Horses for courses

People often ask me (okay one person once asked me!) “How do you draw in Flash?”. Well, I found it very hard to start with as I was constantly fighting the ways the tools worked. But I soon realised that was part of the strength – Flash helps you to draw, but you need to change your style a little, and your approach a lot.


Here’s a guide to making an animal in Flash.

How to draw a Horse

Starting with the body, select the oval tool. Set the line to brown and the fill to ‘Radial’ choose three colours going from brown to a pale yellow.
Draw an oval like so and adjust the fill by dragging the pale centre to the bottom and using the square handle to squish the fill shape. Rotate the fill so that it is aligned with the oval. This will represent the paler underbelly of the horse
Use the arrow tool to distort the oval slightly, flattening the top of the oval and shortening the upper-left edge. The body is now finished, so select it and choose Modify > Group.
Repeat steps 1-3 above to make three legs for the horse. Alter the fill type to be linear and then change it’s direction to take into account the paler parts of the horses’ legs. Distort the shape at the bottom to make flatter feet.
Make another shape in the same way to represent the neck, and a final shape to make the horses’ head. Arrange the shapes together as shown.
Double click on the horses head to go into the group, and draw a straight line across the face, making sure you go over the edges of the oval. Use the arrow tool to distort the line into a curve; creating a muzzle, as shown. Use the fill tool to fill the muzzle and alter it’s gradient to make it paler.Draw two more oval shapes and distort them into pointed ear shapes. In the right ear, repeat the process to make a muzzle, but fill the shape with pink.
Use the freehand drawing tool (set to smooth) to draw a big bouncy tail shape. Select the radial fill tool, choose some suitably pale colours and fill the shape you’ve just drawn (you might need to use the magnifying lens to make sure you don’t have any gaps in your line drawing. Group the entire shape.
Repeat this process to draw two mane shapes, one on top of the head and one down the back of the neck. Group these shapes.
Finally, draw small straight lines onto the horses muzzle to represent the stitching of a mouth and nostrils.Use the oval tool (with the line disabled) to draw a black eye and a white highlight.Draw straight lines to represent stitching on the horses’ limbs.

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