In This Chapter
V First, gesture
V Then shape
Animals = action. These two words go hand in hand in art. Their lives are of necessity active and their activities are reflected in an alert grace of line, even when they are in repose or asleep. Indeed, because of their markings, many animals appear to be awake when they are sleeping, and many mammals sleep so lightly that even when apparently asleep they will move their ears in the direction of a sound that is inaudible to us. So there is always a feeling of perpetual motion about animals, and to draw them successfully this must be borne in mind.
Interior and exterior landscapes are one thing, but now it's time to populate your drawings. Whether it's animals or people, re-creating living things on the page takes both practice and patience.
As Alexander Calder points out, animals = action. Capturing that action is the first step in creating dynamic animal drawings.
Earliest man covered the walls of caves with drawings of animals in a basic attempt to know them, relate to them, hunt them, revere them, use them, learn from them, dominate them, and celebrate them. Unlike the spears and arrows that appear next to them in these ancient drawings, animals continue today to be among artists' favorite drawing subjects.
You may want to let your sleeping dog lie, but there's no reason you can't draw him while he does. But how do you draw a sleeping dog—or a running horse? Let's find out.
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