Drawing Animals
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Drawing Animals

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by Victor Perard

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A renowned artist/teacher expertly demonstrates the muted strokes, bold lines, and simple arcs needed to bring animal drawings to vivid life. Numerous sketches highlight these techniques for drawing more than 50 animals: bears, camels, deer, elk, lions, llamas, and others.
Perfect for beginner or intermediate artists, this instruction book offers…  See more details below


A renowned artist/teacher expertly demonstrates the muted strokes, bold lines, and simple arcs needed to bring animal drawings to vivid life. Numerous sketches highlight these techniques for drawing more than 50 animals: bears, camels, deer, elk, lions, llamas, and others.
Perfect for beginner or intermediate artists, this instruction book offers fascinating commentary that emphasizes animal anatomy and behavior. Its author and illustrator, Victor Perard, was a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and an art instructor at New York City's Cooper Union for twenty years. Perard's informative guide reflects his extensive teaching experience, providing practical advice for aspiring and experienced artists.

Product Details

Dover Publications
Publication date:
Dover Art Instruction Series
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.30(d)

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Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-14564-8



Take care to place the drawing on the paper correctly. The appearance can often be spoiled by bad placing.

This sketch is badly placed on the page, as it is too far to the left.

This is properly placed on the page. It is better to have a little more room in front of a figure than in back.

This gorilla is placed too near the bottom and too much to the right of the page.

The jaguar is too large for the paper, but that is better than being too small.

The antelope is much too small, and badly placed.

Too small

Placed too high

Draw imaginary lines with your finger.

It is better to have more room in front than in back.

Use basic lines for proper placing.

Grizzly bear

So named because its brown hairs are silver-tipped, the grizzly is the fiercest animal in North America, although it rarely fights man unless attacked. A large male may weigh 500 pounds.

It eats small animals and a variety of plants, berries, and insects. In this drawing a grizzly bear family is looking for insects in a dead tree.

Polar bears

In order to learn expressions and proportions, get a good outline first. Do not shade any more than is really necessary. Shading is less important than outline.

American buffalo

All that remains of the once much hunted buffalo is a small, protected herd. The buffalo's head is large and heavy, its shoulders massive, and its hindquarters small.


The Arabian (dromedary) camel is larger than the Central Asian (Bactrian), and has only one hump, while the Bactrian has two. The Bactrian has the shorter legs, is more awkward, and grows a thick winter coat, which it sheds in the spring.

Tabby Cat

Ordinary writing ink is fine for brush drawings.

Chimpanzees enjoy performing for audiences.

The chimpanzee is from Equatorial Africa. Here is one threading a needle.

African gorilla

The ape walks on its knuckles.


When drawing, always try to capture the spirit of subject. A bull should be drawn boldy.

Use light lines to start a drawing.

Domestic cow

Texas long horn

Blooded bull

Use straight lines first to show the direction of the lines, the subjects' size, and proportion.

Jersey calves

This sketch was treated with a bold pencil technique, in order to bring out the block shaded method.

Coyote and pups

Outline studies with a pen teach accuracy; mistakes cannot be hidden by shading.


Russian wolf

American gray wolf

Fallow deer

The fallow deer is related to the red deer of Europe and the white tail deer of America. Its widely used Indian name is wapitie. Its coat ranges from reddish brown to gray, usually with a white underside.

The action in this group of startled deer calls for abrupt changes in line directions.

White tail deer

American elk

Go to the nearest zoo, take a pad, and draw an animal without looking at your paper. Then draw the same animal from memory. You will find this good practice.

The coat of the white tail deer is gray in winter and brown in summer. It is fond of grass-lined lakes and mountain clearings. This deer is a splendid game animal.

Young doe


If you use a brush, learn to keep it pointed by turning it frequently. Make sure that the brush hairs are springy, and that they return to a point.

When copying this, make your own basic lines, giving enough expression to make the picture interesting.

The art of drawing with a few lines is mastered by learning to find the important lines and then simplifying them.

Indian elephant

Skill will improve if you change to a brush and ink occasionally.

African elephants have large ears

Red fox of North America

If the essential lines show the action, proportions, and character, the most important part of the drawing is finished.


The giraffe is the tallest of mammals; its head is often eighteen feet from, the ground. It has reddish brown spots. Giraffes stay in small herds, numbering from five to forty. The species is fast disappearing.


