Saturday, October 03, 2009


Yesterday the class went to the Philly Zoo, America's first zoo, to draw the big cats in the Bank of America big cat pavilion. There was a big difference in the attitude of the cats, the Pumas or Mountain Lions were always on the move, constantly prowling around and hardly ever holding still except in a few instances. The lions laid around a lot except for when the male decided he wanted to get his SEX on. So we got to see the circle of life, or at least the start of the circle.

It's really amazing to see these animals up so close, their heads are huge and after a while they all took turns coming over to the glass and pacing along looking at us all like tasty human treats. I tried to sketch as best I could, it ends up being more like gesture drawing at times or drawing from memory as these guys don't hold still.

But it's a great exercise , and I plan on going back next week to do some more sketching at the zoo.

These are some of the better drawings from the trip yesterday.


Rene said...

Well, judging from my own experience with drawing moving animals, you've done an awesome job. I'm just amazed the extreme perspective of being so close up didn't throw you off.

Steve Buccellato said...

These are really great. I've always had bad luck drawing zoo animals; they always seem to hide! The animal dioramas at the Natural History Museum make excellent models, though you can't see their musculature in action. Still--they can really hold a pose.

Michael Manley said...

Thanks, yes, animal drawing is a challenge, but pushing yourself is what it's all about some days, pushing yourself beyond your comfort zones into either a success or a failure. in drawing i think we can learn a lot about drawing by a failed drawing, we can retry it, redraw it as a way to make it work better the next time.

It is a big stress on your stored knowledge feed and your observational feed mixing in your brain as you fight the crowds of on lookers and the animals in movement. You have to really concentrate and block everything else out--while of course trying to still have fun.

When I mess up I move on to another page and sometimes come back to a drawing I feel I mussed up later and try and work it again.

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RC said...

Hey amazing blog. I love to draw myself and really want to go into animation. Looking at your blog your absolutely brilliant at drawing and i sometimes find animals the most difficult to draw, Anyway thank you :) Keep on drawing