Failed Drawings Part 2: Crippled Horse Legs and The Fence Adding Technique

When I was a kid, I loved to draw. When I wasn’t drawing women in ball gowns, I was drawing horses. For some reason, I never managed to obtain a reference photo of a horse, and ended up with horses that had back legs that looked like someone had taken a crowbar and smashed the knees back in the wrong direction. Do horses even have knees? I don’t know. Seems to me like they bend in two places, kind of like a finger. Anyway, the pictures usually looked something like this:

horse crooked back legs

So, I could post images of a well drawn horse, but why do that when I can implement the discovery I made as a kid?! I found a way to avoid drawing certain subject matter. I call it the “Fence Adding Technique.” It’s a great tool to have anytime there is something you can’t draw or are too lazy to obtain a reference photo.

horse with fence

Notice when the unsightly, crippled legs are strategically placed out of site, the subject matter has the potential to be improved across the board.  In this case, the horse now dreams of some day becoming a unicorn, the details in the grass are more apparent, and there is even a pretty pink flower that has sprouted from the soil. Also, let’s note that this horse is decidedly more attractive than the first one with the crappy legs, all thanks to the “Fence Adding Technique.”

The same idea can be applied in different ways. If you are unable to draw hands, for example, then all the characters in your drawings can be wearing mittens. Same goes for feet – they can all be wearing socks…and so on. Just so it is clear, the idea is that you take something you can mostly draw and hide the parts that you have continually failed to render accurately. Let’s face it, drawing hands and feet really sucks. Plus, there is endless entertainment to be had with socks and mittens, especially if the characters you’re drawing are naked.

Crappy hands and feet

Or maybe you don’t know how to draw socks or mittens either. Just like the horse, you can have your characters standing behind a fence too!

girl with fence

Or Maybe you can draw the feet, but not the hands, then you can simply have your character standing with their hands in their pockets:

girl hands in pockets

or coyly placed behind their back:

girl hands behind back

Now, of course, if i wanted to improve as an artist and get better at drawing all things, I could reference a photograph, and practice. I have done this before and I can tell you, it wasn’t half as fun.

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