How to Draw a 3D Horse

Written by lauren pringle
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How to Draw a 3D Horse
Add depth to your horse. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Horses are beautiful, strong creatures. Drawing horses in 2D may be good practice, but drawing in 3D will add depth and detail to your picture. Add texture to your horse's hair and body shape; when creating 3D drawings, shading and illusion is important. Try drawing your horse from different angles so you can really grasp the various movements you can create when drawing a 3D horse. Once you have mastered this drawing technique, you will be adding depth to all of your drawings.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Research the anatomy of the horse. This is important as you need to know how the shape of the horse's body is formed. Research books and the Internet. Try to take photos of horses or print out online pictures to give you a direct reference when drawing.

  2. 2

    Draw a rough 2D sketch of a horse. Draw the horse from a side view. Once you have a simple horse outline, use your pencil to practice adding in 3D lines. Draw diagonal lines to the right of the picture, drawing down from the corner sections of the drawing.

  3. 3

    Sketch your 3D horse. Using a reference, draw the horse at an angle. Draw simple shapes create the overall shape. Draw the head turned forward, with the body and legs to the side of the horse.

  4. 4

    Draw the head first. Draw a slim oval. Add two triangular shaped ears on either side of the head. Add small lines of detail inside the ear to create depth. Draw two light lines down the centre of the face to create the nose shape. Add two slanted oval-shaped eyes on either side of the lines. Draw thin lines to create the eyelashes. Draw two curved circles to represent the nostrils at the end of the horse's nose.

  5. 5

    Add in a dark shade to the right-hand side of the face and continue this line to a right angle to create the neck of the horse. Draw a parallel line following the line of shadow above and below. Draw zigzag lines of hair to create the mane of the horse. The shadow and angles of the neck and head will have created a 3D effect.

  6. 6

    Draw a curved line from the bottom of the neck into the top of the body. Follow the body line of the horse into the buttocks of the horse. Continue this line from the bottom of the neck line. Continuing the line of shadow in the neck, follow this line toward the buttocks of the horse. Draw a diagonal line from the right-hand side of the buttocks to create a 3D shape at the back of the horse. Curve the lines round and add a ponytail shape in the centre.

  7. 7

    Attach the legs to the bottom of the horse. Draw one leg at the front of the horse and another at the back, but follow the same line of shadow. Draw the legs muscular at the top and becoming slim at the knees, using straight lines to complete the bottom of the leg shape. Draw the outer legs attached to the top of the shadow line. This creates 3D underneath the horse.

  8. 8

    Shade in your horse and add muscle details to your drawing. Keep adding shadow and angular lines until your horse feels like it has a real 3D depth. This might take practice to achieve, so keep your eraser at hand and continue drawing until you have created your perfect 3D picture.

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