How To Draw Horse Head

To draw horse head traditionally belongs among the most popular animal related themes.

Horse head looks deceptively simple.

In fact it is, but it requires a little delicate and careful shading.

I will show you a very simple process.

You’ll understand that to capture a “so-so” accurate basic sketch of a horse head is not as difficult as you may have imagined before.

Whether you draw from a photo, or a live animal, whatever works for you is OK, but please observe carefully first every possible detail.

It is important to draw horse head in your mind, first.

I purposely put more steps than necessary in order to make clear how the coloring and shading develops.

Please make your drawing better than mine!

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Before you begin to draw horse head, first only in your mind, draw the imaginary contours of the head.

It should look something like this “potato” or “noodle”.

By capturing this first basic outline as accurately as possible, your remaining work is going to be very easy.

From now on you’ll proceed pretty fast because you already got right the most important basic head proportion.

click the image to enlarge

Draw the ears and outline the nostrils and the eyes. Do not hurry here, rather slowly but precisely is the best way.

click the image to enlarge

Sketch the rest of the visible part of horse’s body. Outline the upper rail of the wooden round log horse fence and the head gear.

The idea to draw horse head with part of the fence simply looks more natural.

click the image to enlarge

Outline the approximate details on the headgear. A well sharpened pencil will be very helpful here.

click the image to enlarge

Refine the basic outline contours. Correct where you feel necessary, so that you’ll get a perfect horse head template you can use anytime later if necessary.

By light brown color pencil, outline - in one single line - the horse head as you see on the picture.

Erase the initial graphite pencil “noise” so that you’ll get a single clear contour.

I recommend using a kneaded eraser instead of common plastic eraser.

Using kneaded eraser, no friction occurs between the paper and eraser because you erase by touching – stamping the paper by eraser.

If you do not have kneaded eraser handy, you can of course use and ordinary plastic eraser but get one as soon as possible. It really helps a lot.

Color the head and the rest of the body in one single flat color. No shading yet.

click the image to enlarge


Continue to draw horse head as you see on the picture, using the same light brown color pencil.

Observe well the original object (photo, picture or a live animal). Notice where the color is dark brown – almost looks like black (inner part of the ears).

If you did not capture well the shape of the muzzle (the area of nose and lips), do it now.

Leave the head-gear blank. Coloring the head gear will be one of the last steps.

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Take a dark brown color pencil and start to shade the darker parts on the head.

You’ll also need black pencil from now on.

Do not use graphite pencil to darken the drawing.

Graphite shines and will destroy color pencil drawing if mixed.

If possible, always make the pencil strokes in the direction of fur growth. It will look three dimensional and more realistic.

When you draw horse head, always make a basic flat coloring (light brown) first on which you will further develop (shade) other darker color tones.

Doing so, you’ll have a control over the shading process. You’ll be able to easily notice errors and correct them in time.

click the image to enlarge

Add – shade - further the darker parts. Especially the muzzle, nostrils and the inner area of the ears.

click the image to enlarge

I know, each step may look like a lot of work. It is. I intentionally upload this picture too, so that you can see even better how the shading develops in small steps.

If you draw horse head, and you really want to be satisfied with your work, it is good if you take your time and work out the minimum necessary details.

click the image to enlarge

The moment of truth. Let’s color the eyes. You’ll need a dark blue and a black color pencil.

If you are not sure, please practice first on a separate paper. By coloring the eyes your horse instantly gets a face expression. It is as if you give it a life.

Before you begin, sharpen your pencils (black and blue). You’ll have better control over the eye drawing if your pencil is sharper.

The blue color in the eyes is very weak almost invisible.

click the image to enlarge

Now you can begin to add color to the head gear. Chose whatever color you like, but chose different color tone than color of the head itself.

You may ask “when I draw horse head, do I need to draw this head gear?”. The answer is: “no”. It is an option.

You may erase it completely and draw the picture without it. You can still erase it if you do not feel like to draw it.

Add a basic light brown color to the horse fence.

click the image to enlarge

Work out the wooden surface of the upper rail on horse fence and add the shade.

Here, you can draw a landscape behind the horse or simply leaving the drawing as it is.

