After breaking animal apart and examining each part separately; now it is time to put it into motion.
It will be a study like in the human poses, drawing quick, hence ignoring details and focusing on animal pose; sparing 30 seconds or a minute for a pose, let’s say -maybe a few minutes. Giving a little time for just one pose will make you draw it with a lot fewer lines as possible and that’s our aim to create the pose of the animal with few lines.
Starting a drawing like that allows you to see the pose, setting proportions well, then you are able to build the construction over it, I mean fat, muscles and fur, and details for further elements to complete your drawing. But first of all, you should be sure with the first step which gives the illusion of the captured motion of the animal.
Walking, running, jumping, climbing, stretching, yawning, lying down etc are the animal motions I can think of right now. Here I have some drawings where I included jump and run mostly -and a giraffe fight.
For this study, anatomy knowledge helps a lot, at least knowing limb bones’ direction and imagining major skeleton masses, helps you while setting proportions during sketching. You can go to previous posts for animal anatomy and animal anatomy 2 tutorials.
Pay attention to the cat’s size’s change when it is about to jump, jumps and lands. It was a cat fair I have been, there I saw really tall cats(or should I say long?). Attendants were holding them in the air and stretching to show how big they are. And here, in the drawing, you can see when a cat prepares itself for a jump, pushes, jumps, stretches and then lands.
What do I mean with prepare? Have you ever heard of Disney’s 12 principles of animation? One of them is called ‘anticipation‘ which is for preparation the audience for the following action for the more realistic motion of the character. E.g. if a human/animal is about to jump, he has to crouch and bend the legs in order to push himself further, for the first force doesn’t come out of nowhere.
A cheetah here, without fur pattern it looks weird. I thought of drawing a simple scheme of its skeleton to indicate major skeleton masses -like in proper proportions a rectangle for the skull, an oval for the rib cage, a line for the spine, thick dots for limb joints and lines for limbs; instead, I found myself counting 10 ribs and caring more for the shapes -well, it’s above.
So thinking of skeleton of the animal in some cases is super helpful to me. I don’t know what you think -I wonder what you think of it.
Have you ever seen a giraffe fight -even on screen-? Too creepy. Have you seen its tongue in the nostril for licking insects out?
Well, above there is a scene of a fight. In the first frame, it is the one on the left who hits(by its head). On the third frame, the other one hits, and by that force left one’s neck bends. At the fourth, fifth and sixth frames their heads straighten up.
Giraffes have 7 vertebrae on their necks and seeing that their necks are that flexible is something surprising(isn’t it?).
This is a mix of animals in motion sketching; 3 layers together. The first layer is drawn with an HB pencil slightly and kept really simple. With a fine tip black pen(0.1) it is redrawn -that is the second layer-. The third layer is with the reds to indicate parts for details.
You can choose one animal to google and study its poses. For one whole motion of a walk or jump or anything else you can find a video (of a fox diving into snow for example), stop it and draw the animal.