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Monday, July 03, 2006

Dear, Elephants...Er, I mean "deer"

These two were from the same zoo visit that I mentioned in my last post.

In these, I was trying to explain a method for seeing and drawing animal necks as simple shapes first, to my girlfriend. She had mentioned having trouble drawing Gazelle necks, since they're so flexible and often twist in odd directions, so I offered my thoughts.

In answering most questions she had that day, as well as my own, I kept trying to think of the similarities between human and animal anatomy, to give a sense of familiarity to these odd creatures. I was explaining how human and animal necks are basically the same; that they originate from a spot on the body that doesn't change and that they have a basic form to them, and that the actual shape of the neck can be varied as needed through caricature. You can see what I mean in the first drawing above with the big tough guy and skinnier guy below him.

On the second page, there's a bit more neck explaination as well as a few Gazelle studies I did once they had run off out of sight. Using my observations of elephants and rhinos earlier in the day, I was trying to figure out what the differences were between the leg joints of various 4-legged animals. As a side note, I should mention that we were both flipping through The Art of Animal Drawing by Ken Hultgren during the day. It's a pretty good book to have and it managed to help answer most of our questions.


The drawings I've posted so far have been from a 9X6, vertically opening sketchbook that I keep with me all the time. I have a few other pages from a MASSIVE sketchbook that I was using at the zoo too, but I'll have to take pictures of those pages since they're too big to scan. For now, here's two more elephant drawings:

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