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Five-minute studies

Pick up a few basic materials and learn techniques to make quick and lively sketches of animals, with Gary Geraths

Sketching animals

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Practise quick sketching techniques to draw animals

Learn basic animal proportions

Loosen up and enjoy your sketching!

Looking and seeing

So, you have pencil and paper in hand; how do you begin your journey of animal sketching? It is worth noting that you will be making a lot of mistakes as you work towards producing successful sketches. With that in mind, here are a few previsualisation tips. Remember that it is partly a mental process, coupled with fast and furious drawing to produce satisfying results.

Gary Geraths Silverback Gorilla, 2014. I painted this big male gorilla’s posture to stress the animal’s shape, bulk and strength. All of the limbs are highlighted to show the pose and pow
Gary Geraths Giraffe Couple, 2015. When you are drawing several creatures simultaneously, try to spread the details throughout the animals to tie the group together visually. Here I made sure the foreground giraffe was clearly drawn.
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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to a new year of painting with Leisure Painter. We begin this month's tutorials with David Webb's new year-long series, Watercolour basics and beyond, where he takes you through essential watercolour techniques. This month, David discusses basic equipment and the first of the techniques: the wash. For all those who want a back-to-basics approach to drawing and painting, we have step-by-step demonstrations, illustrated techniques and practical advice in watercolour, acrylics and oils as well as drawing media. For those with more experience, you will find plenty of inspiration and practical instruction for painting portraits, landscapes, animals, still lifes, abstracts, a market scene and more. We're here to help you make the most of your favourite hobby.