Day 14 #100horsesbyroxanne

On Saturdays I'm usually at the local stables drawing their horses from life but today has, once again, been bitterly cold! So, I've been in the studio working from reference photos. Roll on spring I say!

A lot of my drawings so far have been analytical observations of the anatomy and proportions of the horse's head. I believe that knowing what's going on beneath the surface of the horse's skin will give me a better understanding of it's form and will therefore help me with my art.

On day eleven and twelve I broke away from the analytical drawing and began to look at ways in which I could use my own expression to depict the head of the horse. I began by using blind contour drawing to get me looking more closely at the subject and drawing with my non-dominant hand to awaken my brain. I also tried using my left hand to shade with which proved extremely difficult. I enjoyed both exercises and it really inspired me to do more today.

Today, I used another exercise I learnt in art school. Firstly, I began by using blind contour drawing as a starting point to establish the idea of the form of the head (see photo below)

 Stage 1

Drawing horse heads with the non-dominant hand.

I then placed gestural tone over the linear drawing (see below photo). This involved really observing my reference photo to see where the light was hitting the head and where it wasn't. The tone was applied quickly so that I wasn't hindered by the details. 

 Stage two

Expressive tonal drawing of a horses head

I then used a plastic eraser to rub out what I'd done (see below photo). This 'knocks the drawing back', which brings a sense of atmosphere into the work. I find it also stops the drawing looking detached from the paper. By using this technique it becomes one with the surface. 

Stage 3
Tonal drawing of a horse's head.
The third step was to then work back into the drawings and to re-establish some of the tone and line. 
Stage 4
I used the same reference photo for both these drawings but they are both so different. I can see proportional flaws in both but I absolutely love the expressive quality I've created which is what this exercise is all about. I felt the drawings needed a tad more atmosphere so I repeated stage three and erased what I'd produced.
Tonal drawing of horse heads.
I was using my Staedtler Mars Lumograph Black pencils again today but was noticing that when I erased other the top of them they weren't smudging as much as I'd have like them too. I may have to repeat this process using a pure graphite stick on a separate drawing 🤔 
After erasing for the second time I then repeated stage four and re-established line and tone.
Tonal drawing of horse heads.
I'm so pleased with the way these drawings have turned out and it's such an exciting exercise to do.
Please feel free to leave a comment below. I'd love to know your thoughts 😊

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