H Is For Horse

Horse Doodlewash

Beating out a hummingbird for most suggested is a horse, so that’s our subject for today’s letter. Horses are amazingly difficult to render, though I’m not entirely sure why this is. I wasn’t sure there was anything horse-like happening at first, but in the end I think one managed to appear. Another young version of an animal in the form of a foal, as I still find the baby versions of animals the most interesting.

When I was younger I used to ride horses with my sister-in-law and it was amazingly fun. We’d go on long trail rides and stop every so often to just sit alone with our horses in the middle of a field or near a stream. This was such a wonderful experience. Galloping scared the hell out of me and I always thought I would fly off, so I loved these little moments of quiet time without the fear of falling to my death.

As a kid I used to collect realistic horse figurines and even had a stable to put them all in. My favorite horse was the Palomino because it had this luxurious blonde hair that nearly looked like a odd wig instead of a mane. Not entirely sure why this fascinated me, but it did at the time. Running short on time, so I’ll stop here. Tomorrow is “I” so if you have a suggestion of an animal or other living thing, please shout it out in the comments!


About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacrodine Gold, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in By Charlie
54 Comments
  1. Jodi 1 year ago

    A beauty of a horse Charlie! Sighing again in awe of your talent! Oh if I had one iota (how do you spell that word???!) of your talent! I for tomorrow – hmmm.. a cute baby cartoon inch worm? can’t wait to see whatever it is 🙂

    • Author

      You’re too sweet, Jodi!! ❤️😃 And I’ll just say, I take that as a wonderful compliment because you ARE so talented!! You’re funny…I’ve spent months trying to convince you you’re a fabulous artist. Hehe… If you saw what we see in your work, you’d be convinced too! 😉

      • Jodi 1 year ago

        oh I wish I did – thank you sweet buddy! I’m trying 🙂 <3

  2. Nancy 1 year ago

    I always liked palominos best too. Your hourse is lovely. He looks so touchable.

  3. Horses are really tough, and baby animals, like baby humans, present different challenges too, I think. Well done, Charlie! I love the way you keep rolling with these lively works with your FT job and busy schedule. Roll on, my brothah! Let’s see….iguana? Since you like lizards? <3

    • Author

      Thanks Laura!! 💜😃Yeah…it’s been a bit challenging, but I think I’ve found a routine that works. Pretty compressed time frame, but I think my work is better when I just have to stop before I go completely crazy with details! Hehe And yeah! I’m definitely considering an Iguana! I don’t think I like lizards in person, but they’re super fun to doodlewash! Lol

  4. memadtwo 1 year ago

    This looks great Charlie. I used to draw lots of horses as a child, but haven’t attempted one in a long time. I too had a collection of horses, and I read “Misty” and “The Black Stallion” books and of course “National Velvet”.
    I’m going to say Insect, your choice of which one. (K)

    • Author

      Thanks Kerfe!! 💕😃 yes!! I love the Black Stallion books! It’s funny…I still have a fondness for horses, but once I grew up I sort of lost my fascination for them. Totally into dogs now. Hehe…and I do want to try more insects at some point! Those were fun!

  5. Teri C 1 year ago

    This is an amazing painting, so smooth I could almost pet him.
    One question Charlie, I notice you use ‘neutral tint’ in almost every painting. What does it do? Do you mix it with something else?

    • Author

      Thanks so much Teri! 💕😃 I do use Neutral Tint a lot…it’s basically a black that is pure and neither too warm nor cool. So you can use it as black with less water or to darken another color without changing the hue. I don’t use it when I have time to mix and layer more and let things dry properly, but it’s a good “cheat” to leap forward in darkness and add detail when I’m pressed for time. Which is always lately….hehe. 😊

      • Teri C 1 year ago

        Thanks. I thought that might be the reason but had to ask in case there was a secret reason. Lol

      • Author

        Hehe! Like magic?! It sort of is actually! It’s a life saver for the time starved!

      • Teri C 1 year ago

        That’s your special magic.

  6. Carol 1 year ago

    You painted such a sweet, gentle horse – a lovely depiction! I vote for inch worm or ibis. I was fascinated with these pretty birds on a recent trip to Sanibel Island in Florida, but go where the paint takes you. 😃

    • Author

      Awww thanks Carol! 💕😃 Inch worm is cute! And yeah…ibis seems to always be on ABC charts I’ve seen. But I’ve never seen one in person! Hehe

  7. Jacob 1 year ago

    I think this might be up there with my all-time favourites of yours, Charlie… What an absolute beauty! you have the smoothness and feel of the coat nailed to a ridiculous degree. And the hair too! Just such love for this. In awe, again.

    I is for Iguana. Impala. Ibex.

    • Author

      Awww thanks Jacob!! I feel like I learned a little something from my giraffe yesterday. Hehe… I’m not sure what exactly, but for some reason it was easier to get the smooth coat right. And there aren’t too many “I” options really, so I can say it will likely be one of those! 😉

  8. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    I’m not a horse person but I can still appreciate your beauty of your doodlewash! <3 I like Jacob's suggestions for I! In fact, I thought of iguana first thing. 🙂

    • Author

      Hehe! Thanks! ❤️😃Philippe hates horses! Lol I showed him and asked if it looked okay and he just shrugged and said, “you show me these or E.T. and I just don’t like them so I have nothing to say.” To each his own I guess!

      • Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

        LOL! I like Philippe more and more! <3 😀

  9. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    Hurrah for horses, Charlie! 💖🎨🐴 A real beauty, my friend! 😃👍 How about an Indian Jackal?! Then you’d cover two letters at the same time! Lol! 😜

    • Author

      Thanks Jill!! 💕😃 And haha!! That’s awesome!! Don’t tempt me! It’s been a bit tough sneaking these in… hehe😉

  10. jmnowak 1 year ago

    I’m getting in early….J for Juniper berries, or Jackal as Jill has suggested, or Jellyfish or Jaguar!

    • Author

      Hehe! I’m betting it will definitely be one of those. There aren’t many options for J. Though I guess there’s also the infamous mythical Jackalope! 😉

      • jmnowak 1 year ago

        Jackalope? I guess I missed out on that bit of fantasy in my childhood! It will be interesting, whatever… 😉

  11. Kari 1 year ago

    I think horses are difficult too! And you did such a beautiful job! Somehow riding on animals was always scary for me. I think it was always about being afraid of heights. I tried horseback riding and I’ve ridden other animals but I could never get comfortable.. What will you choose for I? Iguana? Inchworm?

    • Author

      Thanks so much Kari! 💕😃 Horses are so weirdly difficult but I still have no clue as to why they should be any harder than a giraffe, but they are!! Hehe…yeah… I didn’t like riding really tall horses…that freaked me out because of the height. Not sure on I yet…hehe…I always choose at the last moment. 😊

  12. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    A very fine horse sketch Charlie, beautifully rendered. How about an Ibex?

  13. Yay for the horse, what a cute foal, his muzzle looks so dainty and adorable. Made be realise that I have never painted a foal,only a horse! And I have thousands of photos, as my friend breeds Appaloosa ( I think the spots scare me)? It sounds like you have some beautiful memories of riding, the best are usually when quiet, taking in the natural surroundings, it makes you feel that you are seeing places no one else has seen when riding off into the woods/ country. Unlike you, I do enjoy a good gallop across the green plains-eyes streaming,ears deafened by the wind , it clears the cobwebs!! I ……I would say iguana, as so cute, or ibex like Sharon. I have never heard of an inch worm.

    • Author

      Thanks Rebecca!! Glad you liked my foal! I hadn’t tried an actual horse yet, just one sculpture so this was fun for my first attempt! I still haven’t ever drawn an adult one! Lol 😊hehe…and you sound braver than I in the galloping arena! I’m leaning toward iguana but I will most likely change my mind by this afternoon! Hehe

  14. Books And Needles 1 year ago

    I really enjoy your animal doodles. I haven´t been paying attention to the fact, that I could suggest an animal – I would have chosen B for budgie of course, but I think with a little cheating I can suggest P for parakeet/budgie when the time comes 🙂 As always a pleasure to visit your site.

    • Author

      Thanks!! 😃I’m so pleased you like these! And cheat away!! A parakeet sounds lovely! Any early thought on “X” are also appreciate now that I’m doing living things and can’t resort to xylophone! Hehe

  15. Arvind 1 year ago

    This is cool Charlie! I love seeing your energy, optimism and insights into your life through these drawings. You can tell I draw on your blog and your work to inspire me to keep drawing and now watercoloring.

  16. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    I am in love with this foal. Exquisite painting, the coat looks soft to the touch and the light and shadow reflect beautifully off of the muscles and hair. Lovely painting.

    • Author

      Awww thanks Haunani!! 💕😃I really appreciate that! This is my first attempt at an actual horse and after hearing others say how hard they are it sort of freaked me out! Hehe… Glad you think he turned out well!

      • artandmoondreams 1 year ago

        You did a fabulous job. Thank goodness you did not listen to any “neigh” sayers…sorry, have not had my morning cup of tea yet. lol. Peace.

      • Author

        Haha!! That’s awesome!! You’re fun before your coffee… Lol…I’m usually just grumpy. 😊Puns are always welcome!! 😉👍🏻

      • artandmoondreams 1 year ago

        /hugs

  17. Catherine Johnson 1 year ago

    I’m sure it’s horse-like lol. I love your stories. The only horse story I remember is watching a friend of my sisters hanging by a stirrup while her horse cantered along. Of course there were no adults around.
    Your giraffe is great too. I think I’ve missed some. I’ll have to catch up.

    • Author

      Thanks Catherine!! Glad you like the posts…the stories have gotten a bit shorter as I find myself pressed for time 😊hehe… And hanging my a stirrup sounds about right when no adults are around! Hehe

  18. mysiteexists 1 year ago

    So beautiful and elegant. Waiting for ur next post, hope soon. 🙂

  19. theturtle 1 year ago

    Oh Charlie ! The smoothness of the coat , the strength of the neck muscles just under it , the little ears at attention , and the youthfulness of the eyes and almost smiling mouth made me wish for horses 🙂 It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden , and galloping wildly into the woods was my favourite , although I liked the talks while brushing them too 🙂
    Turtle Hugs 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks!!💕😃 I was soooo into horses when I was young! Beautiful animals and fun to ride. I managed a few good gallops before growing completely terrified. Actually, once in a full gallop it’s pretty smooth, it’s just getting to that point that is a little bumpy! Hehe

  20. pastryexperiments 1 year ago

    This little horse is so beautiful! Great job. The neck and jaw muscles are wonderfully drawn and his face is so expressive.

  21. Deb Breton 1 year ago

    Oooh Charlie, can’t believe I almost missed this one – CUUUUUTE!

    • Author

      Thanks Deb!! 💕😃Glad you caught this one and liked it! Hehe…it was my first attempt at a horse. They’re kind of tough! Lol

      • Deb Breton 1 year ago

        I hear you, back when i would sketch all the time, I drew horse ‘heads’, bodies are another story!

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