Creating space in your animal drawings

Jaysen Batchelor
A free video tutorial from Jaysen Batchelor
Illustrator & Designer
4.5 instructor rating • 13 courses • 606,644 students

Lecture description

In this lecture we are going to go over the five basic was of creating space in your drawings. Space is just the illusion of a 3rd Dimension on a 2D surface. By the end of this lecture you will have a good understanding of how space works and how to create it.

Learn more from the full course

The Ultimate Animal Drawing Course - beginner to advanced

Learn the #1 most important building block of all art

10:44:31 of on-demand video • Updated October 2020

  • Draw animals out of your head
  • Draw realistic light and shadow
  • Understand the fundamentals of drawing animals
  • Draw animals in perspective
  • Understand form and anatomy
English [Auto] Welcome to section six in this section. We're going to be talking about some really useful information when it comes to drawing animals and making them actually look like they appear in three dimensional space. So this includes a lot of different things such as perspective for shortening all different types of things. But basically what it is is you want to make your animals look like they are grounded and actually standing on a surface or laying on a surface. If not they're going to it's going to look very unrealistic. So let's go ahead and get started. So first we're gonna have a look at all the different ways that we can create space in our drawings. So the first way we can create actual space in our drawings is by what's called overlapping. Now if you've taken my previous ultimate drawing course then you probably remember what this is a little bit when it comes to animals. It's a little bit different because animals are one form and one structure it's not multiple structures such as a person and then a house behind them. So what overlapping is is basically let's say that we're drawing some sort of an animal form here so I'm just gonna go ahead and draw a simple over like this. Then I'll draw another one right here for the pelvis. I'm going to go ahead and draw ahead right there then I can go ahead and connect all of this I'm going to go ahead and draw the front leg in so the front leg is just going to be coming off like this have some sort of a PA or something there. Go ahead and do the other front leg. So this one will come down like this and just come back up and I'll go ahead and connect that neck to the head and then when we come back to our back legs this is where the overlapping occurs. So this first Back leg you're not really going to see it at all. So go ahead and just draw on some sort of a leg like this then I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna draw this other leg right next to it but this leg is going to be behind this front leg so it's gonna be kind of like this and now that right there creates space. So the fact that this leg is overlapping this back leg and if you were to turn the perspective on this animal a little bit more it would be even overlapping it even more. It might even cover it completely but that overlap right there is creating actual three dimensional space in our drawing. Let's have a look at the next example. So the next one is gonna be size. So we already kind of have it going on over here but let's have a look at a more extreme version of this. Go ahead. All right size right there. And so what we're gonna do is we're gonna go ahead and start with the head. So for the head the head is gonna be closest to our viewer. So the head is going to be the biggest and the further away objects get from our viewer the smaller they're going to appear. Now this is always happening in real life and this is called for shortening but it might not be this extreme. It really just depends on how extreme you want it to be in your drawing. So there's my body. So as you can see the rib cage and the head are almost the same size which usually doesn't happen especially for something let's say like this form right here that looks kind of like a dog. So what we're doing is we're basically making the head appear closer by making it bigger and making the rib cage a little bit smaller and we're gonna go ahead and make the pelvis even smaller like that then we can go ahead and draw in our spine connect the neck go ahead and do this front leg and we'll go ahead and come back here to the back leg. And so since the head is the biggest part and then the rib cage gets smaller the pelvis is going to be the furthest thing away. So the pelvis is going to be very small. So go ahead and draw my leg in like that and then I'll do the other leg back there I just want to make these pretty small I can even add a little tailback layer to this if I wanted to but I can see that I've created basically some perspective without using actual perspective lines by making this back area that's further way smaller and making the things that are closer to our viewers like the head bigger it creates more space in our drawing. So size is a very important way that we can create space. The next one is going to be placement now placement usually has to do with the placement of your feet more than anything. So let me show you what I mean. So let's say we are drawing another animal to go ahead and draw the pelvis. Go ahead and draw the rib cage. I'm going to go ahead and draw the head then you can go ahead and connect all these. Now if you're not following along I really recommend that you do so you start to ingrain in your head your brain what these different ways of creating space in your drawings are so that you'll remember if you draw along with me you're gonna remember much better. So then we'll go ahead and connect the neck to the head let's go ahead and add some legs. So just do my over there there's one leg and we'll go ahead and do the back leg. We'll bring it back like this. Bring it down wanted to we could add some sort of tail to that as well. Looks kind of like a go a little bit. Who knows what this is. It's more important that we focus on the actual space in our drawing. So right now it looks like we just have a simple profile view of an animal but the way we can add more space to this and make it look more three dimensional is by placing the back legs so the legs that are behind these legs that we're reviewing in the front a little bit higher up and a little bit off from these ones. So for example