the horse
This step is the final step to draw the horse’s legs. Start over with your two common circles, placing these higher than the others. Then draw lines that are visible from our perspective, connecting them behind the hind legs you just drew. Finish this leg with a curved triangle for the final nail.
Draw the outline for the horse
At this stage of our easy horse drawing tutorial, you’ve done most of the heavy lifting. Now it’s time to use a thin outline to give your horse the final shape. Using all the construction lines you’ve drawn so far, you’ll use a darker pencil to outline your horse. You can start at any point and gently add a few curves to your contour so you don’t stick too closely to the build lines.
When sketching the legs closest to us, you need to line the horse’s belly to add some shape and perspective.
Around the joints in the legs, add a small bump in your contour. You can also draw some more stripes along the bottom of the horse’s chest and neck to make it look a bit more muscular. On the head, follow the construction lines fairly closely, but don’t follow the depression between the circle and the oval in the muzzle. At the bottom of the nose, add the small curves you can see in our example, and also add the nostrils and eyes to the face. Outline the ears and add a few small curves inside them to add depth and detail.
Draw the tail and the main blow in the wind
Now that we have a general outline of your horse, it’s time to draw the mane and tail. The way we are going to draw these hair features will help give the impression of movement. Use a sharp pen or pencil to draw many curved lines toward the horse’s back. For the mane, start around the ears and start drawing a few small wavy lines in the right direction. Continue moving down the back of the horse’s neck, making the hair longer as you go further to the back.
For the tail, use the shape line as a guide and draw lots of loose and overlapping strands until you’re happy with the fullness.
More details on the horse’s legs
In this step, you just need to add details to your horse’s legs. Using construction lines, add some curves around the matching circles and add a few small lines in the areas of the legs that will have shadows. You can also add small strokes along the legs to give the impression of fur in some places. Draw a line on the bottom of each foot to separate the toenail from the toe and add some small lines across the nail to create a slight glossy feel.
Once you have completed this step, you can delete all remaining build lines.
Add texture and detail to your horse
Using the same technique as in the previous step, add diagonal shadow lines all over your horse’s body and head. You want to follow the general shape of the horse and draw these texture lines in this direction. To make certain areas appear more muscular, add more diagonal lines to help them stand out. Add more texture in areas that you think will be darker, such as around the eyes, ears, under the head, under the feet, and on the horse’s belly.
The amount of texture you add is a personal preference. Sometimes, less is better, because too much detail can become overwhelming and detract from the realism you’re trying to achieve.
Perfect your easy horse drawing
In this last step of the drawing tutorial, you need to add some shadows to add stroke and make your drawing look more realistic. Using a dark gray or black color, add some light shadows around the areas where you added the extra texture detail in the last step. This shadow will help define the contours of the horse’s body. Shade along the horse’s belly, down the inside of the legs, under the head, along the nose and down the horse’s chest.
When you’re satisfied with your shading level, you’re officially done with your horse drawing! You were patient enough to complete this complex drawing tutorial. Hope that you areFeel more confident in your drawing skills and we really hope that you are satisfied with your horse drawing.