Day 4 #100horsesbyroxanne

For as long as I can remember I've always drawn subjects by eye, often working out the width and the length of things in comparison to one another with my eyes and nothing else. Never have I used or have contemplated using a 'go to' method to check that the proportions I'm drawing are actually correct, until now.

If you go online you can find hundreds of ways to help you better understand and portray an object's proportion. I wanted to see if there was anything I could use to check the measurements of a horse's head and after much research, success! It seems that the most common way is to measure the length of the horse's face from the poll (just in front of the ears), to the tip of the muzzle (mouth). This measurement is then used to inform the length of the neck, from behind the ears to the withers (the tallest part of the horses's body above and behind the shoulders) and the width of the base of the neck from the withers to the top of the chest (see my drawing).

I have seen artists use this system before but I always thought it felt too technical and rather clinical for me. I've been happy drawing without it for many years. However, my opinions have changed since doing today's drawing. By putting this into practice I've realised that it does actually work and even better I can see how it can work for me.

Here, I began by drawing the linear structure for the head and placed the three main measurement points over the top for my own reference. I then drew it out a second time and began to roughly 'flesh' out the horse over the top. I worked from a photo just to make sure I depicted the correct muscular areas and key features of the head.

I can completely see how beneficial the initial mapping out of the proportions can be especially if you are working from memory or imagination. This really has been quite a revelation for me today and I'll definitely be using this way of working for future artworks 😊

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