"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Monday, February 17, 2014

Drawing Horses

So last night I figured out that some of you don't really come directly to my Blogger page; you read the blog from a reader program. So there's probably several of you that don't know I draw. Surprise! Why yes, I do. :) I come from a family of artists and art educators, and started drawing animals before I could talk. I actually have a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art, and I worked at the Museum of History, Anthropology and Art of PR as exhibit designer's assistant for 5 years, helping design exhibit catalogs, flyers, promos, and the museum exhibits themselves, before I moved to the continental US. It was my introduction to graphic design. Graphic design ended up being way too competitive when we moved to South FL and after almost a year of unsuccessfully searching for a job (the recession sure didn't help either), I switched careers to be a credentialed vet tech. You can read about how I started in one career and changed to the other here

Here's a look into my sketchbooks. Some of these are old, old drawings, but I figured you all would enjoy them. It's funny, some of these are over 15 years old and I can still remember the why, the what and the where of each one.

Colored pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 2004)
This drawing was completely from my imagination. Drawing people is not my strong suit; I won't do commissioned work of people.
Graphite pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 2003)
I think I used a photo of an ocelot as a loose reference for this one.

Pen on paper. (Notebook doodle 1998)
This is from a time before cell phones and the ability to photograph everything while it was happening. This was illustrating the first time I took my OTTB mare Maia into the river that ran through the valley behind the barn. She was a total water horse! A drawing from my imagination of an event that really happened.
Pencil on paper (Notebook doodle 1998)
From my imagination (duh lol)

Birds, you ask? Why yes, I can draw birds too.
Barn owls. Colored pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 1994)
This was an interesting composition: I used a series of barn owl photos for the three in the drawing. The background is from a before-dawn sky seen from home.
Pencil on paper (Tiny notebook doodle 1999)
From my imagination.

Colored pencil on paper (Sketchbook 1994)
The mountains are my favorite part of the PR central mountain range, La Cordillera. We were driving through the mountains on our way back home from an art workshop hosted by my mom and the aunts in Ponce, on the other side of the island. I was in the backseat, watching the colors change on the mountains with the setting sun. I made a quick sketch of the sky and mountains, assigning the correct colors for when I got home to my colored pencils and could actually color everything in. I threw in the pegasus for shits and giggles. :)
Similar concept as the previous drawing. Colored pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 1994)
The waterfalls are from a photo; they are in Iceland. Pegasi make everything more interesting. ;)
Pencil on paper (Sketchbook 1997)
Karen, I know you'll love this one. :) Also from my imagination.
Panther. Graphite pencil on paper (Sketchbook 1997)
Also from my imagination.
Sea lion. Colored pencil and marker on paper. (Sketchbook 1996)
Used a photo as a reference.

"The Water Jump."
Colored pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 2004)
Entirely from my imagination.
Graphite pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 1997)
Used a photo as a reference. Yes, I've always had a thing for everything Native American.

Graphite pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 1994)
Used a photo as a reference. That's me on Gypsy, an OTTB mare I used to ride in lessons, back when I was showing in Equitation over Fences. This was the big competition arena at El Centro Ecuestre.

Cougar. Colored pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 1997)
I used a photo as a reference for this one.
Graphite pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 1997)
2/3rds of this drawing are from a photo: the setting and the reflection in the water. The girl on the horse is an imaginary drawing of the 16-year-old me on Lucero, my Paso. (Yes, my hair was long at one point.) We are standing at the shore of the creek in San Antonio, TX, one of my favorite places as a kid, back before my parents' divorce. The little girl in the reflection is also myself, as a 7-year-old child.

Ink and white pencil on heavy beige paper. 2005
This was done as a quick sketch to promote my work back when we lived in Tampa. It is completely from my imagination, and one of my favorite sketches.  It's on my business cards.

Very quick, rough sketch of a kitty.
Graphite pencil on paper (Sketchbook 2004)
From my imagination.

Colored pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 1994)
The beach is from a photo, the horse is from my imagination.
"Lucero and me."
Graphite pencil on paper (Sketchbook 1997)
16-year-old me with Lucero, my Paso. (I cut all my hair that same year; I finished my junior year in high school with hair as short as a boy's. I was the first girl in my class to cut her hair that short! It started a trend.)
There are so many more drawings of Lucero than there are photos.
Of all the horses I've owned, he is the one that I have drawn the most.
This drawing was completely from my imagination.

