Dala Horse and the Gray Mare
|Gray Mare with Blue Dala Foal|
Between projects in my college art classes, drawing pictures for ladies in my prayer group, and using color pencils just for fun, I acquired a fair amount of experience fairly quickly when it came to drawing wildflowers. You can mess up a flower petal and it can still look realistically like the flower you're trying to portray--there's something about flowers that unless one grossly messes up, people don't often notice the mistakes.
Animals, however, are a different story. Especially animals that people know and love. When you mess up a leg or the nose or the eyes, people notice. And the more beloved the animal, the harder it is to look realistic; kittens and puppies still intimidate me, because they come with so many expectations.
Horses are another animal that you have to get just right. Just about anyone can sketch a drawing that is recognizable as a horse, even out of stick figures. But transforming it from a sketch of a horse to a realistic horse? It is an intimidating prospect. Which is why, the first time I drew a horse, I deliberately avoided faces, the hardest part to get right.
This was a big learning project for me--not only figuring out how to draw horses, but grass. Turns out you can't just use one stick of green and make it look grassy--it just becomes a solid green background with no texture whatsoever (unless there's a lot of white paper showing through). So to make texture you need multiple shades of green, yellow, sometimes a little tan, and purple. Yep, purple. It's perfect for darkening greens and making shadows without being too dark, like black tends to be.