Ever since the dawn of time, man has been driven, obsessed, consumed with the desire to draw animals. From the raw energy of cave paintings to the erotic mystery of zebras standing around in a dark forest, one cannot deny the power of animal drawings to make us wonder what the hell we’re doing with our lives.
The problem is getting the animals to stand still long enough to draw them.
Art students drawing nude persons do not have this problem. This is because nude models are paid hansomely for their services, and with that exchange of money comes the understanding that they will sit without moving for long periods of time, so that a room-full of people can draw their fat in a pretentious, self-satisfied manner.
Unfortunately, money is not a prime motivator when trying to get animals to stand still. Food works, if you enjoy drawing pictures of animals with their heads buried in a feed trough. Still, that will only buy you about five, ten minutes at a time, and even then, focus groups show that people quickly grow tired of portraits of animals eating. Even if the painting or drawing is of good enough quality where it’s almost cgi material.
While tempting, tranquilizer darts are largely regarded to be “cheating,” and also pose some danger when the animal starts to wake up. Especially if it is a large animal with tusks.
Some people cheat at an even deeper level, opting to go to a natural history museum and draw animals that are already stuffed and dead. This is satisfying in a certain way. And yet one yearns for a live animal.
Then what is to be done? As in life, the answer lies in boldness and quickness. This is a game where hesitation will not pay. When you find an animal, begin drawing immediately. Let it move around you, but stay focused, and be confident and assertive in your sketch. Capture the movement! Make sure to get the feet right! Is it rearing up on its hind legs? Is it putting its head to the ground and pawing at the dirt? Is it running straight at you with its teeth bared? Do not dither, do not doubt yourself, simply draw draw draw and the rewards will be yours!
Also you may want to have some feed in your pocket just in case.
Quick bold and confident is the way to go. Also it helps to be in Africa, where there are a lot of animals around.
Take these excellent steps to heart and soon you too will be on the path to drawing the full-bodied animals that will make your dreams come true.