Illustrating the Horse

all images, c. Kevin Sprouls

This week, I share with you my efforts at Illustrating the Horse.

I’ll be moving soon to Tryon, NC. It’s a location renowned for its Equestrian Center and many equine events and active horse enthusiasts. I consider myself one. To celebrate the occasion, I present a collection of my horse illustrations.

Let’s start with an early champion — Bucephalus:

According to Wikipedia,”The horse was reported to have been a massive creature with a massive head (Bucephalus means “Ox-Head” in Ancient Greek), and is described as having a black coat with a large white star on his brow. Legend tells that a 12-year old Alexander won the horse, Bucephalus, in a wager with his father, Philip II of Macedon.”

I took this pose from an ancient bas-relief sculpture of the horse. I do not recall the client who gave me this assignment, as it is a drawing from early in my career.

Next, some sketches I made for a friend looking for a logo design…

The gallup…

Here, a rearing horse with a racetrack fence in the background.

Same pose, in a more refined sketch without background.

Here, a finished illustration for a wine label. The brand is called “100 to 1”, the chances of this lame horse winning the race. It was a thrill to illustrate!

Finally, an illustration from the pages of Worth Magazine. Many of the drawings I created for Worth were of corporate people in formal settings, but occasionally we featured portraits of subjects with their favorite things, like this:

That is a horse worthy of the name “Bucephalus”! I hope you have enjoyed this survey of equine illustration. The horse is a fascinating creature to portray. I enjoyed creating these examples. More next week…

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