Rules for drawing Animal Ears, Eyes and Nose

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Yuki the German Shepherd Cross ReferenceI have recently been asked if there are any general rules to follow governing animal’s eyes nose and ears. Given that there are numerous angles an animal head can adopt in a pose this is not easy to give a satisfactory answer, but I can give you guide lines that I use.

First of all it is really important to use the best possible reference you can get, many a time I have refused to take on a portrait because the reference given would not allow me to do the animal justice.

There is another reason for a good reference photograph; you would see all the finer details that help you make decisions in interpreting them in your artwork.

A poor reference would mean a lot of guesswork and that will lead to disappointment for you and the customer (if it’s a commission).

Another point I would like to tag on while we are talking about good reference material is in artwork I use artistic license a great deal. With a good reference I am able to see the detail as it is without guesswork therefore I can interpret the detail correctly and use my artistic licence with complete confidence, if I used guesswork here it would be a disaster.

As a general rule the ears, eyes and nose should line up. If the reference does not show this then there will always be a reason, and you have to find out what it is, again a poor reference might not give this information.

In the coming weeks you will see a few examples of these faults in blogs.

By | 2018-03-15T15:13:13+00:00 February 21st, 2016|Animal Tips, Tips & Techniques|0 Comments