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The Art of Animal Drawing: Construction, Action Analysis, Caricature (Dover Art Instruction) Paperback – February 9, 1993

4.6 out of 5 stars 200 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This thoughtful and incisive guidebook, written by a former animator for Walt Disney Studios, will help artists at many skill levels improve their ability to draw a wide variety of animal forms both realistically and as caricatures.
You'll learn why the author considers construction, action analysis, and caricature all-important for a clear understanding of animal anatomy and movement. You'll also benefit from Mr. Hultgren's expert
advice and tips on catching the essential movement and character of animals and avoiding the stiff, wooden poses that are the frequent and unfortunate result of much sketching of animals from life. Throughout, the emphasis is on construction drawings (there are over 700 line illustrations and halftones) rather than on text. This means the student is able to view the development process of the drawing by example rather than theory or description.
The book begins with introductory chapters on the special techniques of drawing animals, the use of line, establishing mood and feeling, conveying action, and brush techniques. Mr. Hultgren then turns to individual animal forms—horses, deer, cats, cows and bulls, giraffes, camels, gorillas, pigs, and many more. His instruction on animal caricature will be especially valuable to the legions of artists avidly interested in the subject.
The Art of Animal Drawing belongs in the library of any artist—student, amateur, or professional—who is interested in drawing animals.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Art Instruction
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Revised ed. edition (February 9, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486274268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486274263
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Originally published in 1950, these drawings remind me
of the old Disney cartoon classics animals. Ken's animals
express emotions, movement, and come to life. Ken keeps
writing to a minimum, sharing excellent insights and tips;
while the majority of the book speaks for itself in his
drawings. I found this book to be truly helpful in
improving my own animal drawings. His insights can be
very useful, and solved some problems for me. His drawings
range from very simple to very impressive work. This is
definitely a book worth studying.
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Format: Paperback
This book is somewhere right between a "How to Draw Animals" book and a detailed anatomy book. It gives you the basics of the muscles for each animal in beautiful, dynamic sketches that take you from drawing static (but proportional) animals to leaping, rolling, fighting animals. If you're really serious, you'll still need a more detailed anatomy book, but for movement (especially of horses and deer and their running patterns) this one is awesome. Just a warning though, the section on dogs is awesome but smaller than the horses, the section on cats is extensive but focuses mostly on big cats, and the section on wolves/foxes/wild dogs is pretty brief - much more of the book is spent on the larger herbivores and some less commonly studied animals like kangaroos, camels, rabbits, and a big section on bears.
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By A Customer on August 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Are you tired of drawing animals that seem flat and lifeless? Then this book is definately for you. Ken Hultgren does more than merely teach you to draw, he teaches you how to draw with the illusion of movement, and how to put life into the image.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just recently got this book and I must admit, as a graphic designer, this book is quite helpful with learning more of the different animals' anatomy and structure but the only negative thing I can say is that it could be even more helpful if it had more words in it to go along with the images he shows you. Adding some instructions would help a long ways to showing a person how he got to each image. But all in all, it's very helpful.

Mike Sexton,

Owner, Birdman's Designs
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book because Mr. Hultgren had a lot of artistic skill. However, the instruction is a bit lacking because he has so much in this book. I would have preferred less of his finished drawings and more step by step.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful resource for any artist interested in drawing some well-known animals; such as, horses or dogs. The sketching by Hultgren is phenomenal. This is NOT a book for beginning artist. If you are looking for a drawing book that gives you the step-by-step instructions using circles, triangles, and lines, you will not find that in this book. Other books are available that will give you this type of instruction.

Hultgren comes more from the viewpoint that you already have a fundamental understanding on how to draw. He does offer tips on drawing animals, but it is more advanced than draw three circles, then connect this circle to this circle. He speaks more of the specific elements of different animals; such as, verbally instructing you to divide the animal into three parts - forequarters, belly, and rear - and drawing a dorsal line between these parts. He also provides a section on mood and feeling that I found interesting and personally helpful. Furthermore, sections on the use of line, action analysis, and brush technique are included.

Now to get down to the specific animals Hultgren covers. For me the selection worked well, but it is not all encompassing. It couldn't possibly be, or else you wouldn't even be able to pick up the darn book. He offers detailed instruction on the Horse Family, Deer Family, the Cat Family, and the Bear Family. These are the most detailed sections of the book offering instruction drawing the skeletal and muscular structure of the animal. These sections also provide instruction on action, motion, specific body parts, and types of the animal. For instance, the lioness or the draft horse.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to learn to draw animals from memory, that's the book to get. I bought a couple others books on the subject since, but i always come back to this one. I find this book the equivalent of the Andrew Loomis series for human anatomy.
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By Bishop on April 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The drawings within this book are excellent., BUT... out of 134 pages,
there are at least 43 pages of horses in virtually every position known to man.
I don't draw horses. Deer, bear, and the big cats proliferate the pages.
Relatively few smaller animals like squirrels and rabbits can be found here.
Not a weasel in the bunch, etc. The dog section looks good, but even there, it is limited in scope.
Finally, the author wastes a lot of space on a whole bunch of cartoon animals.
If you like horses and silly cartoons, this book is for you.
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