Drawing animal portraits can be a good practise to improve your sketching skills. Whether it is for leisure or you wish to gift it to someone, getting the techniques right for animal portrait can be really helpful and make your drawing session fun. From dogs, to cats, to birds even – with religious practise you will realise how you are improving tremendously on your drawing skills. In this article we share with you 5 essential tricks that will help you improve on your animal portrait drawing skills.
- Shading Right
Very often what we don’t realise is that shading in the right way can have a huge impact on the composition of a drawing, especially when it comes to doing a dog’s fur or a bird’s feather. You cannot just start scribbling with your pencil in any direction. If the fur is seen to be in the right then do it completely in the right direction otherwise it will not look realistic. This is further helped by blending/ You have to blend the shades smoothly so that if you are making a transition from lighter shade to darker shade the transition should look smooth and not as if you have jumped from one shade to the other.
- Wrinkles And Lines
Wrinkles and character lines are a part and partial of portrait whether they be animal portrait or human portrait. You can have shadowy edges to wrinkles but they cannot be hard and sharp, otherwise they would not even look like fine lines on the skin. This is one detail which a lot of people get wrong. If you find it difficult to make, practise on rough sheets first before doing it on your drawing paper. The drawing needs to reflect the expressions of the animal and without wrinkles and character lines it will not have a sense of realism to the artwork.
The face is the most important part to a portrait. The face needs to reflect the personality and expressions of the animal. It needs to convey the right kind of emotions to make it look as close to real as possible. It is really important that you know how to do the fur on the face right. You cannot simply make strokes, left and right, and call it fur. You have to know how to differentiate between short hair, long hair and whether the fur is smooth or not. This requires enough blending and layers to it to make it look like real fur. If it is a dog’s nose it could even be shown as being wet which means a portion of the nose has to be highlighted to give the wet effect. The same goes for the eyes, mouth and ears – you need to be sure about what you are doing at every step.
- Fur And Feathers
You have to know how to differentiate between fur and feathers. Furthermore, you need to understand the difference between wavy fur, straight fur or curly fur and that should reflect in your drawing. As we mentioned before, they cannot just be strokes over the board, strokes are not the same as fur. That will not give a realistic touch to your animal portrait.
- Cats, Rabbits, Dogs
Dogs have more fur on their body than cats, and their heads are rounder than cats. Whereas in the case of rabbits, they are rounder and their bellies are bigger. Their fur is a lot more smoother than cats and dogs. You have got to be creative with the kind of psoe they make, this is because in case you are making a live sketch, they will keep moving a lot.
Feathers are different from fur. If you want to draw a bird you have to start with their chest and head first, these are the two most fluffy parts of their body.
Your animal portrait needs to tell a story of the animal you draw. Their expressions need to be captured in the right way to make it look realistic and it should at the same time be thought provoking. You should also ensure to keep the drawing as candid as possible so that the movement in their body can be seen in the drawing to make it look real. If you have some thoughts to share on this article, please feel free to drop a line below. Happy Sketching!