5 Ways to Make a Quick Horse Drawing in Pencil

5 Ways to Make a Quick Horse Drawing in Pencil

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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Drawing quickly is one of the easiest ways to hone your artistic skills. Draw constantly, without expectations, and you have your ticket to success. It helps to draw something simple, though. A horse is not simple. Or is it? Learn five ways to make a horse drawing in pencil that is both fun and easy.

In this drawing exercise, let’s take a look at simplified horse art from various cultures. Those artists have done the legwork for us. They created stunning horse shapes that are simple to copy. Relax, let go and move your hand freestyle. Hold the pencil lightly. Let it draw as many lines as need be. 

Drawing exercise # 1: Stone age horse

For thousands of years, human beings have been fascinated by the beauty of horses. To be more precise, for at least 15-17.000 years. Stone age people in Lascaux, France created beautiful horse paintings on cave walls. They didn’t bother with complicated details. They drew the basic shape. You can do that too.

Stone age horse art from the Lascaux cave in France.
Stone age cave art

I’ve found a couple of photos of a running horse in our free Sketching Ideas tool. Get your pencil out and draw them with fast, simple lines. The sketches below took less than three minutes each. Time yourself and aim for the basic shape, just like the cave folks. 

Running horse photograph by Linnéa Gröndalen.
Photo: Linnéa Gröndalen via Flickr/ Creative Commons
Simple, quick sketch of a running horse.
Running horse photo by Photophilde.
Photo: photophilde via Flickr/ Creative Commons
 Quick sketch of a running horse.

Drawing exercise # 2: Minoan horse

Original, ancient Minoan horse figurines have a multitude of modern variations. They are available for purchase as home accents. The beautiful horse below is one such imitation. Have fun drawing the dashing, elegant shape.

Modern design based on an ancient Minoan horse.
Pencil drawing of a Minoan horse.

Drawing exercise # 3: Persian horse

Persian horse illustrations draw flowing movement with stunningly simple lines. They elevate the horse into a purely decorative form. It’s all curves. Copy the brown horse with curved lines and see where it takes you. 

Persian illustration of horses.
Drawing of a horse from a Persian illustration.
Download free line art & more

Drawing exercise # 4: Chinese horse

This Chinese horse has a more substantial appearance. I took the photograph during a visit to a museum in Shanghai. The artisan souvenir shop allowed me to take photos of their beautiful figurines. All were modeled on classic Chinese art, and I felt like a kid in a toyshop. I encourage you to get creative and add flowers and colors in the spirit of this horse. 

Chinese horse figurine with colorful pattern design.
Pencil drawing of a Chinese horse figurine.

Drawing exercise # 5: Japanese horse

This horse looks more like a toy than a typical Japanese artifact. That’s because it is ancient, from the 6th century AD. I took the photo in a Paris museum. To make it simple, skip the saddle and reins in your sketch. Unless you want to have fun with it as I did. 

Japanese horse from the Kofun period 6th century AD.
Drawing of an ancient Japanese hose clay figure from the 6th century AD.

Practice freehand horse drawing in pencil

Now that you have explored so many ways of drawing a horse, try your hand at freehand drawing from photos. You can find loads of horse photographs in our free Sketching Ideas tool. You will become good at sketching horses. As always: Practice makes a master.

Quick sketch of a grazing horse.

Happy sketching!

More posts below about sketching, and some watercolor tutorials. Most of the watercolor tutorials come with free line art that you can download in the One Tree Art Club library.

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