How to Paint or Draw Deer Art Lesson, by Catinka Knoth

Try my exercises in drawing and painting deer!

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Draw and paint deer from simple silhouettes found in silhouette books or use deer photos for reference. First make flat boxlike animals with simple line drawings to capture their proportions and motion. Now try to draw them as if they were flat origami figures. Then paint them like origami figures with as few strokes as possible. Notice how just straight strokes that taper at the groundline are more effective in expressing deer legs than trying to show the hooves. Once you can get those lines down, you might be ready for the hoof detail, but usually that detail ends up being too clunky looking for deer. Finally, try to paint a deer silhouette without drawing first. After you've practiced that you can make a careful drawing and feel the relief of being able to correct your work. You will find it easier to draw after all that practice. Then paint in your drawing. All these silhouettes were painted directly - no drawing. I've also tried some papercuts of both styles of deer. Each was cut in a single continuous line with small scissors so that I'd end up with a piece of white paper that would be a scherenschnitten when put against a dark paper. They were cut freehand, no drawing before. Yes, one would have more control if one drew it out beforehand and cut it with a stencil knife. I just wanted to see how it would come out at first try.

Good reference materials:
Photos at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Digital Library System Drawings from Ken Hultgren's The Art of Animal Drawing, a wonderful Dover Publication. and at USWFS pen and ink drawings of deer, by Bob Hines



ęCatinka Knoth - 2006 - All Rights Reserved