Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Directed Study: Animal Anatomy (Fall 2015)

Module 15:

A wonderful end to our class. We all posted all our work together throughout our classroom and it took up almost every wall! Nothing much to report otherwise. I will say, because of this class I now have a clearer understanding of internal body structures of animals and how they relate, changed, can be altered etc.
I am able to name out bones and muscles, understand why they move and where they move, among a lot of other things, all relating to understanding.

Here are my two finals for the class. I will say I want to be able to touch up the kangaroo a bit more and submit that for spring show.

Module 14:

Cat Conservation day! I had a cheetah just about 6 feet away! I couldn't believe it! I never realized how big Cheetahs are. They are huge! Along with a cheetah, we were exposed to a Geoffrey cat (so cute and small), a younger black jaguar, a young mountain lion, and an ocelot. The young jaguar was beautiful as well! Even for such a small size it was very toned! She looked very strong. I just loved the variety of shapes each cat had. One had a small head, the other had a thick skull with a thick short body etc.

Thing that stinks is the fact that I didn't get in much drawing. Not that I was trying, but those cats were really excited and moving about. I took some great reference photos though, so that will be helpful in the future.

Either way a great learning experience. The cat owners were very helpful in telling us all they know about the cats, their specialties, and where they stand in terms of the wild and their increase or decline in the wild (mostly decline).

Module 13:

Last field trip of the year, second time at the sf zoo! Always nice to be able to go there. I really enjoy all the variety of animals they keep. So just a fun sketching day. We were told to focus on 3 animals, seeing how we have been there before, which I tried to, but the asian rhino just didn't want to pose for me! Either way, I got some good drawings in. It was cold, so I did what I could, but I also wanted to be able to see a couple more animals while I was there so I did wander a bit.

I mean, had to see my main man, the Red Ruffed Lemur! Never knew that kind of lemur existed, and I just love the thing! It might be his color, being so red of a maroon, but, the animals itself, has so much personality. Like at this field trip, he was literally propped up against a tree sunning his belly, hands at his side, legs sprawled open, head tilted up to get some sun on his neck. Classic lemur!

On top of that I was able to see the new lion cub play around with is mom, as well as a baby wallaby peeking it's head out of mom's ouch. Super cute, and put a smile on my face.


Module 12:

Today was a great day for animals, bad day for my body. Today was Exotic animal day. A woman and her partner brought in a whole mess of animals! What was wonderful is that I got to touch, hold and play with almost all of them! Unfortunately, my body was not letting me enjoy it as much as I KNOW i would've. Slowly during class, I developed an ear ache, which then became very painful to the point where I started crying in class. This prevented me from concentrating and enjoying myself. I will post the good drawings that I was able to get in, but there were more animals I wish I was able to draw and observe in a clearer state of mind. Seeing how I am writing this a week after the class, I was able to talk to my professor about 'making up' the class next semester, and she welcomed me to do that with no problems. I am very happy for that. I was surrounded by so much and hated the fact that I wasn't fully able to focus on the experience as much as I wanted to.

But all in all, great animals, some I have never seen before! Here is a list of what I was able to see, pet, and play with:

- Porcupine (who walked around all day and liked his ear scratched)
- Genet
- Serval Cat (who loved to cuddle)
- Ocelot
- Ring-tailed lemur
- Boa
- Fennec Fox
- some kind of huge Toad
- Hedge Hog
- Aligator
- a type of desert lizard (forgot the name)

I am just lucky to know I will be able to do this day again. It was so fun, just wish I wasn't so sick and in pain during it.


Module 11:

Fun day with bunnies and birds! I did a good amount of drawing, but I had more fun playing around with the animals than anything else. Such a stress reliever! One thing I enjoyed most was I was able to hold, pet, and let perch on my shoulders and arms, a lovely Cockatoo named Shanook. He was very nice and I have never had a chance to 'hold' a bird that big before. His feathering was the best thing I enjoyed to draw. I loved his expressive movements in his feather patterns and how he moved them around, up, and down, to show his mood and feelings. Especially those around his face a beak. That gave me some idea for character design and using other elements of a creature aside from their facial expressions, to tell the audience how they feel. I also had a chance to work on drawing some old taxidermy of a Canadian Goose, and type of dessert bird, and a Pheasant.


Module 10:

Another field trip! This time to the SF zoo. It was nice to be able to go there again (as I went there a last week for my other class) because there were a few animals I didn't get to see. It isn't fun when you are crunched for time, and you can only do so much! But I was able to get some good expressive poses. Looking at these I feel that my 'style' gesturally is showing more 'me.' I have found when I look at my gestural work, I felt I never really captured the subject that I was trying to draw. I am finding that I am just becoming more loose with my rendering and concentrating on shapes and understanding rather than worrying about getting it all down. I am focused on making a connection with the gestures, which then leads to good drawing. But ultimately, I am focused on the idea that this is PRACTICE. It is made to be messy. It is made to be experimental and involve exploration with understanding!

Module 9:

Had a beautiful Great Dane come in today. Her name was Remmie and she was amazingly sweet and loved attention(she especially loved to lick everyone's faces). I enjoyed drawing her since she was so lively and happy to see everyone. I drew a lot of her too, more than what I am showing here. I really enjoyed her feet! Her paws were so big and easy to see that I really found it very beneficial to draw them. I have always had trouble with the angles of digigrade animal's feet. I tend to draw them too angled. Now I understand how their paws sort of sit on the ground in relation to the pads of their feet.

