Sketch book update

Time for another sketch book update and staying with the equine theme.

Page 2 is a quick study of a Shetland pony. The drawing is based on one of my own photos that I took when I was invited to visit and have a look around at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary near to Newton Abbot (Devon), back in 2015.

As this was my second drawing my confidence with my rendering skills had improved.

Again, I used the same tools that I used in the horse head drawing.

This time, because the Shetland is quite small, I decided to draw the whole of the pony.

Also, she is in her winter coat. So this was a good opportunity to practice longer hair. The rendition of her mane didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but it is still OK.

Drawing size is 15x10cm (6×4 inch), so quite small. But I’m happy with just doing these small images at the moment. They are not too daunting or overwhelming. Being able to complete them in a few hours I get a feeling of satisfaction.

Also by using a sketch book and not single sheets of paper. There is not the pressure to create a masterpiece. If I was to do the drawings on individual sheets, it would feel like they would then need to be for sale.

In addition, they feel more personal because they are in my sketchbook, and they are for my benefit.

I must mention, that when working on this study, I dug out one of my most favourite and useful reference books, An Atlas of Animal Anatomy for Artists If you are starting out with drawing animal subjects, especially horses, then this book is a MUST! (OK, that just my opinion).

Sketch book up date – The drawing

OK, enough of the chatting, here is my little Shetland Pony study.

Pencil drawing of a Shetland Pony by horse/equine artist Stuart Fowle.
A little study of a Shetland Pony in y sketch book.

New sketch book

There is something magical and also something daunting about starting a new sketch book.

So I got myself a couple of A5 Winsor & Newton heavy weight wire-o sketch books.

50 sheets of glorious 170gsm white paper. Large enough to do a decent drawing or study, but small enough to be able to carry around.

What did I decide to do as my first drawing? Also what was the goal of the drawing? Not all drawings need a goal, but this time I felt I had a goal to achieve.

I’ll be honest, I’ve not put pencil to paper for quite some time. So I wanted a little project that I could just play with rendering texture, hair and eyes, with no pressure to create a masterpiece.

It had to be a horse subject. I have lots of my own reference material taken over the previous years (this study is based on a photo I took at the Westpoint Equestrian Fair 2019).

While it was a little daunting to put pencil to paper. I was surprised at how quickly my method of drawing and rendering detail came back to me, and quite relieved at the same time!

Some technical notes. I used the grid method to sketch out the horses head. I use this when doing commissions or when I need to get the proportions correct.

Pencils used were a .05mm mechanical pencil, with a HB lead. Also used a 2B and 4B Staedtler Mars technico clutch pencils.

Erasers used included Staedtler eraser and Tombow erasers, plus some old blue-tak for lifting off graphite.

There is no blending used in the study. I’m not keen on doing too much blending with graphite. I feel that with smoother papers, it tends to not work so well.

Plus blending makes the graphite more permanent by ingraining it in to the paper. This then makes it harder to erase or lift out. I’m always going back and forth adding darks or making areas lighter as the drawing progresses.

Anyway, enough of the chit chat, lets see what I drew as my first study in my new sketch book (Note photos taken on an iPhone6, so not the greatest). Drawing size is 10x15cm.

Work in progress picture of my irst study in my new sketch book.
Work in progress. You can see the mechanical pencil, eraser, Tombow eraser and blue-tak.
Work in progress photo of horse head study in my new sketch book.
Work in progress. You can see the texture and detail starting to appear,
Horse head drawing finished, dated and signed. First drawing in my new sketch book.