I have always loved to draw. My Mum is a very artistic person and has tried just about every Art Medium there is (more about that elsewhere) so from a young age I was able to observe her drawing with pencils, pastels (oil and chalk) and Conte´ Crayon. I expect I was heavily influenced by her but she didn’t draw horses so when I discovered Horse Novels and the line drawings that were included I spent just as much time looking at the pictures as I did reading the books.
The very first Horse book I recall reading was called “Wish for a Pony” by Monica Edwards. The main character in the book was Tamzin Grey. The first page of the book begins with Tamzin drawing pictures for her little brother Diccon on a chalk board. Diccon always wants pictures of trains but Tamzin loves to draw horses. I love the way she manages to incorporate her ‘love’ into a drawing for her brother!
Although this is not a ‘drawing’ of a horse I know ‘what’ she is drawing. It is the train with the horse-boxes and the horses ‘rashly looking out of their windows’ so to me it is an important image. Tamzin reminds me of me at that age (and younger) as I often wore my hair in two plaits. There are many more drawings in the Novel all drawn by Anne Bullen some of which I’d like to show here.
More to add yet……aren’t they wonderful drawings?
The next drawing is one of my favourite ones!
Plus I wished I could ride like Tamzin does…the illusive “collected canter”!
But you are waiting to see my attempts at drawing aren’t you?……
I am getting to that….
One more lovely drawing….
This is the moment a “wish” comes true for Tamzin and she now has her very own horse called Cascade! I had the same “Wish for a Pony” wish and while I was waiting part of my time was consumed with drawing horses.
My early attempts at drawing horses were rather hesitant & I can see the errors when I look back on them.
The Sun Herald Newspaper had a Children’s section & the encouraged kids to send in their drawings. I thought that this might be a fun idea plus maybe I would win a cash prize! Mainly I was curious to see how my drawings would look when printed in the paper. Over a few years I tried several different techniques including an ink wash method. The final drawing is rather stylized and a bit ‘dreamy’ even a little sappy. I didn’t send any more drawings to the Newspaper as I had become a bit self conscious at the age of 16!
My prize money was put towards buying publications that featured good horse photos, such as “Arabian Horse News”, “Arabian Stallions & Studs” & “Horse & Rider” magazine. I studied horses from every angle and also referred to my ‘How to Draw Horses’ books. They are quite tattered from much use!
I enjoyed drawing Arabian horses the most. Here as a few of my favourite ones.
I also did some experimenting with Oil Pastels. Sorry that the image quality is fairly poor but I only had a few old photos as keepsakes. Most of my drawings I no longer have as they have either been given as gifts or sold to earn money to buy more books or Art Supplies.
As you can see from the Photo above I tried my hand at Still Life also. I was quite happy with how it turned out!
As you may have noticed by now I am an “Imitator”! I use a photograph as the inspiration and create a version of it that is my own ‘interpretation’ or “Imitation”. For me to say I was an “Interpreter” would be a little misleading so I prefer to use the word ‘Imitation’. I guess you could say I am a ‘Copycat’…..to be realistic I feel the need to have an image as a reference to make sure that I am accurate.
The Drawing above was a gift to a dear friend of mine as an encouragement on his birthday.
I find it odd that the drawings that I like the most were created as gifts for friends or just because I felt like drawing them. I was required to do a lot of drawing during this period of time as a part of the Bachelor of Education (Art) course that I was studying. I don’t have a problem with learning new techniques or styles but I was a little puzzled as to why the ‘style’ the lecturer preferred was considered to be better and thus was given more marks when it was assessment time. Why should anyone be required to fit the mold chosen by someone else. Shouldn’t we be free to develop our own style? Below is the drawing that made me think this way. We were all required to draw legs and a scene behind the legs and an example of the ‘style’ required by the lecturer was shown to us before we started. So I copied it and so did the rest of the class (with varied results). The lecturer ‘liked’ my imitation of his drawing but still insisted that I needed “clouds” so he drew them for me, “better” he said & smiled. But I felt like rubbing them out! What was wrong with the way I was drawing in the first place?
I prefer the next drawing to the one above, even though it is still a modified version of my usual drawing style.
At College we were also required to do Life Drawing and timed sketches of people. The time limit set varied from 10 seconds; 30 seconds to 1 minute; 2 minutes; 5 minutes and 10 minute sketches. I don’t recall how many minutes these particular ones took but I suspect that they were some of the ‘quick’ ones.
The next sketches were done at home for ‘homework’. They are of two friends who’d come for a visit that evening plus two sketches of one of my housemates. These were 5 minute/10 minute sketches.
At College we had “Life Drawing” classes. Below is the only sketch that I kept!
Whenever I had opportunity to go home during College Holiday breaks I did. This usually resulted in more drawings such as theses of an old stump, a large rock in the bush behind our house; our pet goat Billy and a drawing of my sister doing a drawing of her own.
Next I have a few random drawings also done as a part of College work. I quite like these ones especially the Architectural one which was part of one of the Education subjects. It is interesting to note that the ‘Art Lecturers’ often saw the ‘Art Education Lecturers’ as being somewhat ‘inferior’ as it was assumed that they weren’t able to be ‘artists’ in their own right so therefore they taught ‘how to teach art’ instead. Generally I preferred the ‘Art Education’ lecturers over the ‘Art Lecturers’ as they allowed me more freedom in the sense I could draw in a realistic and detailed manner if I wished to do so! So these are drawings from “Art Education” Unit Courses.
I have never been as comfortable drawing people as I have animals. The photo (below) was taken of two of my Australian Born Chinese friends (also sisters). Not many people have seen these drawings and I can’t recall if I actually sent them a copy or not!
On the subject of drawing animals and other creatures here’s an oil pastel drawing of some seals that turned out quite well. Followed by a pen and water colour wash image of a Hawk. I really enjoyed the feathers!
When I was looking through my old photos and display folders I was constantly amazed with what I was seeing. “Did I really draw those?” I would think to myself. I have never been one to ‘pat myself on the back’ I am far to self critical for that….but isn’t it nice to look back and feel that you have done a good job with something? I can still see the errors in everything I draw and sometimes wish I could correct them but in reality I am ‘happy’ with my efforts and that’s a good thing…….especially when you have ‘perfectionist’ tendencies!
I still prefer the drawings that I did ‘for fun’ or as gifts over any of the ones that I drew during my course. Maybe it has more to do with the lack of interesting subject matter. Living in an urban area didn’t provide me with the sorts of ‘subject matter’ that I found interesting and as a result my ‘passion’ for drawing waned.
In the early 2000’s I discovered Water Colour pencils (BTW definitely not a teenager any more by then) & I really enjoyed using them. So just to finish off this section (for now, who knows I may just add some more images) I’d like to add a more recent drawing. It was created in 2005 as an engagement gift from me to my then fiance’ (later to be my 2nd husband). It has special significance for several reasons. Firstly he has almost the full collection of “Silver Brumby” books written by Elyne Mitchell and has an interest in horses in general. The Silver Brumby series were also part of the list of my favourite horse books! Secondly he had lived and worked in the Jindabyne area of the Snowy Mountains, where the books were ‘set’ and had seen the Ramshead range and other places described in the books! Again ‘Inspiration’ came from photographs!