Module 8:

Super fun time at the Oakland Zoo for this week's class! It wasn't hot and the sun wasn't out so the animals were either quite lively, calm, or sleepy (which I didn't mind, they are still to draw!). Later in the day, I started to wander around and just observe again. I am finding that I do that a lot instead of drawing more. But I just enjoy watching the animals as they are, helps me feel more connected when I draw them. For instance, I watched one of the giraffes run around bugging all the other giraffes around her. It was amazing to see every muscle in action. My drawings are awful of her. For some reason giraffes are difficult for me to draw right! But either way, still got some good practice time in and a good day.




Module 7:

This week wasn't completely uneventful. It was midterm day, therefore my professor wanted everything we have done thus far so she can just evaluate our drawings and progress. Because of this, she gave us time to work on our next homework assignment: The Dog. I was going to do my fiance's dog but she is too fuzzy, so I went with a picture I took of one of the grey hounds we had a couple of weeks ago. Poppy is her name, and she is very young and very muscular. Should do just fine once the render portion of the project comes around.

Other than that, I finished up our first batch of assignments dedicated to the Horse. I will say, I choose a difficult pose but it was a good difficulty. Not my best horse anatomy piece I've done though. There are problems that I had in these that I felt I can better. Of course, I am sure these won't be the last horse anatomy drawings I will do in my lifetime, so it was a good practice run (and nice to use Spirit as my model). As for the render, not my best either. Needs more, but time and priorities are against me and I had to work fast and stop at an 'ok' point.

Module 6:

Field trip to the Academy of Sciences! Super fun there and my first time being there so there was lots to see. We had to practice drawing all aspects of different creatures. I found that any animal that wasn't related to a horse and/or hoofed animals, I struggled with. Like my cheetah (to show and name one of the few failures of the day). That face is not right, body is not long and thin enough, and the tail, not sure what is happening there.

Even so, drew some animals I didn't know existed like the Kirk's Dikdik and the Gerenuk.

You learn something new everyday.


Module 5:

Dog day! Had a wonderful women bring in her two rescued grey hounds for class today. One much older than the other but still equally as fun to draw. Not included here, but I did a lot of sketching of their hind legs and feet. I feel in all animals, that are is my weak spot. I always have trouble with the angles and sizes when I am drawing. The more you draw the better you get!

Module 4:

Another field trip to another horse barn!! I was super excited! Especially since this barn was located over the bridge, so it was a nice time to be out of the city. The mountains were beautiful, but dry!

Anyways, we enjoyed drawing a few different horses, small drafts, paints, arabians, quarter horses etc But all in all, it was a relaxing class. One horse I loved was a beautiful black draft horse of some kind, Looked very close to a Friesian, but I couldn't tell you. She had a very pretty face with a large crested forehead! One of my favorite characteristic to draw for a horse. WE focused more on gestural drawings, I will only show those that I deem worthy to be seen, but there are a few more pages of just squiggles of horses moving about.

One thing I tried to focus on was perspective from the back view and lots of hind legs. Those two aspects in terms of drawing horses, are my weak points. Hind legs I ALWAYS have trouble with. The angles and where the joints fall in terms of their front legs, and how they stand etc. Always seem to draw them too much at an angle at the hock joint, or I push their cannon bones in too much. Now I know that their cannon bone section is usually straight from the hock. I mean, I did know that before, but in terms of training myself to remember that aspect need to be bred into a good habit to focus on. And then perspective. Live drawing is always an issue for me. I tend to flatten things out. I need to push myself to drawing more challenging angles to better understand space! Creating space is so important!

Module 3:

Fun time this week! I was able to draw the mounted police horses of Golden Gate Park. All of them were quarter horses, so, with that being said, they had big butts heehee (a trait quarters never seem to get rid of). Nonetheless, they were fun to draw since they were all mostly sleepy and lounging about. We had to draw a good amount of hooves for the 'assignment' for that day's class, but I went along to do a few more hooves than expected as well as a few horses :) I will say y gestural quality has improved! I am bale to raw faster and way more accurate that I was. Quite excited for that!

On top of this, homework has begun! I have will post each piece as I grow with the project and put them all together in the end. Firstly we are doing a horse: skeleton, muscles, and fully rendered. Since I have shown my professor that I am a horse woman, and have shown her my horse art, she has allowed me to do Spirit for my project (she had particular rules about the reference like all hooves showing, no tack on, good lighting to show muscles etc).

Photograph courtesy of Hannah Meader  

Below is my assignment. I rendered the skeleton traditionally with pen, pencil, and watercolor. Then added call outs and effects with photoshop. I think it looks pretty professional ( kind of proud of that). 


Module 2:

My professor has some collect of bones and structures! So lucky to have a teacher with so many resources! She brought in a full horse skeleton that she assembled herself ( with some help of course but herself). Today we just focused on drawing the skeleton in different perspectives, different sections etc. I won't post all of them, but the good ones I will. Just to say as well, these images are arranged in photoshop. They are all on 11x17" paper, or around that size. Just for image sack, plopping several together makes things  bit easier to deal with.

Module 1:

I really enjoyed the first class. I am very excited to see where this class takes me. There is a good amount of work and travel I have to dedicate to the class, so I will be tired out. But I know my animal design skills will increase a lot more in this class. Today, my professor brought in her massive bone collection. The majority of them were skulls, which we then drew in class. But wow! Lots of skulls of all kinds and sizes! It was great!
One thing I will enjoy is the fact that I have to do an extra set of bones and muscular structure of another animal of choice by the end of the semester. Lots of work, but it is ok. This is a great chance to look into animals like didgigrades (bears, hippos) and animals such as a kangaroo (whom I have already decided to be one of my animals since Meelo is basically a round kangaroo).