The reason I did not draw anything behind the animal is that the shape of the horse head is better visible on the white background, so that you can draw horse head better and draw it quickly.

I encourage you to add some landscape behind, even the simple grass and blue sky would make all the difference.

And remember, always make your drawing better than mine ;-)

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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I love Horses  
I think the horse picture above was very nicely draw. I think I would have done poorly if I had to draw a horse. This is a very nice website to go on, …

really great drawing. I started off so well until I came to the shading part. it screwed me up bad. didn't work out good for me. going to have to find …

a real eyes's horse! 
i really appreciate your generosity..i think you've helped a lot beginners with step by step tutorials..thanks

I think this is a awesome site to go to for any art help or questions. Ilove how you and others talk about tips and tricks while drawing. I love the variety …

a really pretty horse

horse head 
this the best drawing web page for bigners just li me

this pic is good it really helps the learner to imp his skills

Very helpful 
I have been wanting to draw a horse for ages and all the websites were rubbish. Finally I found your website and gess what I can draw a horse now! Thanks …

OMG!!!! That is amazing, I dont no how mine cud be any better.

Horses are so cute  
How to draw a horse is so fun and cool. Horses are my favorite animals.

WOW! I made a horse mask with this, and it's great! Thanks to you!

thanks it is so easy the way you put it

Great and EASY!!! 
my turned out really good i added some hair and a tail though.

That you put this up! It was really helpful! I was drawing it and it turned out great! Love horses and this website! Favorite drawing web!

Great Drawing!:) 
Hi! I love your drawing! Absolutely amazing x I tried it and it turned out well impressive!:) thanks for putting it up online! I've been looking everywhere …

This was really helpful!! It helped me get an outline to draw other horses as well as this one :) I'm really glad I found this site!!

Hello horse 
That was awesome! It really helped with my project! Thank you!

great guide,thanks

i love it!

This is amazing! I tried drawing it and it turned out but not as amazingly drawn as you. Your an amazing artist , Keep ur the good work

very cool 
very cool!!!!!!!! love it.

you wanna challange??? 

More drawings of horses 
I think you need more drawings of horses.

Weird Eyes... 
I think the eyes on this horse look weird...

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A good lesson. 
This really helped me. I love horses and intend to draw realistic ones, and this guide really helps.

it looks good it might be quite difficult to draw though

i dont like the picture it isnt very realistic sorry

My Horse Head 
Thank you for putting this up online. It really helped me draw a realistic horse head. I will recommend this site to all my friends.

I love this drawing, and for a starter, I think that I had done well, thanks to your great description. Thank you very much! You inspired me.

good great

What a cool drawing! 
I'm not sure anyone can do better than yours! 

i wish i could draw that 
I think it was amazing and i wish that i could draw that.

way awesome!!!! 
this is really good! please make a tutorial on how to draw a wild horse i would really like to know how!

i think that is amazing! you did a wonderful job, complicated, but wonderful. i tried drawing it. it turned out....different.... oopseys? hehe :D

i love it 
what i think is that i love it i really love drawing i draw animals,people

too complecated 
this is a very complicated website and not everyone can do thees same steps so ya try to make it a little less complicated

great thanks 
Thanks this is great i wanted something to draw for the texaco art competition and i wanted to draw a horse but i'm not very good at them but this really …

lovely horse 
This was amazing! It seems to be so hard to draw but all these steps really help! Thank you for such incredible drawing!

This is great I love it, it helped me on my book report.

Cool its really good how old are you im 9 im really good to but your way better good job! sorry about my bad spelling.

horse :) 
This drawing is pretty realistic but the eyes need to bee bigger and dow lower. ;) over it is very good though :D

Hi, I really like this website that you made and discovered it when I had to draw a lotus flower for my chinese dynasty banner in class. I've used a lot …

horses are the best xx 
this website is so good i came on this because i love horse's and i love this website its good and fantastic i think this website is the best just like …

the best drawings ever 
that was so helpful thanks, i wanted to learn how to draw horses and now i finally know how! well, only if i remember how.

Builders of America 
I think that horses are the builders of America. they have been on the land longer than any of us. Drawing this with your step by step program was awesome. …

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