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I Was a Horse
in a Former Life

Using Equine Science
to Improve Your Art


by Lily Splane

ISBN 978-0-945962-03-7

8½" x 11"           ~548 pages*

Softcover        Retail $120.00

Fantastically Illustrated
with more than 1080 diagrams and artwork
 in FULL COLOR!

* page count may increase nearing publication



One of the most astounding art books to hit the shelves in decades, I Was a Horse in a Former Life will greatly advance your understanding of how a horse moves and behaves, lending authenticity and soul to your equine art.

Welcome, equine artists! Chances are, you’ve been drawing horses for years—probably since toddler-hood. Or, perhaps like me—able to stand only by holding onto something—you reached into your diaper to inadvertently horrify your parents with a masterpiece on the wall above your crib.

Horses are your world; drawing and painting horses is the reason you get out of bed in the morning. There’s nothing like them—their stunning beauty, their power, their liberty to be as crazy or as lazy as they choose. They inspire every breath you take. You pretended you were a horse when you were a child, engaging your playmates into feeding and bridling you, while you whinnied with approval or dismay. You may have even imagined you were a horse in a former life, somehow reincarnated from your former splendor to a mere human, but still retaining the persistent memories of graceful power and freedom. Ah, the longing…to touch a horse, to have a horse, to be a horse….

This book is for the artist who aspires to realism. For you, it is not enough to create a “horse-like” impression—beautiful and meaningful in its own right. You want more. You want your subjects to look as life-like as possible. You want to honor this amazing creature, this archetype of magnificence, to recreate this god of living beings as truthfully as possible.

In I Was a Horse In a Former Life: Using Equine Science to Improve Your Art, you will learn about anatomy and behavior from both scientific and artistic perspectives, imparting authenticity to your art. Science and art are complementary, each enhancing—even relying upon—the other for completeness.

From time to time, there will be non-intimidating digressions into simple math, but these are employed only to assist and clarify anatomical relationships or other pertinent information. You will find unique concepts and tips not found in other art manuals or even courses, such as obtaining and analyzing body measurements for proportion, horse color genetics (including 138 color plates), how to depict equine emotions and attitude, and painting with pixels—digital art. Unlike most other art books, we will get right to the subject—the horse—in the first parts of this book. We’ll leave the general art concepts such as color theory, perspective, shading and shaping, tools, and materials to the latter part of the book.

About The Author

Lily Splane has a solid background in human nutritional biochemistry, laboratory analysis, veterinary pre-med, and emergency medicine technology. Lily spent her youth re-training mismanaged horses while continuing to paint her favorite subject: horses. At age 11, she won first place in a regional science fair with a depiction of horse anatomy that stunned the judges. During the 1970s, Lily was staff artist for the American Donkey and Mule Society’s monthly journal, Mr. Longears, for which she also wrote several articles. As an independent scholar, she diligently studied equine anatomy and behavior over several decades to improve her artistic skills. She currently resides in San Diego, California.

Online Table of Contents