Bears are related to seals, and when you start to draw them, it's easy to see why. Give yourself 5 points if you even knew seals had claws. Pinnipeds, a fancy name for seals, sea Lions, and walruses, are bears closest living relatives. Somewhere along the family line, nature said, "You know, I like all the cuteness going on here, but what I really want to favor are genes that run fast on land, and has a significant amount of badass. Behold: The bear."
Step 1: Shapes
Bear anatomy is bang-on identifiable. Strong jaws. Powerful bodies which are thick in the middle.
Step 2: Lines
So people who spend all day staring at animal feet, aren't you jealous of that job, have concluded that in addition to the powerful jaws and thick bodies, seals and bears also share feet. Both have five claws on each foot, both have the same basic bone structure and both are plantigrade (meaning that both the heel and toe touch the ground). Their claws are not retractable like your cat's, but they don't seem to have any trouble getting up a tree.
Step 3: Ink
Due to their size, bears typically walk on all fours but actually have no trouble standing upright. It comes back to how their feet are put together. The bigger the critter, the stiffer the shoes.
Step 4: Colour
So the next time you're forced to spend time at a family reunion and you're thinking, "How can I possibly be related to these people?!," just remember, evolution likes to mess with us.
And if you'd like to know more about the evolution of bears, may I suggest you introduce yourself to Puijila. Happy drawing!
Duke University. "The bigger the animal, the stiffer the 'shoes': Carnivores' feet 'tuned' to their body size." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100224132507.htm>.
Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw the Métis Buffalo Runner horse.
Step One: Shapes
Shapes are your friends in the world of horses, comics, or whatever else you're drawing. So start with some easy shapes.
Step Two: Outlines
If your'e happy with how your horse is looking, try to lay down some outlines and erase what you don't need.
Step Three: Ink and marker
Great! Now comes the part where we ink and marker. I use micron pens for almost everything, as they are invincible to water. Using Prismacolor markers could do wtih an entire separate tutorial, but for now, let's just use one marker. This horse is done with a 40% gray, but you can use whatever you have handy.
Done! Nicely done! I've included each image below in one tutorial graphic for you legendary nerds out there which is easy to save and print. Happy drawing! More at htdhorses.
Drawing a feathered dinosaur requires little more than some paper and a pencil. I happen to be a fan of the mighty mechanical pencil, myself. If you're curious how all the dinosaurs suddenly turned into poofy turkeys, this post by djublonskopf is a readable, comprehensive guide to dinosaur feathers and scales.
Step 1: Shapes
Shapes are your friends when it comes to drawing dinosaurs or whatever you're drawing. And I have the habit of drawing dinosaurs without feathers first. (Naughty, naughty, I know.) This dromaeosaur will be a small raptorian sort of thing, but of course, you can decorate him any way you like.
Step 2: Some Feathers
Feathers are the first step. If you have ever had the chance to examine a bird, you'll find that when it comes to body mass, many of them are much smaller than you'd think. Feathers create a lot of "poof." Experiment with plumage. Some of my favorites to reference are vultures and eagles.
Step 3: More Feathers
Feathers lay in layers, and you can play with shadows to make them appear to lift and twist. I've also decided to show a bit of teeth to add to the smirk, he he.
Step 4: Even More Feathers
If you look at the chin line difference between Step 3 above and this image, you'll see the little feathers added to give this dinosaur the look of a ruffled parrot. Could there have been a strong chin with no feathers? Sure!
Step 5: Revenge of the Feathers!
That's enough feathers for now, I quite agree.
Step 6: Shading
I know, shading, that's a scary word to some artists. Fear not! Light source is good for you. It, um, builds character or something. And this is all in pencil, so if you don't like something, no worries, you can always erase it. For example, in Step 4, there was a strong shadow over the eye. Two seconds with an eraser, and you'll see that this "how to draw dinosaur tutorial" is improved!
Step 7: More Pencil Sketch
Even if the museum wants a white dinosaur, I rarely ever use a true white. Most things just aren't truly bright white. This feathered dinosaur I've decided is darker anyway, so I'm going to quickly colour in his plumage and darken some shadows.
Step 8: Finish
Check it out! In the time it took me to watch a BBC Top Gear rerun, we have a cute, feathered theropod that the museum director is going to fall in love with and insist everyone get a huge raise. OK, actually, that second part never happens, (not because our director isn't awesome, more because that's not how raises work,) the point is, its wicked fun drawing raptors. Cheers!
Everything I know about painting, I learned in Mrs. V's art class. To be fair, I don't know that she really ever meant to be an art teacher. And I know she wasn't paid nearly enough. Still, I'm not sure foam tiles for the dropped ceiling trying to hide the asbestos covered pipes was the best art project for small children.
