Saturday, August 6, 2016

Horses v. Camels

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. As more and more time has passed I have become increasingly intimidated by the unspoken expectation of important thoughts and witty delivery. So the time has come to pose an important question with which I have been much occupied:

Why is it harder to draw horses than camels?

I recently went to the Sierras for a couple of days to watch the Tevis event – a horse and rider endurance race over a hundred miles of mountain trails between Squaw Valley and Auburn CA. I was surrounded by horses and I had taken my sketch book so was expecting great things. Wow, was I disappointed! Most of my attempts at catching a likeness of these beautiful animals were so bad I will not post them.

 Yet…. when in Morocco two years ago I came face to face with camels – literally – and really enjoyed sketching them. And, if I may say so, I don’t think the results are too bad.
So the horse, a beautiful animal common in our culture, is much more difficult for me to draw than the camel, a strange-looking creature not usually seen on the West Coast of the US.

So perhaps odd things are easier to draw? (I do quite a bit of figure drawing and I admit to struggling with beautiful models.) Do we pay more attention to seeing those things with which we are not familiar? Does the beauty of a horse lie in subtle proportions much harder to capture than the camel’s bumpy pre-historic weirdness?

Of one thing I am certain – I could never draw a kitten!