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Animals Archives - Draw Like A Pro


Archives for : Animals

Cattle and deer

When it comes to drawing, you might hear about cattle and deer as if they were in the same category. Of course, they do have things in common… As for the main differences, we can say that, on a zoological point of view, they differ quite a bit. As for the common points, and that’s what is of interest for us, we can easily notice that the back is almost perfectly straight in both categories.
Also, the antelope and the buffalo as well as the bull have a very flat head from the poll to the tip of the nose. The ears are fairly low on each side of the head because the horns, big or small, cut or not, are set on top of the head. Unlike the horse or the cat, the whole body, from shoulders to buttocks is full of angles. Cattle have in common a very straight horizontal back and belly. In both categories, the hind legs tend to slope forwardwater trampoline australia for sale.

Notice the rectangular shape of the body

A wild and gracious version of our farm cow

The dog

It is correct, in a way, to say that all dogs have a similar anatomy. It is also accurate to say that they’re all so different. Unlike cats, dogs have been subject to all sorts of selective breeding depending on the period, the place or the culture. They have things in common but it is hard to say what is the proportion of similarities among the vast variety of dogs.

Straight legs are, most of the time, considered as an esthetic quality for a dog. Nevertheless, for some dogs such as the bull-dog, bowed legs are needed for good proportions.
The details of the anatomy are very visible on a greyhound. There is not much fat or skin or hair to hide it. The yorkshire terrier’s anatomy, though, is totally hidden by his hair.

The snub wrinkled nose of the pekinese is quite different from the pointy nose of a dachshund. Besides that particularity, they both have a similar body with short legs and a long body.

When it comes to drawing a dog, the conclusion is that only a close observation of each individual can lead to an accurate portrait.

The cat

The cat, in spite of the respect, admiration and sometimes worship that man has or had for him, has not suffered from the centuries of selective breeding. Unlike the dogs, the cat’s anatomy has remained the same altogether. The actual cat that we all know is quite the same as the one worshiped by the pharaohs.

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Even his big brothers such as the tiger, lion or panther, have kept their typical shape. To summarize, we can depict the cat’s body as narrow from one end to the other. The back legs, higher than the front ones, give him that powerful look and the wide jaws show the hunter in him blow up water slides. The forehead is receding and the ears far apart. The eyes are wide and round with an expression of concentration. The neck is short and strong. The cat always gives an impression of suppleness and the abundant skin sort of hides all anatomical details.

Drawing animals

If you want to know the different techniques to draw animals you should first concentrate on one species only and then find out the differences with the other ones. It’s accurate to say that all vertebrates have a lot in common. They all have a spine. Sometimes, it holds them upright and internally like  for the humans but it can also be horizontal like for a snake and it could even be a shell like in a turtle. Once you understand the principle you can apply it to all kinds of different vertebrates.

The animal that has been drawn the most has always been the horse. Being a symbol of animal beauty and one of the most loved animals, drawers and painters have always considered the horse as their favorite subject after humans, among the living creatures.

The most important proportion to know is this one: You can draw a square (Fig 1) that reaches the  base of the neck to the beginning of the tail and then goes down to the hind foot, then left to the forefoot and finally up to the neck. The shoulder is perfectly located above the front toe. The quarters right above the point of the hock. Notice that the back of the square is lined up with the long tendon  going from hock to fetlock.

Fig 1

The line E, F, following the neck, represents the half of the line A,B. Its angle depends on where the head is carried.
The distance between the poll and the muzzle represents a third of the distance between the poll and the root of the tail.
The eye is located at about a third of the distance between the poll and the muzzle.
On the adult horse, the distance between the crown of the withers and the point of the elbow is the same as the distance from the elbow to the fetlock.

As in any type of drawing that involves living things, having a good knowledge of anatomy brings a tremendous help. You might have noticed that an animal will not necessarily stay still as you’re trying to sketch him. A certain amount of reconstruction will then be needed and your knowledge of anatomy will allow you to finish your drawing with precision.

It is important to realize that the skeleton of a horse is built with the same principles as those in the human skeleton. The legs, of course, are stretched in a different way. It is quite interesting to notice that the bottom part of the horse’s leg, made of a single toe, is much more elongated than in the human leg when the top part of the leg is almost hidden inside the body of the horse. You will also notice that the names of the bones are almost the same as in the human skeleton.

A few common mistakes:
The eye should have an angle of 45 degrees with the line of the face instead of being parallel to the line of the face.
The hock  should  be lined up with the back of the croup. The croup should always be round and full when the shoulder should be bony and straight.
The forelegs as well as the hind legs should be parallel and straight. All four hooves should be placed a little forward and should be shorter in the back than in the front.

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6

Fig 7

Fig 8

Fig 2 and 4 show how the forelegs and the hind legs are parallel two by two. Fig 3 shows how the head slowly narrows down from the poll to the muzzle.  Fig 5 shows the position of the neck reaching down to the ground in order to eat. Notice the beautiful curve…
It’s commonly accepted to say that the horse only has one foot off the ground at a time when he walks, two when he trots, three when he canters and all four when he gallops. Fig 6 shows a galloping horse. Fig 8 shows a horse who is starting to trot after walking and Fig 7 shows a jumping horse with his neck lined up with the back.

Horses have been considered as a classical and mandatory model for drawers all along the history of man from the cavemen until now. It’s a beautiful animal who deserves our admiration and artistic interest.

The five volumes

Drawing animals is a captivating subject. Isn’t it considered the most ancient type of visual art? Actually, as Piet Herzeel points with relevance, what is the most important for this sort of representation? Resemblance to the subject or the specific attitude of the animalUnited States ?

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Animals and wildlife

AnimalsForm the earliest days of mankind, we have drawn images of the animals we have hunted, admired or feared. From the primitive cave drawings to huge bronze statues of galloping horses such as those in the Fountain of Trevi. Capturing the movement and power these animals has fascinated us. Artists like George Stubbs became masters in painting horses. The key is to observe and keep looking.

Drawing the volumes

If you want to draw a horse, first look at its profile, then divide the animal into five separate volumes, the head, neck, shoulder, abdomen and rear.

How to draw a horse

The first three volumes to draw are the shoulder, abdomen and rear. Once you have drawn these in the correct proportions then you can continue with the neck and head.

Learn the anatomy

If you understand how the bones are joined together, then you sketch will make sense and you will be able to show movement. Remember that bones are limited in the directions and amount in which they can turn. The posture of the animal must always look natural. Even if there is no motion in the drawing, perhaps it is a cat sleeping on a chair, you have to respect the way the body can bend and twist.

Horse head and neck

The position and stance will depend on the species in questions and you should try to observe how the animal you are drawing walks, runs and its general behaviour.

Animal movement
This article is an extract of the Signus online drawing course