Art Elements Monthly Theme: Equine

The Art Elements Equine theme this month takes my heart back to my pre-teen love of horses and my favorite of mythical creatures – the Pegasus. I would like to give an honorable mention to the Sea Horse because I was equally obsessed with them, but they fall into a totally different classification for this round.

And I would like to give a shout out to Jenny Davies-Reazor for coming up with this months theme!

Marsha at 12 riding her horse TwigBuster (Grandpop’s farm in Tennessee around 1987)

In the mid-80’s I was the perfect age for My Little Pony. I had about a half dozen of them and took them everywhere with me. My imagination took me to far off places. I even wanted them to fly so bad that I tied one to a bunch of helium balloons during a friends birthday party. I remember never letting her get out of my jump grab reach – oh, the horror of actually losing one! And horse themed books – my first chapter books were the Misty of Chincoteague books, and I still have some of the Serendipity books by Stephen Cosgrove and Weekly Readers, which I kept and have read to my kids. Chloe has a bunch of the newer My Little Pony toys – although she no longer plays with them like she used to.

Horses, ponies, and pegasus still pass through my imagination, but more along the lines of wonder than inspiration to create work. I decided that I would look to some books for something that may spark some creative juices flowing.

I decided to push my “muscle memory” skills with repetitive drawing as suggested by Danielle Donaldson in her book The Art of Creative Watercolor. I am a doodler, not a professional sketch or drawing artist (I was never encouraged to pursue art classes in school). So as I was working my muscle memory skills, I made the decision to forget the rules and just draw lines to try to make a horse shape. A few minutes into sketching evolved these very angular horse shapes.

I then decided to practice a bit more since I have taken a couple of online watercolor classes (Carla Sonheim and Melanie April) that I could use some of those skills combined with things I read in Danielle’s book and just go for it. The result by no means is perfect, and actually I have a lot of muscle memory skills to pick up with watercolor, but I am not disappointed (mostly because I had no set goal other than to do something with a horse theme).

I got to work wet on wet, wet on dry, sprinkled salt for texture, and used ink for definition. So many possibilities as I practice more and more. It feels great to just have fun!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog as part of this Art Elements Monthly Theme challenge. Here are the other participants in this months challenge.












AE Team Members:









18 Responses to “Art Elements Monthly Theme: Equine”
  1. Jill Egan says:

    Love your horse drawings, and you took me back to my daughter and her favourite purple my little pony 🙂

  2. Anita Rao says:

    Love how fun your drawings and paintings seem! I like the colors and the framing, and the textures from the salt look just awesome. 🙂

  3. Laney Mead says:

    from one doodler to another, those are doodle-tastic!!

  4. Lesley Watt says:

    I love your stylised interpretation Marsha – I can’t draw realistically either and this style is very pleasing to me. Love the colour treatment too – Danielle’s book finally arrived here yesterday and I can’t wait to get into it.

  5. Niky Sayers says:

    I love your angular horses Marsha they are so cute and I love the paint effect!

  6. claire says:

    I played myself with My little pony when I was a child. Sadly they are all gone now because they had a better quality than the new ones (I also prefer the old shape). I loved them! 😉
    I really love to see how your hose shape evolved and the angular “end” form is really great! I could also see that transferred into ceramics!

  7. Jen Cameron says:

    These are great Marsha! I love that you just went for it even though you weren’t super comfortable and enjoyed the process, not worrying about the final product. I love the horse sketches (much better than my attempts!!!) and the watercolor looks lovely.

  8. IThese angular horses are awesome. I think sometimes our best work is done when we toss out the rules and just have fun. Your finished watercolor painting is fun and cheerful yet has a bit of a primitive, tribal feel.
    I just love it!! Well done;-)

  9. Caroline says:

    Love the repetitive drawing idea… it’s great to see your sketches evolve…. The final painting is amazing. After reading your post, I just had a quick google for ponies. I loved mine, it still makes me smile that my little girl plays with them.

  10. Alysen says:

    I love the angular lines of your horses and those colors just go together perfectly!! And your frame choice completes the whole look.
    I like where you said ‘… no set goal other than to do something with a horse theme ..’, sometimes that’s when our greatest accomplishments are revealed, whether in art or life! And here we have some proof.

  11. Your horses are adorable. They could be illustrations for a children’s book. I too read the Misty books as a child, and wanted a horse of my own. I never got one, but I did finally get to take riding lessons in college. I love that you just let yourself play. Great results.

  12. Beautiful job Marsha! I love the colors and think you could have a thing going here!

  13. Beth says:

    I love seeing the practice sketches that led to the finally pieces. I love all the different colors and how it all comes together!
    I also love horses when I was younger – I used to have my mom’s collection of horses and her horse books. I now only have a couple of the books left and I have no idea where the horse collection went. So, this brought back some good memories of playing with horses.

  14. Jenny says:

    Yes! Misty of Chincoteague. Totally. I love the angular horse shape. And knowing what I know about your schedule- I’m glad you made time to sit and draw and play a little!

  15. Sarajo Wentling says:

    OMG. Your post soooo takes me back! I had a bunch of the Serendipity books too and Flutterby was a particular favorite. It’s nice to see the results of you just letting loose and playing with this challenge. Fun!

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