Draft Horse after Haseltine / graphite and chalk

It's not exactly right in proportion, but not too far off. See the photo below.

It’s not exactly right in proportion, but not too far off. See the photo below.

This is my 3rd try drawing the sculpture. I went to the VMFA on 3 different rainy days and worked on it about 2 hours each time.

Sometimes when I stand there in front of a sculpture for a few hours, I get the feeling I know what the subject is thinking.

Sometimes when I stand there in front of a sculpture for a few hours, I get the feeling I know what the subject is thinking.

His eyes are so realistic, it seemed like he was looking at me. The eyes are made of lapis lazuli, ivory and onyx. The horse is made of bronze and gold plated.

It seems like he’s flaring his nostrils. This is what I imagined he would be thinking. He knows he’s the strongest. He’s a hard worker too, and proud of what he can do that weaker horses can’t. He knows he won the prize at the fair because so many people are making a fuss over him. Someone spent hours doing his hair. Then they showed him his reflection and he’s saying, “RIBBONS?!!! You put RIBBONS in my hair?!!!” (snort)

Secretly he likes the ribbons though. hahahahahahah

I know this because I spent the time looking. If you take a photo then trace it, you don’t get that kind of intuition about the subject.

At the museum, the rule is graphite only.

At the museum, the rule is graphite only.

The plaque at the VMFA says he’s a Suffolk Punch Stallion.

I could ask for a permission slip to bring in charcoal, but I probably won’t. The whole permission slip thing just bugs me as an artist. I’m saying this because if I could use charcoal it would be easier to draw. With pencil it takes longer to block in an area and you end up making outlines more often which is less accurate for getting the proportions correct.

It’s difficult to measure the proportions of a horse, and every breed is different. When I got home and looked at this sketch, I knew it wasn’t right. I transferred it to another paper and did some correcting, but it still wasn’t right. I’m showing this bad sketch so you can see that it doesn’t have to be right the 1st try. You can keep trying until you get something better.

If I continue to draw horse sculptures, when the time comes that I can draw live horses, it will be a little easier because of this practice.

yeah, that's me. I'm much more attractive in real life. hahahahahaha

yeah, that’s me. I’m much more attractive in real life. hahahahahaha

This is the way to learn to draw.

Rest your sketchbook against your body. Hold out your pencil at an arms length resting your arm on the sketchbook. Close one eye. Hold the pencil up so you can use it to measure the head of the subject by putting your finger on the pencil at the length of the head. Then use the head as a measure to get the proportions. Compare the length of the head to the length of the body and make marks on the paper in those proportions. Measure in all directions. Measure the length of the legs compared to the head. You can use the pencil in this way to see more easily the angles of the legs or any other angle you want to draw. Measure, draw, measure, draw. Don’t be shy.

Why don’t the art teachers teach their students to draw like this? Is it because it’s no fun? Are they self conscious about others seeing them make a face by closing an eye and squinting? Is it because it’s a slow process and they can trace a photo so much faster?

I see classes coming through sometimes, when I’m drawing, and the students seem interested in how to do what I’m doing, but the teacher doesn’t explain it to them. It seems like the teacher rushed the last group through before I had a chance to give  them the art lesson they wanted to hear. Maybe the teachers don’t know how to draw, so they can’t teach it. I’d like to teach. I’m just not keen on making it into a JOB! So it goes on the blog.me drawing

It’s easier to stand up to draw. Sometimes, at places like the museum, where taking an easel is a problem, you need to be able to hold the sketchbook in one hand and draw with the other hand. That way, you can look from the subject to your sketch so much easier because you don’t have to keep looking up down, up down. You hold the paper up and compare what you drew to the subject.

Also, if you can draw without an easel, standing up, you can exit the scene faster when it gets crowded, or not block other people from the spot.

Here endeth the lesson. hahahahahahah




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