How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

In this tutorial I will show you how to draw a realistic horse step by step, without any reference. You’ll learn how to build its body out of simple shapes, and how to add all the details. And most importantly, I will show you how to achieve the right proportions for a horse’s body.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

1. How to Draw a Horse’s Body

Step 1

Draw an oval for the chest. Sketch it lightly, without pressing too hard. This is supposed to be a sketch, not a part of the final picture.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 2

Draw a big, fat “6” in front of the chest. This will be the shoulder area.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 3

Gently sketch some space behind the chest to define the “waist”—the gap between the chest and hips. It’s very small in horses.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 4

Draw an even fatter, reversed “6” to create the thickness of a thigh at once.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 5

Draw a circle on top to define the edge of the hip.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 6

Connect both parts with a curve.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 7

Outline the belly now.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 8

The main body is done! Let’s add the head. Draw another curve for the neck. Make it slightly shorter than the curve of the back.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 9

Connect the curve to the body with a straight line. Leave some space right at the tip.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 10

Draw the curve of the head. Make it roughly as long as the shoulder.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 11

Build the main shape of the head with a teardrop and a circle.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 12

Close the shape of the head.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 13

Finish the curve of the neck.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

2. How to Draw a Horse’s Legs

Step 1

First we need to find the distance to the ground. The safest way is to use the height of the chest + some space for the hooves.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 2

Sketch the direction of the foreleg.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 3

Mark the middle of the leg.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 4

Draw the hind legs. The ankles should be placed slightly higher than the wrists.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 5

Draw symbolic hooves.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 6

Attach a circle to each hoof. This will give a shape to the joint.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 7

Add definition to the other joints as well.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 8

Create a basic shape of the forearms and the calves (that’s right—the elbow and the knee are higher than you would expect!).

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 9

Add more details to the shape of the calves.

How to Draw a Horse Step by StepHow to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 10

Outline the “hands” and “feet”.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

3. How to Draw a Horse’s Head

Step 1

Time for the details of the head. Start with a slim ear.

How to Draw a Horse Step by StepHow to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 2

Draw a line between the ear and the tip of the mouth.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 3

Draw the base of the eye socket.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 4

Draw a big circle in its lower area.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 5

Draw a smaller circle inside.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 6

Draw the nose on top of the muzzle.

How to Draw a Horse Step by StepHow to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 7

Draw the mouth in the lower part of the muzzle.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 8

Add the lips and the chin.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 9

There are some interesting muscles between the mouth and the cheek. Draw them as an oval.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 10

Draw some more “muscles” between the nose and the eye.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 11

There’s a bony protrusion over the cheek—a very important element of a horse’s head.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 12

Finish the shape of the eye.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 13

Add more detail here and there.

How to Draw a Horse Step by StepHow to Draw a Horse Step by Step

4. How to Draw the Details of the Horse’s Body

Step 1

Draw some small ovals where the elbows and knees should be.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 2

The forearm “cuts” very visibly into the arm/shoulder area, and the thigh has a gentle curve on top.

How to Draw a Horse Step by StepHow to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 3

To make both limbs look muscular, we need to add special outlines of the muscles. Start with the big elements…

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

… and slowly add more detail.

How to Draw a Horse Step by StepHow to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 4

The torso has special details as well.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 5

Draw the shoulder.

How to Draw a Horse Step by StepHow to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 6

The neck has many complicated muscles, but we can simplify it:

How to Draw a Horse Step by StepHow to Draw a Horse Step by StepHow to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 7

Finally, add the tail. It’s not as long as you might expect!

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

5. How to Draw Details of the Horse’s Legs

Step 1

Cut the lower part of the hooves with a slanting line.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 2

Cut the back of the hooves to give them a more accurate shape.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 3

Add a “cap” to each hoof.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 4

Connect the hooves to the joint with some curves—deeper in the back and gentler in the front.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 5

The lower parts of the legs are very bony, with no muscles. So they should have a very clear shape.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 6

Add some muscles to the forearm area.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 7

Add muscles to the calves, too.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 8

Make the joints bonier.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 9

Draw the little hollow under the Achilles tendon.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 10

Add more details to the lower legs.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

6. How to Finish the Drawing of a Horse

Step 1

The sketch is done, and we can draw the final drawing now. If you were drawing lightly enough, you should be able to draw the final lines over it. If not, you can either draw the final lines with a thicker, darker tool, or put a new sheet of paper over the sketch.

Let’s draw the hair first, in case it covers some details. Sketch its direction gently.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 2

The outline of the mane and tail should have the shape of rough strands, not single hairs.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 3

Finish the hair with the technique described here:

  • How to Draw a Horse Step by Step
    Portrait
    How to Draw Hair Step by Step
    Monika Zagrobelna

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 4

Outline the details of the head. You don’t need to outline every “muscle”—just make a suggestion that something’s there.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 5

Outline the whole body. Keep the outline of the muscles “open”—they’re not separate objects, they’re covered with skin!

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Step 6

Finish the drawing by making some of the lines darker and “coloring” the dark parts.

How to Draw a Horse Step by Step

Good Job!

Now you know how to draw a horse step by step! If you want to learn more about drawing horses, don’t forget to check out our huge tutorial on them—with advanced anatomy and detailed description of all the gaits:

  • How to Draw a Horse Step by Step
    Drawing
    How to Draw Animals: Horses, Their Anatomy and Poses
    Monika Zagrobelna

And if you want to draw a magical unicorn, you’ll love this tutorial:

  • How to Draw a Horse Step by Step
    Fantasy
    How to Draw a Unicorn Step by Step
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How to Draw a Horse Step by Step