How To Draw Animal Heads & Snouts
The Etherington Brothers show how to draw animal faces with personality using a cat's head & animal snouts drawn with simplified structures & facial expressions.
Learn how you can draw… or learn how to think when you draw with the Etherington Brothers!
In this tutorial we’re going to look at some basic structural shapes, as well as approaches to exaggerate and stylise different features, to allow you to get exactly the look you want for your cat character designs.
A useful starting point for drawing a huge range of cat heads is this shape:
Taking this basic shape, we can repeat it for a simple muzzle area.
Eyes can be placed using four triangles:
Cat heads in profile:
Cats come in many shapes and sizes – use this to your benefit to build a large, varied cast of characters!
The snout is a protrusion, keep that in mind, as you draw from different angles:
An easy way to approach your cat’s ears is with a rounded triangle:
Your cat’s neck and chest can take totally different forms depending on how much of a “ruff” you want them to have.
Use the mystacial and genal whiskers (located around the snout and cheeks) and the superciliary whiskers (above the eyes) together to emphasise personality.
We’re not going to look at the anatomy of any one specific animal, but rather we’re going to look at a range of ways to draw snouts on your own original characters and creatures.
Let’s start with a quick profile design exercise…
The top of the snout is a part of the skull, the bottom of the snout hinges from the corner of the jaw.
Looking straight on, you can see that the jaw and skull of many snouts widen from the front to the back.
So, for open mouths from a 3/4 angle, we’ll be drawing this sort of form:
Here are some form break-downs for a range of different mouth shapes:
When drawing the mouth of your snout opening wider, you can change the shape of the side of the mouth to alter the meaning.
If you bare just the rear teeth, you can show confusion, embarrassment, anger, etc.
When drawing your snouts from front-on, you’re going to see a lot of foreshortening (see the foreshortening tutorial on page 124 for more on this).
Many snouts have a slightly flattened top “ridge”.
For shorter, or flatter snouts, most of these same ideas apply, but you’re dealing with more compressed forms.