Horse by Dani Collins

Horse by Dani Collins


Today’s critique comes from a graphite drawing of a horse by 14 year old artist Dani Collins. The thing I like most about this piece is that he really got his dark shaded dark. That alone is something I’ve seen professional artists afraid to do and their work suffers for it.

draw loose circles and lines of where you want your subject to be situated on the page or canvas.

draw loose circles and lines of where you want your subject to be situated on the page or canvas.

Looking at things we can adjust to improve even more on this piece, first it feels as though the size of certain parts of the horse were drawn wrong just to fit them onto the page. The ears for example just barely fit into the paper and are far too small. It would be better to draw the ears the correct size and let them extend off the page than to change their size to make them fit. I often see young artists start drawing in the detail of their piece far too early. If they start with an eye and work around it, chances are they are the subject will end up too large, too small, or too far to one side or another in the page.



Next, connect those circles and lines. Erase the extra portions of the lines you do not need, start adding in things like where the eyes, nose, mouth and ears will go.

Next, connect those circles and lines. Erase the extra portions of the lines you do not need, start adding in things like where the eyes, nose, mouth and ears will go.


Start off by drawing in loose circles of approximately where you’re going to want things like the top of the head and the tip of the muzzle to go.
As you can see, this makes it much easier now to go back in and add additional outlines on the horse. Then perfect the outline of the subject before you move onto the inside detail. Now you can add in the eyes, nose, ears etc.

Last is the finer detail once the outline is blocked in.

Last is the finer detail once the outline is blocked in.

This allows for your subject to be overall far more accurate in the end.

This allows for your subject to be overall far more accurate in the end.

Once those areas are blocked in, you can build the real details of the horse, all while having more control than had you started with inner details of the subject.

The next thing that stands out to me is that the mane is drawn out with individual stringy strands. When looking at hair on either people or animals, notice that you do not actually see each individual strand. Drawing them in makes the hair appear to be wiry. Instead we see hair as clumps, shadows and highlights. Notice in this drawing, even here where the hair is long and wavy, the hair is grouped together in clumps, not individual strands.

notice how the hair even here is clumped together.

notice how the hair even here is clumped together.

Here is the full video critique for this horse drawn in graphite 🙂