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  • Writer's pictureJason Morgan

Animal drawing and painting is NEVER EASY! Don't let anyone tell you different

BUT there are certainly levels of difficulty. The subject can be quite easy, like my FREE Giraffe pastel lesson in the picture at the bottom of the page, or it can be very complicated. I believe animal and human portraits are really the hardest things to draw, because we look into faces of animals and humans frequently and even being off by say a millimeter on the eye position can make everythigs look very noticably off. You have to remember that if you are trying to draw or paint REALISTIC animals then a few very important things are required for that realistic, almost 3D appearance to happen on the flat paper or canvas surface, and its not just gettign everything in the correct position. The most important of which is the tonal value - thats the scale of light to dark (forget about colour / hue - for now). Without lights, midtones and darks then there would be no visible shape and form created. In the Lion coloured pencil drawing below I've used black paper to act as my darks and just a white pencil to show the midtones and highlights. It shows that even without any colour we can create a realistic drawing. (FREE tonal value lesson HERE )


So after getting the drawing shape right, then the tonal value is the main thing to get correct.



Adding colour is an extra element that can really bring a subject to life, but once again its really not the most important part. The Jaguar pastel drawing below works because it has that dramatic contrast that I love so much. The colour creates warmth etc but the shape and form you see, thats the tonal values.



So dont expect even beginner animal drawings to be VERY easy, but if you take your time and follow the principles in my lessons you will continuously get better. Remember when you 1st started to tie your shoe laces, it took repetition and practice and then suddenl yyou could do it automatically, without even thinking about it. Art is not too disimilar :) So why not give my free Giraffe drawing a go and start your art yourney



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