Something Every Artist Needs To Know
Learning how to draw animals can be fun for both kids and parents alike.
This may even put you in the limelight with your peers. If you wish to draw a specific animals, your dog or your cat for example, please go to the sitemap page.
Once you know some of these basics and apply them, you'll be amazed how great your drawings will look.
All animals (in fact all mammals) have certain forms or shapes that fit into larger masses like a jigsaw puzzle—arms and legs into a larger mass. This includes drawing an elephant to an elk or a monkey to a meercat.
To draw any animal well, you have to know a little about its character, how it moves, how it sleeps, how it runs and eats. Why? A relaxed lion is in quite a different posture than when it is about to pounce on its prey.
When pouncing, all his muscles are prominent with joints/legs extended.
Before your pencil touches your paper, you have to look/observe and notice the basic "masses" that form the complete animal; these "masses" being the head, the body and the legs.
A simple trick we always use when learning how to draw animals is to half close your eyes (squint) so all detail is eliminated and you only see the mass. Do try it.
Notice the proportions of the body compared to the head and legs, then notice the position of the legs and how they fit into the body.
Ignore all details like the ears, the facial features and hair. These come later when all the "mass" (basic) shapes are in place and you are happy with your drawing.
An important point throughout all your drawing is not to fiddle with detail; you draw with a sweep of the hand and wrist, with a flourish. So hold the pencil lightly, don't strangle it otherwise it will show up in your drawing. Use a soft lead 4B or 6B pencil. If you feel confident use a piece of willow charcoal which is soft but this can be messy if you are just starting out.
Use photocopy paper initially then get yourself a sketchpad; what I've done over the years is to put a date on each page in the sketchpad and so it is useful to see how you progress over the months and years.
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Here are links on How To Draw other animals
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