Howlinghorse -- sketches/wips


hullo :smiley: I’m trying to improve my human art recently as I’m 16 and it wasn’t until last year I started drawing humans… I was happy with horse drawing after horse drawing and then suddenly I realised I had never tried to paint a skin tone. Aaaaand now I’m on a learning curve and I love critique - savage, mean, harsh, fair, or friendly critique, I care not - but above all constructive critique as that is the point after all!

Anyway I’m glad I found this forum, I haven’t posted much but everyone’s so helpful and there is SO much talent. And I don’t want to just improve with portraits and figures but with everything. And I find that talking to people about drawings is a great way to learn, and getting fresh viewpoints on pieces is so motivating! But enough of the long winded intro which makes not much sense as …well, I never make much sense because I babble too much… so er anyway. onwards!

So to start… I drew this today for the daily sketch forum, topic of “First Love” - hands, my arch nemesises. (I have photoshop and a wacom tablet)


First of all, Hello there HH :slight_smile: Seen your stuff in the DSG lately :slight_smile:

Nice to see another wildly enthusiastic person here, this place could use more of us crazy gals. I’m twice your age and I still find myself giddy about life :slight_smile: It’s a good place to be.

Regarding your hands here, there really quite good. I’m not sure if you used a reference but the only issue I really see is the hand in the back – there is a couple things about the fingers that make it hard to read (but that is only becuase I’m inspecting it to crit it — actually, upon first ‘glance’ it looks just fine)

As far as practicing anatomy, I don’t know if you have found the Anatomy Forum yet, but it’s a wonderful place to start :slight_smile:

Nice to see your WIP thread here!


This would be my current project…I’m a fan of the colour scheme but I am having a lot of trouble with her dress. I have some things in mind for the drawing, but I really do need to hear a few opinions round about now, heh.


Hulloo LM!
I think you’re right - at second look, some of the fingers seem wildly weirdly sized, maybe thats what’s causing the difficulty. I think I’ll have to remember to check that the fingertips are the same size in future.
I had a reference photo from a magazine, but it was rather small…I suppose what I could do is practice drawing from some large pictures of hands, and figure out how to make them more detailed/realistic that way.

Ahh an anatomy forum? Whoaoa, I must go and look, thank you for the link!


Hi! I looked at this earlier too but I couldn’t see the first image and I thought I’d wait till I could.
I saw your sketch in the DSG too, and really liked it. I like the whole painterly feeling you have going there.
The second image is quite pretty too, nice yellows. I’d suggest adding a few folds to what she’s wearing. Are you doing this from a reference? Her arms looks a tad short too. Nice overall though :slight_smile:


Hi hiiri, thank you for replying!
I did reference the original sketch from a photograph, I’ve just trawled through my documents and can’t find the reference I used, but if I find it again I’ll post it. Folds sounds like a good idea…so all I have to do is try and come up with a believable place for them to be. My inexperienced eyes can’t tell if the arms are too short or not, I wonder if I could experiment with them and see what looks best.

Here is a close up of her head…I’m going to try and work on it more tomorrow


Ahh, I just love drawing artists at the same time as listening to their music. This is Anthony Kiedis, the Chilis are so brilliant! Drawn during the songs Hump De Bump, Snow (Hey Oh) and Storm In A Teacup so… let me just do the maths… about 12 minutes.


You did that in 12 minutes?!?:eek: Bloody awesome!
Regarding folds in the fabric. They would most certainly show up on her left side where her body bends in a concave shape, don’t think a paintover would be necessary to show this. I actually like the profile of the face.
Very nice work, keep it up!


thank-you pap! Folds are difficult for me, I’m going to tackle it when I have a spare moment though.

This is going to be a commission of someone’s cat… this being the Concept Sketch stage. I don’t know if I like the arrangement though. Does it look catty to you?


what will be in the top right corner? I think this will work if there is “empty space” with good texture and that isn’t bounded by the frame, like the wood of a floor (new or old), or a large rug that stretches out both the top and right edges, or somesuch.

edit: I foolishly forgot to say, the figures look superb, no problems at all looking catty :slight_smile:


Thank you for your comment Grondhammar! I think I’m going to use paving stones as a background, but quite faintly suggested. I’ve shuffled the two drawings around a bit and some of the blank space is gone now… I thought the cats should be further apart (It’s the same cat, I’m not sure if it looks weird to have her looking at herself though…) I’ve also started smoothing out the fur. Going to try and get it to have the ‘realism’ feel like I did here: click


keep us updated, I’d like to see your process on something like the Sherpa pic… good luck!


I was going through My Documents (I tell you I risk my life every time I do this - it’s like a jungle in there) and found a huge backlog of WIPs that I never got around to finishing from …oh, more than a year ago, up to the present day. I’m not sure what to do with them so I’m going to post them here. Comments and suggestions would be exactly what I need to get going on any of them again, if they are worth it! Tell me if any catch your eye…

Black Unicorn - a few months old

Some cartoon-style wolves

Blue and red-lit unicorn

Pair of green unicorns

Herd of unicorns/two unis chasing each other

Pegasus from above (was going to draw a moon below it)

A friend’s horse, Robbie (photo reference used for this one)

A random happy looking wolf

An amazing artist called Katy Rewston’s character, Bane, as a unicorn


First impressions right off the bat (in order going down from the top):

Green Unicorns
Bane, as a Unicorn

I would push these to finished I think – they are all already solidly built so just refining is needed.

The green Unicorns in particular gave me a really fairy tale like feel - would love to see a fleshed out fairy tale forest background for that image – these are really good by the way :slight_smile:


Green Unicorns, definitely, lots of possibilities for the background. I like what I saw in my head with the pegasus from above image… I saw the moon reflected in a lake or ocean, with the silouette of the pegasus cut out from the bright moon. And finally, the Bane pic I think just needs a full thunderstorm in the distance.



well, both the idea and the painting is great. your skin coloring is very successful. fingers I believe need to be revised yet I am surely not an expert. the energy like light around the hands seems a bit unattached but again the coloring is very very good. for the bacground you may prefer more contrasting one, for example a darker tone like…very very good…



very nice work
very very nice


I love the fairy picture so far, but I agree about the arms being a bit short. The colors are nice… they make it seem so peaceful. ^^

I also really love the Robbie painting, how his nose is lit up more than the rest of him (although that’s probably just because it isn’t finished… but I like it like that a lot :)).

The herd of running unicorns is really nice, too. The cropping and the shady unicorns in back give it a lot of energy.
I’d love to see all these finished! <3


Thank you so much everyone for the advice. :slight_smile:
It’s helped me a lot to narrow down my WIPs and see the finishable ones in a new light!

I also really love the Robbie painting, how his nose is lit up more than the rest of him (although that’s probably just because it isn’t finished… but I like it like that a lot :)).

It is on purpose! I love drawing light and shadow, I wanted him to seem like he was stepping out of the darkness.

Been busy these last few days…college and things, but now its half term so I will definitely be finding some time for drawing. :smiley:


Update on the faerie painting, hurrah for half term.

Sparklies, how storybook is that? :stuck_out_tongue:

Do the folds in the dress look ok?

I want to finish it soon, not too sure exactly what needs to be done though… help!