I try not to judge.
Step 1: The Dinosaur Sketch
Sketch out the loose form of your dinosaur. This is done in photoshop with a Huion 610Pro tabler. Huion can be had at a more affordable price compared to Wacom. Wacom is still the king among tablets though. Work with what you've got.
Step 2: Base Colours
Make a new layer if you're using photoshop. Here it only depends on what you want your final colour to be. I think my dino should be a light shade, so I'm laying down a yellowish-beige and some ruddy reds.
Step 3: Base Background
Throw down some purple on the canvas in a new layer. This will be a snowy scene, so I'm keeping with cool colours. You can try out different selections to compliment your dinosaur painting.
Step 4: Duplicate and Highlight
It's faster sometimes to duplicate layers you've already layed down, and then erase, blend, and paint as you need to. For the little cretaceous mammals, I've put down an icy blue, and then a light gray on top. I almost never use true white for highlights. For the dinosaur, I've blended the same light blue-gray for highlights.
Step 5: Eyes & teeth
Painting dinosaur eyes and teeth is a loose affair when I'm in a hurry. This Tyrannosaurid would also look brilliant with blue eyes. But we stuck with orange.
Step 6: Shadows
Since the light source is coming from above, the dinosaur shadows will be below. Use a new layer set to multiply and brush on more purple.
Step 7: Details
Here's where photoshop brushes will make your life easier. Feathers don't usually happen randomly, even on dinosaurs. They lay in rows. If you're new to painting feathers, I highly recommend "Owls" by Scholz, it's brilliant, and "Drawing Birds" by Laws. Both are excellent.
Painting scales deserves it's own books and tutorials as well. I often set that layer to "Emboss" and alter the highlight to match the light direction of the dinosaur.
Step 8: Duplicate Layers & Let It Snow
How to paint a snowy dinosaur? That's how! Hope you had fun.
With the dire wolf and smilodons gone from the landscape, have you ever wondered how the coyote is still among us? Was it due to luck? Cooperation? Curiously advantageous biological lady cycle? Evolutionary mafia? Let's look at some facts and figures, none of which involve much in the way of reading. "Inform you, but make it quick." <-- We heard you.
In the fantastical world of measurement and observation, there are some notable factoid notes:
Anyone who's ever done a search for "coyote howling at the moon" will be confronted with the "coyote howling at the moon" epidemic in iconic art. They are very vocal critters who bark, yip, call, and yes, howl. They are also adept at hunting mice and hares, and will leap and pounce on tiny lives.
The coyote isn't really what you'd call a picky eater. There's probably a lesson in survival for you kids out there, so eat your sprouts or something to that effect.
Canis Latrans, if you want to get uppity about it, is one of the North American widespread wonders. Adaptable. Problem solving. Top-down management style of the rodent population. If you're looking for images of coyote skulls and anatomy, you can click here. If you're curious about skull identification in general, there is a short reference tutorial here.
Here is the full coyote infographic which is available for free download. You're welcome. If you're interested in drawing coyotes, there are sketches here. Shout out to unsplash for the coyote photo.
And check out "The End of the Ice Age: Ecology, Functional Morphology, and Megafaunal Response to a Changing World" if you have 50 minutes. If you're pressed for time, you can jump to minute 13 to get some good stuff about coyotes. It's Julie Meachen, from Des Moines University. Pretty sweet!
We're all allowed 10 minutes of stupid a day. Sometimes, we abuse the privilege. Cats run up into engines, fall into fires, and they knock over boiling stuff on the stove proving that self inflicted pain hurts the worst. Here's what you can do if you're forced to buy time until you can get your burned pet to the vet.
You should have these items in your animal health-chest arsenal:
What To Do
This will likely be a 2-person+ project, depending on the "agree-ability" of the patient. Most burns are thermal in type, (not chemical,) which is what the following steps cover. Care is a "learn-by-doing" process. Enlist experienced help if you can.
Step 1: Remove what burnt hair you can and determine the severity of the burn sites. Use the trimmer to clear away matted hair and expose the burned area. Matted hair will give infections the perfect place to grow.
Step 2: Make a diluted iodine & water mixture. I rather eyeball it. If you've never done it before, you can try 1 qt distilled water to 4 tsp Providone-iodine. Or you can buy it premixed. Up to you. You want to gently swab, (A paper towl can do the job,) and disinfect the injured areas and wage total genocide on all the bacterial growth on your injured cat.
Step 3: Rub on the Silver Sulfadiazine Cream on open wounds. SSD cream is available at any vet supply store. It's a medicated, topical cream, so it'll help keep out nasty infections as well. Your kitty will probably lick it off, so you'll likely be applying the SSD cream twice a day.
