Depict muscle groups accurately
Brynn Metheney continues her series on animal anatomy by revealing how complex muscle groups can be simplified, to help build up an animal’s form
Vertebrate anatomy is consistent and as you study, you’ll notice that muscle groups between different animals are similar, if not the same. Just like with the skeletons in my previous lesson, it’s only the shapes and sizes that are exaggerated and despite a few differences, vertebrate bodies all share the same basic muscle systems.
When drawing out muscle studies of animals, it’s important to start out with a wireframe and then basic skeleton
Create a wire frame
We need a skeleton to attach these muscles to, so I begin with my 2H pencil and lay out a quick gesture. This is of a canid (a dog) walking. I’m not worried about detail; I just want the shape, proportion and motion. gesture. Using a harder lead for this will help keep the drawing light and workable as you move forward with your muscle study. You’ll notice that my canid skeleton isn’t detailed, but the gesture and proportions are in place so that I can build on top of it with my red Col-Erase pencil. These pencils are great because you can easily range from dark to light.
You’ll notice that these pencils do wear down quickly. If you’re drawing from life, it’s a good idea to have a few ready to go with sharpened tips, just so you can switch them out quickly and not waste time sharpening.
You’ll notice that once I have my skeleton in place, I lay in basic muscle groups. As you study more animal and human anatomy, you’ll begin to look for these landmarks in your drawing.