Your quest to drawing animals starts here

"How do horses even work?" I found myself shouting that while slamming my pencil down. They are one of the hardest things to draw, but they don't have to be. I set out to learn how to draw these beasts and along the way I found a practical approach to not just drawing horses, but all kinds of mammals. And now I want to pass that information on to you.

In this class Jake deconstructs complex animal anatomy and mechanics into basic, understandable components. The lesson is broken down into these sections:

  • The Basic Structure of a Mammal
  • The 4 Main Sections of the Body
  • Drawing Heads
  • Drawing Fore Limbs
  • Drawing Back Limbs
  • Drawing the Body
  • Drawing Predators
  • Drawing Unconventional Shaped Mammals like Kangaroos
  • Drawing Rodents
  • Drawing African Mammals

In this class you will learn:

  • The principles of designing animals

  • How to apply these principles to create animals in different poses

  • How to analyze photos of animals and apply real life reference to your drawings

  • How to draw complex animal poses

  • Methods of working up from a thumbnail sketch to finished drawing

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About the Instructor

Illustrator/Cartoonist

Jake Parker

For the last 19 years Jake has worked on everything from animated films to comics to picture books. For several years he worked for Reel FX and Blue Sky Studios on such projects as Horton Hears a Who, Rio, and Epic. He is the creator of the popular Inktober drawing challenge. Jake currently works as an illustrator and cartoonist on children's books and comics. He works out of his home studio in Utah.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    New Chapter

    • Intro, Basic Structure - 4 Parts

    • Basic Structure - the Body

    • Basic Structure - the Head

    • Basic Structure - Forelimbs

    • Basic Structure - Rear Limbs

    • Basic Structure - Bones, Muscles

    • Basic Structure - Building from Ground up

    • Posing

    • Horse Drawing Challenge

    • Different Animals

    • Drawing Challenge 1

    • Drawing Challenge 2

    • Course Notes PDF

    • Wolf.psd

  • 12

    Videos

  • 1.3

    Hours

  • 1

    Downloads

Reviews

Can't wait for more

Aleksey Nisenboym

This has been extremely helpful with drawing mammals. I cant wait for them to do one for birds, reptiles, amphibians, and possibly insects and such. Would ha...

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This has been extremely helpful with drawing mammals. I cant wait for them to do one for birds, reptiles, amphibians, and possibly insects and such. Would have also loved a time or 2 on rendering fur since its a mammals class. Other than that it's the most helpful animals drawing lesson I've seen.

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Great for a start!

Marco Morgado dos Santos

It goes to the basics of drawing mammals and gives some practical information that really makes all the difference when drawing from imagination. Those prin...

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It goes to the basics of drawing mammals and gives some practical information that really makes all the difference when drawing from imagination. Those principles can be applied very easily. I wish there was a more in-depth course on some animals. Like picking some animals, packing them in courses (of 2 or 3 for example) and going a little further on them. Anyway, this is a great place to start drawing animals :)

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Skeleton Beauty

Glenn Hibburt

Drawing animals has been the hardest thing next to drawing vehicles for me. I have only just started to manage average efforts. I would have loved to have ha...

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Drawing animals has been the hardest thing next to drawing vehicles for me. I have only just started to manage average efforts. I would have loved to have had a course like this to go to at the time I was teaching myself. I would have like to seen a human-like sitting position of the horse. I'm finding this a bit of a challenge to master. I want to draw two dogs sitting like humans for a comic strip. A least I understand more now about the skeleton after this course, and that a happy, happy thing.

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Engaging and Useful

Suzy Flacco

This is the first video I activated and watched completely. Loved it and will use the techniques expertly demonstrated.

This is the first video I activated and watched completely. Loved it and will use the techniques expertly demonstrated.

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Really Great Insight

Geoffrey Gordon

I loved the understanding of anatomy and how with that knowledge you can then create poses and structure your animals to look more realistic and well proport...

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I loved the understanding of anatomy and how with that knowledge you can then create poses and structure your animals to look more realistic and well proportioned. Really good overview. You guys rock.

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Great compact course for drawing animals

Michaela Heimlich

This was very compact, but very useful for me in seeing how Jake works and how to look at anaimals and their structure and bones and build above it.

This was very compact, but very useful for me in seeing how Jake works and how to look at anaimals and their structure and bones and build above it.

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very helpful!

Jonáš Zavacký

I was skipping this class all the time, but I am glad I did not skip it this time... and to my discovery, an animal structure is much simpler than I thought ...

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I was skipping this class all the time, but I am glad I did not skip it this time... and to my discovery, an animal structure is much simpler than I thought :D thank you for showing us that!

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Awesome course!

Patsy Parker

Loved watching Jake explain basic mammal structure and enjoyed Will's questions and challenges. Really fun to watch!

Loved watching Jake explain basic mammal structure and enjoyed Will's questions and challenges. Really fun to watch!

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Simple but clever way of drawing animals :-)

First Last

'How to draw animals' class is great:) its really interesting how you can take animal body into parts, simplify it and then build it up again in any pose tha...

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'How to draw animals' class is great:) its really interesting how you can take animal body into parts, simplify it and then build it up again in any pose that you want.

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The Basics I needed

Michael Kimball

I feel this was a great introduction to drawing animals. I've previously studied at random for a few minor designs, so I was curious about this course. It de...

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I feel this was a great introduction to drawing animals. I've previously studied at random for a few minor designs, so I was curious about this course. It definitely helped fill some holes in the foundation I've been building, and quickly boosted my confidence to sketch some basic animals. This is a nice start to expand upon, and overall, I'm very glad I checked it out. Would love to see more creature design courses in the future, including more types of animals (birds, reptiles, etc).

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Great course.

Kenneth Buekenhout

Great course, I learned a bunch and it was just the right amount of information I needed to draw animals. I was the same as Will, I always thought animals we...

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Great course, I learned a bunch and it was just the right amount of information I needed to draw animals. I was the same as Will, I always thought animals were way to complex and therefore I tried to avoid them. But after this course I'm more confident to start drawing animals. Jake and Will, you should do more duo teaching classes like this. And the PDF and PSD-file with Jake's drawings from the course, are nice little extra's, it even feels like some kind of reward. I would love to see more of these in the future.

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