I feel like a sad, dishonest person, doing this.
But darn it, I suck at freehanding horses, and I have such short amounts of time in which to do art … LET’S TRACE THEM!
My references, sized and placed according to my first concept sketch:
Let me tell you, doing the sketch first, then looking for reference afterward … let’s just say you go through a LOT of stock photos.
And the trace:
Horses are extremely hard to trace, as well as freehand. I kept being amazed that what I thought I saw, and what actually existed in the photo, were two completely different things.
Now I can do the coloring. Watch me manage to botch their anatomy, even with a trace underneath. :-p