View Full Version : Horse Anatomy... need help!!!

05-13-2003, 06:27 AM
Horse anatomy project

I'm really stuck on an art project i'm doing at the moment and I desperately need help, I'm drawing a battle scene as a study of horse anatomy, using both digital drawing and regular drawing techniques, I have included several horses in various positions, I'm not very good with horse anatomy but I need to add realistic muscles, bones, veins, etc to the horses to add greater realism.
I want to really exagerate the muscles so they appear particularly powerful, but still be anatomically correct.
I've posted images of some of the horses I'm working on at the moment, I have had a go at adding muscles etc to horse (1) myself, but they look completely wrong, I'm also having trouble making the horses feet look right.

Is there anybody with any knowledge of horse anatomy that can also draw that could illustrate the muscles etc as they would appear given the lighting directions I've chosen?
If you can please draw over the top of my images to illustrate, help me pleaseeeeeeee i'm really struggling with this.

05-13-2003, 06:32 AM
For some reason my images don't show I'll try again, I think maybe they were too big or something

05-13-2003, 11:13 AM
Your pictures can't be any bigger than 500 pixels in width, and probably shouldn't be bigger than about 20 kb so that they upload quickly for people who are using slow connections...I'm not sure where the info is on that...try clicking on the f.a.q. link at the top of the page. :)

If you use the uploader, rather than attaching an image, you need to paste the IMG url info /IMG (but in brackets!!) in the body of your message so we can see the images.

Hope this helps a little!


05-13-2003, 12:12 PM
fingers crossed

05-13-2003, 12:14 PM

05-13-2003, 12:20 PM

05-13-2003, 12:22 PM

05-13-2003, 12:25 PM

05-13-2003, 12:27 PM

05-13-2003, 12:29 PM
I think thats all of them,

I'll look forward to any helpful replies

05-13-2003, 01:49 PM
this project is ambitious, to say the least! are these your drawings, or photos that you intend to use? some of them are difficult to make out. if these are your drawings, the shading on most is the exact opposite you'd want given the light sources you've drawn. also, the positions of some of the horses would be challenging for an experienced horseperson, much less someone who's learning the anatomy! that said, i'm more than happy to help:p . for buff horses look up pictures of quarter horses. to understand the underlying structures, invest in a good anatomy book. i find these invaluable! for lighting, it might help if you have a model horse, like a breyer. sit in a dark room with a single, bright light shining on it from the angle you want. observe, and draw!

05-14-2003, 07:15 AM
I agree about the breyer horses. Thatīs a great was to start. Another good source would be magazines or books covering dressage. Dressage horses are the the ballerinas of equines; their muscles are a bit longer and leaner than most quarter horses, but are definitely noticable when woked; that said, i have seen a lot of quarter horses do some pretty mean dressage. Try magazines like practical horsemen or books on lippizaners or andalucians, and go for the darker colored hoses (more contrasts than a white coat). These things should be at your local library. Breyer horses are still a great bet, though.

05-14-2003, 07:55 AM
I agree, the light source is backwords for the shading that you have here.

I think something that would help would be to have a shrunken image of everything together that way we can see the layout of your piece, and where the light is in refrnece to all your figures....

05-14-2003, 09:16 AM
Here's another good source to go to. equineartguild.com (http://www.equineartguild.com/index-2.html) It's an on-line art gallery of horse artists. This should help you in your project.

05-14-2003, 01:54 PM
thanks for the helpful info

what do you think of this? do the muscles look right?

05-14-2003, 04:54 PM
gah! i had typed out an involved message of what i changed on my redline and why, and as i hit post, my computer spazzed and kicked me off. so here's my redline, i'll post another message right after desribing things.

05-14-2003, 05:00 PM
okay, here's what i did:
1) i drew in some of the major muscle groups of the hindquarters. i will scan in some diagrams from one of my anatomy books later for a better referance
2)the main muscle group between the stifle and hock lies to the front of the leg, not to the back as you have drawn
3)i changed the angle of the other back leg to try to fit it to the horse better
4)due to foreshortening, the hindquarters are visible over the body, and the body over the shoulder
5)watch your leg lengths and proportions. the cannon bone on the front right leg is very short, ad te left foreleg is very tiny in comparison to the others
6)he needs a head!!!
hope that helps some!
any comments on my critique are more than welcome, as i am far from perfect and would love to learn how to better help others!

05-15-2003, 02:56 AM
thats really great thanks alot, i'm going to study your diagram closer and come back later with a new version of my muscle diagram based on yours for your critique. I'm learning a great deal.

05-15-2003, 05:13 AM
ok here's my second attempt, please be very critical I want this to be very accurate.

If possible I'd like to keep the left foreleg much smaller to create a greater sence of perspective, which is why I have made the rear legs so much larger in proportion.

Please adjust as before any problem areas you can pick out with my image, adjusting any of the muscles as necessary.

I really appreciate your imput, already I can see major improvement from my first attempt. :)

05-15-2003, 03:42 PM
looks better! i understand about shortening the leg to imply distance. just make sure both the legs match in length-this means you'll have to shorten the right foreleg. the cannon (lower leg) is still too small compared to the upper leg, and the head you've drawn in is also small. once you've got the cannon bone adjusted, a good rule of thumb is that the head is as long as the cannon. you've attached the neck really well!
here are some diagrams from my anatomy book, "the anatomy of the horse" by Way and Lee. images are C. them.
whole horse:
front leg:
stifle to hock:
good luck!

05-17-2003, 06:21 PM
I'd like to know the opinion of other horse artists on whether the muscles look right to them too, also have I formed the muscles correctly given the lighting angle?.

I'd like to start work on one of the horses' heads now, I'm really bad with heads, you can see my first attempt here, I need all the help I can to get the muscle structure right with this.
With this head I want to convey the emotion of great pain, anxiety etc of a horse being killed in battle, I need to know how these emotions would show themselves within the horses features, the opened mouth is proving particularly difficult.

05-28-2003, 07:42 AM
can anyone help me with this please?

05-28-2003, 09:59 AM
The mouth is too long, and a bit too open.
I do not have much time today but later I will take it inot photoshop and give it a go.

05-30-2003, 12:23 AM
OK so I suck big time at doing any thing in photoshop. So I did the next best thing.
Grabbed a couple of models off the shelf.

Credit where credit is due first.
The first one is sculpted my Sarah Rose. It is a drafter but the only one I have with a open mouth.

The second one is a Breyer Sculpted by Kathleen Moody.




One thing I did not realize just looking at your sketch is that for a horse to be in this pose he needs to be falling. Which go's with what you are doing. For some reason I thought he was already on the ground?

Hope this helps.

05-31-2003, 08:24 AM
thanks alot for those ironhorse. The horse has fallen and on the ground. I want the mouth to be open as much as possible, i don't really know what this would look like exactly, what i have done is just my idea of how it might look, it's probably completely wrong but i'd like it to be like this as much as possibly can.
Can you or anybody draw ontop of my image and correct it how it needs to be, that wuld really be a great help.