Drawing Animals – Anatomy

We have gone through a huge human title(25 posts so far), now it is time for drawing animals, starting with anatomy. Here we go!

To me drawing an animal has been all about making sense of the illusion on the drawing surface (proportions, fur, colors etc); so, in here I want to start with skeletal system again, like the way I followed for human posts, the thing gets more interesting, I have been so excited while preparing this post.

It is quite interesting topic to compare animal anatomy to human to see the similarities and differences. We share very similar skeletal and muscular constructions which are shaped by the differences in their needs so they only appear in different proportions and sizes as a result. All have a skull, rib cage and pelvis combined by a central spine, to give the shape to the body and protect organs inside. Then, of course, there are limbs.

human animal anatomy comparison

Here is the drawing I have; comparison of human to animal skeletons; a hand of human, dog and horse -let’s see them in parts.

Scapula(shoulder blade) and the head of humerus together form the shoulder joint, this is one of the important points what you should seek in the drawings; the shape of scapula, lenght of neck, lenght of upper limb are some others.

human and cat anatomy

In the drawing above there is no ratio between the human and the cat, rather pay attention to the arrows.
The neck is longer in animals than humans. Also, the curve of the spine at the waist is reverse; see the arrows before pelvises -they show opposite sides.

human animal foot

Here is a little remembrance sketch of bones of leg, hand and foot for human; then it is quite interesting to compare it to animals. Yet most of us think when we look at an animal that we see clearly femur bone and tibia&fibula after, which was sort of surprising to me to discover that femur is hidden in some of the animals’ bodies. In the following drawing you are going to see it clearly.

Quick remembrance:
What we have for hand is two bones at the lower arm(radius and ulna)->wrist joint->carpal bones->metacarpal bones->phalanges

We have two bones at the lower limb(tibia and fibula)->ankle joint>tarsal bones->metatarsal bones->phalanges
This is the same order for animals, too. F
or different species bones appear in different forms. Thinking that a human has five fingers/toes in a hand/foot; that’s just one for a horse -and it’s like walking on the fingertip-; bones are fused together in a bird in the wings; splayed out in a bat for the wings.

animal anatomy drawings

In here there are cat, dog, giraffe and cow. Pay attention how scapula changes shape and size and joints upper limb bone(humerus).

What most people think the bone of lower of a quadruped animal is actually the upper one as a misconception. You can see it clearly for the cat and cow above. Upper legs(which come right after scapula and pelvis) are inside the skin of the animal, buried in fat and muscles. Tibia and fibula follow that upper leg bone(femur).

I examined dog, cat, horse, giraffe and cow in this title. You can palpate your pets gently, go to a museum or google bones of any animal you want to see and sketch them. I’d really like to have a chance to go to Paris to Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy, that could have been just awesome for this title!

P.S.: Here there are two links which helped me with this post if you’d like to read:

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