By Jen Ferguson
Horses are one of the most magnificent and difficult creatures on earth for an artist to draw. Their proportions and the combination of their features come together in an almost otherworldly way and capturing this is almost impossible. Maybe it has something to do with how the curves created by their skeleton (the round of the cheek, the arch of the neck, the gentle sine curve in the backbone, the subtle upward twist of the ear) compliment the linear angles of the canon bone, nose, lower hooves, and forearm.
The horse is graceful at rest but especially in motion, when it takes on the characteristics of a bird in flight, with every aspect of its physiology working together to achieve perfect balance. The complex hinging mechanism of the hoof, pastern and fetlock is one of the most difficult things to draw; even observed and reproduced perfectly on a two dimensional surface, it doesn’t seem like it could possibly work until you see it in three dimensions. And, even then, it seems miraculous. Perhaps that is why when a horse passes by, most people have a hard time taking their eyes off it. This makes it a most suitable challenge for any artist worth his or her salt.
Be sure to swing by the opening of Jen Ferguson’s “Delerium Imaginarium” this Friday [June 22nd] at Brooklyn Oenology.