if I go ahead and I copy this leg over but I'm going to start it about right there. So so I'm moving over in this direction and then I'm also moving up a little bit but then I'm just going to copy that same exact leg over like this I can do the same thing for the front one so moving it over and moving it up. So want to go ahead and put the pie right about there. I'm going to go ahead and bring this up like this and just by doing that you can see that it added a whole nother level of dimension to it. And it looks like it's actually standing in space. Now it's not just standing at a profile view. It looks like it's involving perspective. So let's go ahead and we can even draw some lines in here like this. Maybe it's like a wooden floor they're standing on but just to signify that this surface is in perspective perfect. All right. Now let's go ahead and actually this actually might be a little bit more angled like that but you should be getting the idea. It makes it look way more like there in space rather than just floating nowhere. All right. Another way that we can create space in our drawings is with shadows. So I'm to go ahead. Right. Shadows and let's have a look at an example. So if we go ahead and we draw another animal that's similar to the one we've been drawing so do a pelvis and we'll do that rib cage and then we'll do the head like that. Then let's go ahead and let's add in some spine something to go ahead and just swoop this down like that connect the neck if the animals you're drawing right now or the forms don't look exactly like mine. Don't worry about it because like I said this is way more important to focus on the actual perspective rather than the actual drawing of the animal do the back leg. Now all right great. So now we have a drawing of our animal. So when I talk about shadow there's two ways you can create space with shadows. One is just adding shadows things like let's say for example this back leg on the backside of the animal from where we're viewing it. We can go ahead and add a shadow to that and just that differentiates between the front legs and the back legs not necessarily the true back legs or the true front legs but the back legs in terms of the back side of the animal from the position that we're viewing at. So by adding that shadow and it just creates more space. We now understand OK those are back legs and the body is casting some shadow on them they're not really being hit by very much light. Another way is by adding in a cast shadow. So if we go ahead and add a cash shadow on the ground like we've done with some of our animals we're just gonna have lines coming off of each one of these legs like that then we'll go ahead and add in something like our body for the shadow then we can go ahead and add in some sort of a head shadow. But as you can see adding that in adds in a bunch of space to our drawing. What it's doing is it's actually what's called grounding our animal to the ground it's standing on. So it doesn't look like it's floating it actually looks like it's standing on something and that's what is giving it space. Now the last way we can add space to our animal drawings is with perspective so a lot of you probably know perspective is especially if you took my ultimate drawing course but perspective is really important when you're drawing animals so let's say for example that we draw a cube in one point perspective well now out of that one cube we can get all kinds of different things out but we can build a body out of that. We can build a head out of that whatever it is. But what we want to do is we want to build our drawings out of geometrical 3D forms like we talked about before breaking all of our animals down into simple geometric forms and from there we want to make sure that those are incorrect perspective. So by actually using perspective lines we can make sure that that happens. So let's say that this was gonna be some sort of an animal head. What I could do is I could go ahead and draw another square on the front of this like that and bring it over here a little bit more and then based off that I can have lines coming off of each of those corners like that and then I can just go ahead and draw and more lines like this to basically pull that out like a cube and I could use this to start building some sort of an animal. I could turn this cube into more of a round shape but use it as a guide. So something like that. Go ahead and add in some sort of a brow can even add in some ears like this then using my perspective line I can go ahead and draw all the way out to that circle and turn it into more of a speed thier like that. Same with this one and now that I have my geometric forms in actual perspective and not just perspective but correct perspective then you can go ahead and shape things in like that. Now this is a little bit confusing to you or you don't understand perspective don't worry about that because we're gonna be going over perspective and all the different types of point perspectives and how to draw animals using that perspective. All right. That brings us to the end of this lecture. So in this lecture we learn about the five different ways we can add space to our drawings. The first way is by overlapping legs or limbs whatever we want heads. It doesn't really matter just having overlapping parts of the body creates more space changing the size of things so things that are closer to our view are going to be bigger and things that are further away are gonna be smaller. So this is called actually for shortening. Then the next one is placement so placement is referring to the feet or the limbs of our animal. And by placing the feet a little bit higher or a little bit over this can create actual space in our groins and you'll notice that it doesn't just apply here it applies to all these other drawing so you'll notice that these back legs for example are higher than these front ones. Same with this one over here these back legs are higher than these front ones. And that's just creating that space the next way is by using shadows. So by adding shadows to these back legs and not only that but adding cache shadows coming off here that creates a lot of space and actually grounds are drawing in the last way is by using perspective actually using perspective lines and making sure that everything is running in correct perspective. Thanks for watching this lecture and I'll see you in the next one.