I called this one "Reality."
Colored pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 1994)
I think this might have been from my imagination...what do you think? ;)
"Return to the Arena."
Graphite pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 1997)
Another moment that I drew because there were no photos. This was my second ride on Bailen, a huge OTTB who was one of the best school horses I ever rode. This was also my second lesson ever with Ron Howe, the trainer that would turn me into the rider I am today.
"My Dad."
Graphite pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 1994)
This is from an old, old photo. The photo was taken when I was somewhere between 2 and 3 years old, when we lived in the little cottage on my grandmother's property, the same cottage where my grandfather would live later when I was growing up. The dog in the photo is Hans. My dad loved Dobies and some of my first canine memories are of Hans and Gretel, the Dobie pair that would guard my crib at night, whom I crawled around on the floor on all fours with, and who were the stars of some of my earliest drawings. Hans would even let me ride around on his back.
Wolves. Colored pencil on paper. (Sketchbook 1994)
I love wolves.

Below is some of my very, very recent work. As in, last couple of weeks recent. My BO commissioned a huge project: she wants portraits of all of her horses, which are 13. These are some of the ones I've submitted so far.

Some of you might remember McTavish the Haflinger, whom Liz rode when she came to visit. :)
Angel, the Morab, whom I was exercising for awhile in late summer-early fall.
Roxy, a Paint Welsh Cob. She is boarded at a different barn.

Reminder: at 100 followers there will be a giveaway! A custom, hand-made portrait of your horse or any horse you love, done by me. :)


  1. Those are amazing! I wish my doodles looked half as good...or were even recognizable for what they looked like in my head. :P

  2. It would be easier to list the ones I didn't love . . . . being able to create art out of air is one of those things I absolutely can not do. I have no creative ability with music or images . . . I am enthralled by your ability.

    I have a poem I wrote that would almost fit with the White and Black unicorn picture you did. Maybe I will post it tonight.

    My spirit animal is the Red Tail Hawk. I have wished for wings . . . .

    1. I love Red Tail Hawks. It's the #1 bird of prey back on the island. On quiet summer days you could be standing outside and hear their cry while soaring way up high. I have always wished for wings.

      And I love your poem! I might have ability with images, but you have a very special gift with words. I always had such a hard time trying to create poetry; it's an ability that I greatly admire in those that have it!

  3. Wow! Those are amazing! What a talent :)

  4. WOW! These are fantastic, you have some incredible talent!

    PS - My last job involved quite a bit of museum exhibit development, and my current one does in cycles. It's a fun, zany process.

    1. Amanda I love that you're a historian and museum professional! That part of your bio totally caught my eye when I started reading your blog. :) Exhibit development was a million times more fun than I'd ever expected it to be. Loved the thought and creativity that goes into the process. It's something I would definitely go back to if I ever decided to leave the veterinary profession.

  5. You draw horses and people beautifully!

  6. Great work! I was really into art in high school and then quit entirely in college. Now it's really frustrating to try again because I'm so out of practice.

    1. I hear ya. I stopped while in tech school and then for the first few years as a vet tech; there was just no time between the barn and work. I'm still feel like I'm getting back into the groove of things.

  7. Dude, these are awesome! I'm so jealous of your ability. Love the jumping ones and the owls (of course!) and the eyes of the last three. I think you nailed it! And I think your people are great, they've got a little manga feel to them. :)

    1. Haha Thank you Beka! I always love seeing your snippets of creativity on your blog. :) My people were an interesting process- I didn't start drawing people until I was 10 years old, so I'd had a long head start with animals, and initially my people looked like little critters with short muzzles and big eyes. And then my brother got into anime and manga and I realized that that's exactly what my people look like...lol The similarities in style between my people and manga were completely not on purpose!

  8. Wow those Are great you are very talented. I use to draw alot as a child and teen but stopped. I was pretty good I should have continued but now can't draw worth beans- well horses I can still do okay, but not people! I think you could illustrate a children's book! I'm more of a writer than an illustrator. If I ever write my book maybe you can be my illustrator......;)

    1. If you ever do write it, I would LOVE to illustrate it for you!! :) When I went for the BFA, I originally wanted to be an illustrator, but that entire field had evolved so much by the time I graduated that it was just more practical to go into graphic design.

  9. Do you take commissions? I'd like to have one or both of my horses done!
    Mindy Walsh

  10. The Water Jump is my favorite!

    I used to draw quite a bit, but I haven't shared any drawings in years. This makes me want to dig through my old sketchbooks.

    Also, I read through BlogLovin, but I still come directly to your page when I do :)

  11. Wow! You are so talented! I love all of these!