Step 4: Fine, clumping cat litter is a not the best when trying to keep a wound(s) clear. If you can, get the largest litter you can find. I personally use the pine-nut pellets type in such situations as it isn't dusty, and you can dump it when you're done on the compost heap. You can also get pellet litter made of newspaper and all other things. Whatever you can find, so long as it's large. If you are stuck with fine, sandy-litter, do your best to keep the wounds clean.
Step 5: Pat yourself on the back. you've done the best you can to keep kitty safe and comfortable. You didn't apply ice to any wounds and you didn't break any blisters. Job well done! Hopefully, the vet will be able to see you soon!
What to Watch For
What the Vet Will Do
The vet will be able to examine your cat and determine the best course of action. A vet will also likely administer antibiotics, as secondary bacterial infections are common in burned areas. Medications for pain are typically given, and will help kitty feel a whole lot better, faster.
If you live some nations, a dose of Convenia (antibiotic) and Buprenorphine (pain killer) may be all you need and easier to come by in livestock supply stores. In western countries, you're going to need a vet. Drugs have side effects, so don't be dumb. Use as directed and follow the laws of your country/state.
The second-most-often question we get is "How much will the vet cost?" And we don't know how to answer that. "Depends?" Vet's aren't McDonald's. Treatments aren't burgers. One size doesn't fit all. It's OK to ask about costs up front, and with burns, the odds are good that you're going to need follow up visits. The vet wants to help. Be brave for kitty.
Disclaimer: This badlands-barnyard-backwoods advice is of a general nature only, and not intended to replace the good care of a veterinary medical professional which you should take your injured pet to immediately if you can. If you are taking on the care of an injured animal, YOU need to recognize that you are taking a risk(s), and those of us at 4 Dog Blog really have no responsibility regarding your situations or decisions. We really wish you every success; your mileage may vary.
EDIT: UPDATE 1 WEEK LATER
The vet did a top notch, professional job on his injuries. Burns are icky business. When we shaved him, his whole front leg was just white. (That's not a good deal. We had to wait for his burns to declare to decide which route to go.) After removal of his dead tissue, which left him with a leg of muscle and tendons exposed, this cat gets to wear a bandage for a week, which he is not too thrilled about, but, sulking is easier to live with then infection. We'll take the next stage step by step. He's going to look a little funny for a while, and there will be SSD cream, but he's on the mend. He's one lucky kitty, considering what he went through.
Edit: Update 2+ Months Later
There was a real chance that he would lose that front leg, as there was so much damage. Many, many bandages later, over a month and a half's worth of bandages later, changed daily, or as often as he could pull them off, I am happy to report this guy has been a lucky patient!
There remains only the task of scab removal. Dead tissue will collect and cover a wound, as anyone who has ever fallen off a bike knows. The trouble can arise when that tissue starts to actually keep, you guessed it, infection, in. So, as the edges start to come off, it's probably time to remove them. Some will pull off with little effort, and kitty will save you the trouble. Some spots you can soak. Some you can cut with a scissors. There will likely be healing still going on under some of the larger areas, but by now, you know how to apply Silver Sulfadiazine Cream.
I don't usually post "Patient pictures," but thought I would make an exception to illustrate the healing process. Hopefully it helps, not just gross people out.
The best part is, this story has a happy ending. Sometimes stories have Shakespearean endings, that's true enough. Maybe it's luck. He's healed things I'm not good enough to heal. Mostly, I think it's kindness, curiosity, and a sense of humor. You'd be surprised how far that gets you.
The latest North Dakota Studies newsletter is out and I couldn't be more excited. Dr. Barbara Handy-Marchello wrote an a stunning article on paleoindian peoples of ancient North Dakota, and it's full of beautiful watercolours by Greg Harlin, who is, in my humble opinion, one of the top historical painters alive. We have originals at my museum, and I was all, "Somebody fetch me my fainting couch!" Greg is kinda' the knees of the bees.
But back to Barbara's article. The people who hunted at Beacon Island used Agate Basin lithic technology. And if you were wondering just what the real "paleo diet" from ancient ND was, Fern Swenson, Director of the Archaeology and Historic Preservation (AHP) Division at the State Historical Society is participating in a project to answer that question. Swenson is working with Kacy Hollenback and Whitney Goodwin at Southern Methodist University on a pilot study to analyze the meat of modern animals in order to match it to the residue found in pots at ancient village sites. It's gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, if you're nerdy enough to look it up. Pretty cool.
But if you're like me, that's far too contemporary. 13,000 BC? Practically 5 minutes ago. The real action is 10s and 100s of millions of years ago. Paleontologist Becky Barns and I will be doing a series of art classes, "Jurassic Art," again at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum, and if you're 11-16, we hope you can join us. Classes and materials are always free! Just like the North Dakota Studies Newsletter. If you want extra copies for your classroom, page 5 has all the details for ordering.
