Horses are not easy to draw and paint. When on location (plein air), I am using my little point and shoot to capture certain positions. Yes, I am cheating!
There are two reasons for me that convinced me to do it that way: The first one is time. I am always in a terrible hurry when I paint outside, so the last thing I want to do is spend 45 Minutes on my preliminary drawing to get it right with the light constantly changing on me. I’d rather just paint after 10 or 15. The second reason is accuracy. Without a still picture, it is very hard to get the proportions right in a few minutes, so instead of painting I would spend too much time drawing. Now, if I just go there to draw, it’d be a different story! Drawing for drawings sake. I guess in the end, it all comes down to time.
Horses, cars, cows, buildings…treat it all the same! They are just shapes and objects. The key is to do them with as little work as artistically possible. It all hinges on the shapes. If you get those right, it will look right! If the shapes are off, well, then no matter how pretty your wash and colors are, it just won’t look right.