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Drawing and Painting Horses [Hardcover]

Barbara Oelke
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2000
The first book to offer in-depth instruction in the art of drawing and painting horses, this study examines the development of time-honored equine art in sporting, portrait, and country life painting.

A gifted specialist shows how line, shape, form, light, color, value, space, and design are applied to drawing and painting the horse. Step-by-step lessons detail equine anatomy, skeletal structure, and musculature; differences among breeds; techniques for quick life sketching versus working from photographs; how to include riders on horseback; and basic landscape settings. Fine examples of contemporary equine painting are included.

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About the Author

Barbara Oelke, whose work has been shown in numerous exhibitions, conducts workshops for the American Academy of Equine Art. She lives in Maryland.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars The worse book I have seen on the subject. Dec 28 2000
This has to be the worst book on the subject I have ever seen. Yes it is filled with beautiful color illustrations, but it does nothing to discuss actually painting the horse. It is more of history and anthology of equine art than it is a book of art instruction. It is vastly overprices and simply not worth the money. I found this book a huge disappointment and could see nothing of merit in it. The title is totally misleading.
If you plan to paint horses, you want to know how to paint a dapple gray, what colors are best for a liver chestnut or a bay. What colors do you need to use to paint a palomino. What colors for the shadows and what colors for the highlights. Nothing like this is discussed in this book. In fact only one demonstration is given and that is a pretty poor one at that - nothing about the colors used etc. The single demonstration is of a dapple gray painted in the standard side view with an insipid background. There is absolutely no discussion of the best colors to have on your palette for various breeds and colors. Also there is no information on the pony or the foal in that section where the author fleetingly mentions drawing and the proportions.
All in all if you want to learn to paint and draw horses this is not the book for you. If you want to look at pretty pictures, and quite a few pages on equine anatomy, then buy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars At last, a book that really shows you how! Dec 23 2000
By A Customer
Having collected books on horses and horse paintings all my life,I feel well qualified to say that this is the best book on equine art to be published since George Stubbs in the 18th-century! Packed with superb paintings past and present, the author does not just tell you that these paintings are great, and why, but she shows you how to achieve similar effects yourself. The most beautiful and noblest of animals is shown in all its splendid manifestations, whether a thoroughbred race horse or a child's pony, a steeplechaser or a fox hunter, a cowhorse or a wild stallion, a show horse or a working farm horse, their variety is infinite, and this is a superb collection of the finest examples of the art.
But it is not just the horse itself that is so beautifully shown and explained. Equine painting is still painting first, and she shows you how to incorporate the animal in its natural surroundings to make a whole picture. Whether on a western plain, in the winner's circle, or grazing in a Virginia paddock, the horse stands on the earth. With the author's sound guidance in the most important aspects of any good painting - good drawing, basic anatomy, form, space, design, perspective, color, and light and shade enlivening the sleek texture of glistening coat and flowing mane and tail, she shows you how to paint or draw a horse in its whole context, as a complete picture, and not just, as so often happens, a colored silhouette floating insecurely in space, without solid connection with the ground or with the light and atmosphere around it. If you are an artist who loves this most beautiful of animals, you must have this book! It has only one fault: I wish it could be twice as long, for there is something valuable to be learned on every page.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this book like the plague Dec 26 2000
This is a terrible book and is definitely NOT worth the money being asked. The author does NOT teach you how to paint or draw horses. She does quite a bit with equine anatomy and a history of the art form and the actual supplies needed to paint or draw in various mediums.
On drawing the horses she has about 4 pages of information and there is absolutely nothing on the painting. No discussions of the colors needed for chestnuts, bays, palaminos etc. No discussion of the best way to produce a dapple grey, or the colors needed for the hoof or eye.
Walter Foster library has a better book on painting horses which actually contains some painting demonstrations. This book contains only ONE painting demonstration and that is a pretty poor one at that.
If you want to learn to draw horses go and get used books by Walter Foster or Sam Savitt -- you will never learn to draw from this book.END
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5.0 out of 5 stars Drawing & Painting Horses by Barbara Oelke Jan. 25 2001
By Y. Todd
This book is a must have for any equine artist. Not your typical step by step book, Ms Oelke covers many things that make the diffenence between a horse painting and sporting art. Beginning with a brief history of the horse in art and the impact of photography she gets down to the nitty gritty of skeletal and musculature formation, comparative measurements, views from different angles, materials and the various elements that make up a well planned piece of art. Posing, preliminary drawing, various methods, developing a horseman's eye and working as a professional artist are also covered, unlike any other how to book. All this is illustrated with exceptional work by some of the finest equine artists which each serve as a lesson in themselves and an inspiration to anyone painting the horse. The lessons learned here apply to any subject matter which place this book at the top of the list.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nice BEGINNING May 16 2001
By A Customer
I bought this book because I love Barbara Oelke's work. Unfortunately, not much of it is in this book. Though I realize the importance of the history of equine art and in understanding the anatomy of the horse, I think too much of the book is taken up with these subjects. There is some interesting and helpful information regarding the actual drawing/painting of horses as well as tips on proportion and background considerations, but overall I think Ms. Oelke could have put together a higher level of instruction given her equine knowledge and immense talent. Considering the cost of this book, I expected a more in depth discussion/dissection of her style of painting/drawing, as well as the works of other equine artists. The bottom line is if this is your first foray into the world of equine art then this book is a scratch-the-surface start a beginner is looking for.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review
The book was for my wife and she was very pleased with it. She has gone thru it several times to get some ideas for a painting she is working on.
Published on Dec 17 2011 by John
5.0 out of 5 stars bravo!
Great job! I found just what I was looking for in this book. The detail has been very helpful and the examples included are a joy to view. I love it for helping with my painting. Read more
Published on July 7 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful book
the art in this book, including that by the author/artist, is worth the price alone. I've not had the chance to try the drawing suggested, but the information offered seems really... Read more
Published on March 19 2002 by Alice Neff Lucan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for the Basics
All beginning artists, not only those who struggle with capturing equine form and movement, would benefit from this book. Read more
Published on March 8 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Reconsideration
My original review was too polite and defied the truth regarding this book. Honestly, it is not worth the money, barely deals with the subject matter at all and when it does, it... Read more
Published on June 12 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all equine artists
This book approaches the art of equine painting from the point of view of an artist not just a copiest. Read more
Published on Feb. 10 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for the Equine Artist!
The book is a must have for anyone interested in creating or enjoying Equine Art. Author Barbara Oelke touches on the many aspects of creating a complete work of Art without going... Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2001 by "yellamare"
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for the Equine Artist!
The book is a must have for anyone interested in creating or enjoying Equine Art. Author Barbara Oelke touches on the many aspects of creating a complete work of Art without going... Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2001 by "yellamare"
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone contemplating painting horses
The best thing about this book is the outstanding collection of oils and watercolors showing what todays' and yesterdays' great equine artists can do: poses, settings, horses in... Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2001 by Dan
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