The hippopotamus is a harmless monster with a body from thirteen to sixteen feet long, and weighing from 4,000 to 5,000 pounds. It leaves the shores of Africa only to sleep on land, or to forage in the fields at night. Draw it in a simple, bold style, giving the feeling of weight.

This page represents the relative positions of the legs and the feet of a horse in various gaits.

The start of a drawing is of primary importance. The rest follows easily, if the basic lines are properly placed. Learning to find these lines and to see forms in proportion teaches you to imagine your subject on the blank paper. The truth of expression and action is first obtained by the beginning lines, so draw lightly at first. Speed up later, if you must.

Draw first with an H. B. pencil, then use a No. 1 brush for outline and shading.

Spotted African hyena

Use light lines to star a drawing

Timber wolf

Kangaroo and young

The kangaroo, a pouched mammal, is a native of Australia. The hind legs are large for hopping. The tail serves as a prop. Some kangaroos stand nearly seven feet high.

African leopards


The man-eating jaguar is found all the way from southwest Texas to Central America and Patagonia. In color and skin pattern it seems to be related to the old world leopard. The jaguar is a much heavier animal than the African leopard.

African lion

In size it may measure ten feet from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Study the muscular system on this page before starting to draw one of these lions. Try to find the basic lines before attempting to finish the drawing. Practice drawing the head in different positions.

Lion cub


The llama is a native of South America. It was the only beast of burden discovered by the early explorers. Its foot formation enables the llama to climb the steepest mountains. It is closely related to the eastern camel.

The rivals

The moose is the largest member of the deer family, the biggest specimens being found in Alaska. It is a forest-loving animal, living on leaves, the bark of trees, and plants in lakes.

Draw the small action figures first, so as to get the character and proportions of the animal. The head is small for such a large animal.

The mountain lion (cougar, panther, puma) has no close relatives in the old world. The cougar prefers the rough mountain country of the western United States. Deer are its chief prey. It is to be feared only when it is starving. Its den is usually a cave in the rocks.

The original wild ass of East Africa is a large, sturdy animal.

Practice drawing circles and straight lines. You will constantly use them in drawing, and they will give you coordination between the mind and the hand.

Do not skip over drawing basic lines. The best artists use them. They teach you to see a thing as a whole.

Pigs have a bristly hide. The flesh, pork, has been a food since prehistoric times. The domesticated pig is a descendant of the wild boar. Pigs multiply quickly.




To have character a pencil line must be made with a soft pencil. Hard pencils have little feeling of touch, but are useful for starting a drawing.


African rhinoceros

The above, is a pen and ink sketch of an Indian rhinoceros, which has two horns. Every artist should learn to use the pen with freedom.

This ferocious animal has the habit of attacking every object that crosses its path. It is difficult to shoot because of its thick, protective hide. This beast has a horn on its nose. The horn is simply a growth of smooth skin.

Use a soft pencil for this sketch.

The California sea lion is larger than the common seal. It has a rounded head, short hind legs folded forward, and flippers on both sides of its stumpy tail.

The fin bones are like the bones of a human hand.

Seals are expert catchers.

Old goat


Practice making your own grouping of sheep and goats.

Young goat


When drawing a subject that has many grouped forms, such as this flock of sheep, it is safer to keep to a rich outline without much shading.


The bighorn Rocky Mountain sheep has special pads inside its hoofs, which enable it to hang onto the edge of almost everything. It can easily walk on ice and keep a grip on slippery edges.

Experiment with tracing this group of bighorns through tracing paper. Then see if you can draw it entirely from memory. This is a fine memory test.

Stick to your basic lines and then build on them. If your sketches are poor, it is because you have not used enough basic lines.

If sketching from nature, do not change your drawing every time your subject moves. It will often return to the original pose.

The royal Bengal tiger of India is the most beautiful member of the cat family. It is of enormous size, over three feet high and weighing from 600 to 800 pounds.


The zebra descends from the wild ass of Somaliland. There are four species of zebras. The stripes are drawn nearly at right angles to the parts of the body on which they occur, so that the stripes of the legs are horizontal, while those of the body are vertical.

Wild African ass

Our domesticated donkey is a descendant of this animal.


Excerpted from DRAWING ANIMALS by VICTOR PERARD. Copyright © 2007 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Drawing Animals 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book. I can't stop drawing animals now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great for drawing animals.My daughter loves it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago