I have been passionate about horses and ponies pretty much since birth. My auntie was an avid rider, and when I was little I dreamed of being like her and competing on horses.
For many years, I couldn’t ride simply because it is an enormously expensive hobby, but in the last 6 months or so I have finally gotten into it again, after over 10 years out of the saddle.
Riding itself gives me such a buzz, and after my first lesson after Christmas this week I knew that for my next project (a picture book) I wanted it to be inspired by horses. I am, of course, fascinated by the myths and legends of Scotland, so I fell pretty quickly upon the idea of a story about a kelpie (a type of Scottish water demon).
Horses are notoriously difficult to portray well, so after I finished my lesson on Monday I watched the advanced riders in theirs. Drawing stationary horses I have no trouble with, but I struggle with horses in motion, so watching the advanced riders was a perfect opportunity to observe how the horses moved, and to see the horses’ expressions during the lesson. Next week I intend to do more life drawing of the horses, as well as possibly take some photos so I have a clearer record of their bodies than my speed sketches.
Images from Monday’s drawing session can be seen here: https://erinbarkerart.co.uk/sketchbook-work/