We've already covered the basics of constructing a head in chapters 1 and 3. Here we'll take it a step further.
So far, eyes have been treated as flat things stuck on a sphere. While this works for some styles, it helps a lot to realize eyes are spheres themselves. The eye sockets are set deeper into the head.
There are many features that are set deeper, or are raised higher (for example the the brow ridge or the cheek bone). Such dips and bumps change the contour of the basic sphere, and also create overlaps as the head turns.
Now let's look at some examples and different styles.
Here's the head of an anthro deer. I haven't changed much in terms of style; there are some small changes to the mouth and the eye, just to give him a sympathetic smile. And of course his neck is more human. No, most of the fun is in the construction of the antlers. The line between the tips of the antlers, tips of the ears, and the front of the muzzle are all parallel (and very slightly corrected for perspective). His antlers are not easily simplified, so I just use direction lines to make sure they won't end up lopsided.
Now let's try that again in a more toony style.
The head is more human, actually; he has a bigger brain, and the eyes are placed lower and more to the front. The nose, the mouth, and the eyes have been made larger to make them more expressive.
(TODO: bird heads)
Figure 4.4. Squirrel
More emphasis was put on humanizing her and giving her a very expressive face, as opposed to making her species crystal clear. The reason for the humped line in the under drawing was because a more squirrel-like form was first sketched out to make sure some of the animal would show through, and that was then whittled down to a character that humans could recognize as a very feminine being. She also has very hard angles and straight lines in her, as opposed to the curvy and rounded lines one would find in a realistic drawing.
River otters are very bouncy creatures, so unless the goal is to draw a character atypical to the species (ie. a Killer Rabbit), you want the species' personality to show through in your drawing. Thus, this guy has some bold parallel curves in him to give him a more animated look than the more stoic and reserved looking squirrel has. The underdrawing looks a bit more ottery with that big ol' nose, round face, and almond eyes. Personal style was applied to the drawing, with the end result of an otter that looks slightly less than an otter, though one that has more of an individual look to him as opposed to looking like any old otter on the streets (or in the streams). The artist has to decide whether their project or drawing calls for a critter that can be identified by species, or one that can be identified as an individual, and how much of a balance between the two needs to be struck.
Like the squirrel, many of the lines were straight and angular. His head was pretty much two rectangular shapes put together. In the finished drawing, the lines were rounded out in many places to give him a more natural look. As he was done in a more realistic style than the squirrel, he also has a different neck structure. Rather than having a thin neck that acts as a base for the skull like a human would, his neck is thick, and humps out from the back of his skull rather than just below it.
Most anthro characters can be broadly divided into two categories, depending on their legs. If they look more like human legs, so the entire sole of the foot is touching the ground, it is what is known as plantigrade:
You can also draw the legs more like an animal's. In this case, only the toes touch the ground, and the heel is lifted. This is called digitigrade.
In this example, the leg is overlaid with an x-ray. The hips and femur are human, but from the knee down the anatomy matches a horse's leg. Note that she still has the same joints as found in a normal leg, but the proportions are different.
Another possibility is to switch from human to animal anatomy at the foot, instead of at the knee. You could also say it's a plantigrade character walking on its toes.
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