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Drawing Animals


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Table of Contents

The history of drawing animals
How to start
Drawing key features
- Ears
-- African Wild Dog Ears step by step
- Noses
-- Buffalo nose step by step
- Hands and feet
-- Squirrel hands step by step
-- Leopard paw step by step
- Texture and pattern
-- Texture: Snake step by step
-- Pattern: Scottish Wildcat step by step
- Wolf step by step
- Meerkat step by step
- Red Panda step by step
- Tigers step by step
- Cheetah step by step
- Dogs
-- Step by step
- Cats
-- Step by step
- Horses
-- Step by step
- Rabbit step by step
- Bearded Dragon step by step
Drawing animals in movement
- Asian Elephant in movement step by step

About the Author

Lucy Swinburne was selected as a finalist in the Daily Mail's first "Not the Turner Prize" competition in 2003. She has also exhibited at the Mall Galleries and the Society of Feline Artists exhibition. Lucy has written many articles for the Leisure Painter magazine and has held numerous animal subject workshops for artists, where she has tutored students in pastel techniques. In her spare time, she enjoys painting commissions and spending time with her family and pets at her home in Hertfordshire, UK.


This is another revised and expanded re-issue (it was originally published in the Masterclass series) and is the complete guide for anyone wanting to tackle the rewarding subject of drawing animals. Although they're an understandably popular subject, animals can be one of the hardest, because of the difficulty of persuading them to pose. Sure, your cat or dog will look at you appealingly and you know instantly that they want food, exercise or just affection - it's one of the pleasures of owning a pet. However, it's almost insanely tricky to capture that moment and get the expression, the perspective and the proportions right. It's all about the moment, and the moment is gone in... well, a moment.

One of Lucy's first lessons is about using photographs and tracing the outline onto a grid that avoids the perennial long nose/short ears problem which besets even quite proficient artists. She also gets you practising eyes, ears, skin and fur. Although these are necessarily rather technical sections, they'll stand you in good stead for the exercises and demonstrations that follow. These cover a wide variety of animals, from small to large and both domestic and wild.

Lucy's drawings are exquisitely produced and it's impossible not to be inspired by her work, but shes's also excellent at explaining her methods and making them accessible - there's never a sense of 'if only' here.

* Paint magazine *

Although there is plenty of advanced work here, this is nevertheless a thoroughly approachable book and should certainly appeal to anyone with reasonable drawing skills who is wanting to turn their attention to the animal world. Domestic, wild and zoo animals are included and there's plenty of information on structural features such as eyes, ears and noses as well as complete projects that put the techniques you've developed into practice. There's also a handy section on working from photographs and transferring that image to paper using a grid to get the proportions right.

-- Henry Malt * Art Book Review *

After some introductory material on history, materials, and getting started drawing animal portraits, UK based artist Swinburne (Drawing Masterclass: Animals, 2013) delves right into the hardest features to capture correctly: facial structures like eyes, ears, and noses; hands and feet; and texture and pattern. Swinburne chooses a four-footed creature for each example: a giraffe's eye, an African wild dog's ear, a buffalo's nose, squirrel hands, leopard paws, the texture of a snake, and the pattern of a Scottish wildcat. In the same way, she walks readers through the steps of ten full portraits, from the exotic red panda and cheetah to the domestic short-haired cat and lop-eared bunny. Nearly the same process guides each drawing: outline, background, unusual features, eyes, shading, depth, and final touches like tone and impact. An almost hand-holding course in capturing animal portraits that are so lifelike it'll be difficult to understand why no one can hear or smell them. Full-size, ready-to-copy photographs are available on the author's website to aid with drawings.

-- Booklist * Booklist *

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