When the painting is that big, I have a hard time getting my drawing in proportion, and with this bunch of horses they have to be in the right relationship to each other or the painting won’t work! So my strategy is to measure where they intersect with each other. I use a large grid to get them established in the right quadrant of the space (you can see the lines if you look closely). Once their outside shape is laid down, I can then draw in the shadow shapes that define their features, bone structure and manes etc. Still lots of drawing to do before it’s ready to start painting, but we’re on our way.
So this is about 8 hours worth of work…. a new piece, full sheet size (22 X 30″, 300lb Fabriano)