Animals: Where do I start??

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Animals: Where do I start??

Postby Ink-insomnia » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:29 am

So in all the time I've been trying to draw better, I've been focusing almost completely on the Figure. While I'm far, far from mastering it, I do want to expand my skill set a bit more and try my hand at drawing animals... But it seems like such a huge, daunting subject! After spending years staring at the same (human) skeleton and muscle structure and stuff, the variety and complexity in the animal kingdom is scaring me a little, haha.

So, where would you recommend I start? What exercises, studies? Any recommended books or resources would be wonderful too. (I have this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Animal-Anatomy- ... al+anatomy but it seems more like a reference book than anything.)
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Re: Animals: Where do I start??

Postby Ink-insomnia » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:32 am

Also, really sorry if anyone else has started a similar thread, I'm on the computer at work and I didn't have time to check!
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Re: Animals: Where do I start??

Postby Lodratio » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:19 am

Vilppu has done a series on animal anatomy, so if you're looking for an overview you could start there. After that it's really a matter of focusing on specific specific animal types of and figuring them out individually. There's a lot books that focus on cats and dogs, but if you want to learn how to draw an animal and you can't find any good art-resources for it, just looking up the anatomy in a biology book and watching some documentaries to try and understand how they move also works.
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Re: Animals: Where do I start??

Postby Sypheck » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:43 am

If you've gotten to the point where you draw humans while thinking a lot about anatomy I suggest you take a much simpler approach to animals and think more along of the lines of gesture, 3D primitives and simple shapes. While there are a handful of books on animals (The only one I can recommend that isn't an anatomy book is Force: Animal Drawing: Animal locomotion and design concepts for animators) the best way to tackle them would be just head on at the zoo. The next best thing would be to just do studies of a particular animal you want to draw with photo reference. If you're thinking about an illustration with a particular animal just do a couple of studies of that animal before you start your full illustration, this will eliminate a lot of the guesswork if you're coming up with your own pose for it. Gradually, this process will allow you build up a visual library of animals but in the end you'll always have to do studies and go more in depth with anatomy for the animals you really like or plan to manipulate to some extent.
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Re: Animals: Where do I start??

Postby Ruthan » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:42 pm

I think that important thing in drawing animals is to capture their movement, gesture and wilderness, so I think watching some documental programmes about animals, going on trips to the zoo could be a nice start. Good luck in learning! ;)
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Re: Animals: Where do I start??

Postby fiftyeightsqq » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:14 pm

I highly recommend The Art of Animal Drawing by Ken Hultgren, a famous Disney animator.
The book starts off with great tips that can be picked up immediately for drawing animals.
He goes into detail about a variety of different animals from cats to elephants.
As an animator, his illustrations are very lively and show the forms clearly.
The book also goes beyond the normal drawings of animals and includes examples of caricature.
Ken Hultgren will teach how to draw animals with life.
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