Tag Archives: anatomy

The A B C’s of animal structure

11 Mar

Using a tutorial from Jack Hamm’s book “How To Draw Animals” I sketch a simplified cow in side view.

The A B C's of animals

⇧ In “How To Draw Animals” by Jack Hamm, he teaches us to draw animals in side view with a bunch of rectangles. It isn’t about the rectangles, but about having a way to see the structure of the animal, of all four legged animals, and apply that knowledge to a specific animal. That way you don’t have to guess so much and can spend more time on drawing. After all, the more you draw, the better you will get, especially if you pay attention to how you draw.

The A B C's of animals, applied to a cow

⇧ Here I’ve used a photo of a cow and applied the rectangles to it, before dealing with the exact shape of the animal. Getting the parts in the correct positions and at the right size is always a problem when you’re not familiar with a subject. Having a method to roughly estimate the structure of an animal is a handy trick to have in your bag of artist’s tricks.

This drawing was recorded as a video on my iPod Touch and uploaded to my Shorties Ustream channel.

Some ideas about Bridgman’s Complete Guide to Drawing From Life

15 Feb

I have owned a copy of George Bridgman’s Complete Guide to Drawing From Life for some years now, but only now it’s starting to dawn on me what I’m supposed to do. I did a short monolog on Twitter in several tweets and decided to save it for a later date. I therefore copied the contents of the tweets below.

Some insight is starting to build about Bridgman. His drawings are about structure, not likeness. It are annotations of a thought process. What he is drawing is just the surface of an involved mental process in your mind. The drawings in themselves say little unless you know the code, how to reproduce the structure in your mind’s eye. Those Bridgman scribbles are shorthand for complex thoughts.

All this means if you expect a step-by-step guide from Bridgman, you’re missing the point. He wants to wean you from those guides. Instead, Bridgman wants you to think about what you are seeing, not in words, but visually thinking. It is a big switch for most.

It means that you don’t follow some guide, where someone else has done the thinking, but instead, you have to think for yourself.

I will try to draw some examples of what I think Bridgman’s ideas are about drawing from life, not to impress you, but to use this blog to think about anatomy for artists. It is the thought process that counts, not the annotations on paper or in bits.

Once I’m sort of happy with those drawings, I will share them on this blog, with some words to explain what I’ve drawn and why.

Drawing a dog skeleton, part 2

3 Oct

So after a night’s sleep I tried two more sketches of a dog skeleton, based on an illustration of J.C. Amberlyn. I think each version was better than the previous, and I get a better feel for how the bones interconnect into a skeleton and why they are shaped as they are. The sketches are still very off-model, though.

Dog skeleton, part 2
Dog skeleton, part 3

To avoid focusing too much on a single illustration, I looked for online photo references. By watching the video podcast Tekzilla Daily Tip 454 I came across a new Google Labs feature called Google Similar Images. It is similar to Google Images search, which the difference that you can look for images that are visually very similar.

Of course, I can’t share those images here (most are fully copyrighted), but I can share the artist’s impression of those images. For me it’s just another way to improve my drawing skills.

I hope this search tip will help you as well.

That is all.

Horse skeleton, part 2

14 Aug

I’m trying to get a better feel for drawing horses, by copying the excellent illustrations by Ken Hultgren in his book The Art of Animal Drawing.

Horse skeleton, part 2

I guess that was kind of the intent of the book, since the detailed instruction on how to draw horses only starts at page 19. Before that, Hultgren gives some general tips on drawing animals, with some exquisite illustrations as examples. Perhaps those illustrations should be seen as an inspiration, or simply be copied and understood. Who knows.

That is all.

Ani-ano-anatomy, part 7

10 Jul

Another attempt to teach myself to draw a human head from imagination.

Ani-ano-anatomy, part 7

The blue colored pencil I used for the underdrawing caused the ink to flow instead of staying put on the paper. This led to unwanted inkblots, which I had to disguise or paint over with correction fluid. When I worked with graphite lead this didn’t happen. I guess the grease in the colored pencil is the culprit here.

That is all.