Making Plaster Casts
STEP 1: MIX
Take a cup and mix together the water and plaster. If you're working with a large class, marking a waterline on the glass will help speed things along. Water is typically 2/3 volume of the cast.
STEP 2: POUR
When fully mixed, pour your plaster into the mold. You will see bubbles rise to the surface. That’s a good thing. Pour slowly, and gently tap the sides of your mold to release any air bubbles.
STEP 3: SET
Depending on the size of your cast, it may take from 15 minutes to 1 hour for your cast to fully set up. You will notice heat from your cast. This is because gypsum and water cause an exothermic reaction. You feel this crystallization process as heat in the form of steam.
Head masks for horses are common throughout history. Celtic, Anglo Saxon, Etruscan, Assyrian, Greek, Roman, and Chinese are all examples here. It helps to remember that history is usually the preservation of the hard stuff. Often when you see examples of horse tack in museums, it's either a recreation, or the real thing without it's cloth or leather. Stuff happens.
Like when you drop a "t" into the word Saxon that doesn't belong there... har. Me type pretty one day.
Other references (and typos) for drawing historic horses can be found at htdhorses.com
A skylight. Neon green "EXIT" signs. Strong shadows... this mastodon (Mammut americanum) has everything! Here are some tips and ideas for taking better photographs in museums. Of course, you are awesome, and always check the photography rules at the museum you're visiting. They said you wouldn't, but I knew you would, because you're cool like that.
Light is one of those museum enemies. Believe it or not, light is hard on artifacts so understandably, good preservationists do all they can to keep it out. Specimens are often stored on shelves with dim, industrial lighting, and galleries are often dark. This makes your photography a challenge. A tripod can be your best friend in low-light conditions. Check with the museum you're visiting to see if they're allowed.
Location, location, location. It is not always an option, especially with large museum specimens, but if you can isolate your subject, do it.
Photoshop can mend a lot. If your image is shamelessly shadowed, try Shadows/Highlights (Image>Adjustments>Shadows/Highlights). In a perfect world, we would have time to stage and set lighting, but in the real world, we fix it with photoshop.
4. Lenses, Hoods, & Filters, oh my!
Wait, a filter and hood? Indoors? Yep-o. You can keep them in your bag, and such cheap-and-cheerful toys might be worth a try. It depends of course on what your goals are. If you're looking for a dramatic, large-skeleton shot, a wide angle lens with the right filter may do the job nicely. The hood can help take care of glare from all the glass.
5. Different angles
If you can get above, behind, or below your skeleton, go for it. Even if it's a mastodon skeleton's bum shot.
6. Get the full skeleton
Large skeletons are the main attractions and with any luck, you'll have a few seconds to snap a few images while the view is clear. As best you can, get a full-skeleton shot. The "photo police" are not going to crash in your door if you leave the camera on "Full Auto." Take extra batteries and memory cards if it's going to be a full day. You'll be glad you did.
Have fun out there!
The ankylosaurs were plated, armoured (armored) dinosaurs and if you were born in the 1990s, your first introduction to them was probably this character, Url, from the Disney movie Dinosaur. (It actually took me an uncommonly long time to find this picture, because I thought the name was Earl.)
Ankylosaurs look like what happens when nature decides she wants to build a tank. Some of these dinosaurs even have shields on their eyelids! Plates that cover the body, spikes that cover the plates, 2 pairs of spikes on the head, and the iconic club at the end of the tail make up the iconic dinosaur. Let’s draw!
How to draw Ankylosaurus – Step by Step
STEP 1: Make a few shapes, the head, the body, and tail layer on top of each other. Connect the head to body with the shape of the neck, and then add some legs. It’s OK if it’s messy at this stage. Draw light, because we’ll erase it later.
STEP 2: I usually start with the head. I want an idea of where the beak and the eye is going to go, and those great front spikes. Work out some toes on the feet, or change the feet if you like. If I’m happy with the tail’s position, I might sketch out a few lines there to give me a better idea of the armoured plates.
STEP 3: Now start to sketch in those horned plates. These dinosaurs weren’t going to break any land speed records, but they would have probably been flexible enough to shift around swiftly if they needed to. If it helps, you can think of the defensive plates in rows running down the ankylosaur’s body.
STEP 4: Lines! Lookin’ good! You can use this as a fine bit of line art, or practice as a colour (color) page.
STEP 5: I brought my lines into Illustrator and Photoshop to add some final details, but creating a dinosaur in pencil and paints are just as fun. And fun is the whole point. Cheers!