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Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

The animal and wildlife forum concentrates on drawings of all animals, from domestic pets to wildlife - anything dressed in fur, feathers or scales. The emphasis is on drawing but paintings are also acceptable.

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Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby Anisha » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:37 am

I wish to learn how to draw realistic birds.

I have seen many drawing books talking about muscles in humans, bone structure etc.
I wish to know that to draw realistic birds do I actually have to learn how many muscles they have and where they are placed?

Is that the way to draw realistic birds?

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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby Bev » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:06 pm

I don't do many birds, but I think perhaps the feather patterns are more important than the muscles, (I may be wrong and someone will be sure to put me right). Of course the general structure of the bird is very important but I don't think a detailed knowledge of all the muscles is essential. Study as many good photographs as you can (and the real thing if you can) and see what happens to the bird as it perches, flies, looks for food etc and practice, practice practice.
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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby Anisha » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:19 am

Thanks for replying.

I saw your website and noticed that you have also drawn tree trunks. Did you draw wireframe for that tree trunk?
Do you draw birds or any life like object by first drawing the wireframe?

Besides knowing about the muscles, do I have to learn to draw wireframes for anything that is meant to be realistic?

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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby Bev » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:14 pm

Well, I always draw out the details of anything I do first, so if by wireframe, you mean do I have a pencil outlines to work on then yes, always?
You don't need to "learn" to draw a wireframe, just draw how you feel comfortable and if that is going straight in with details then do that, but I would think some small thumbnails or working sketches would be a good idea so that you can get your positioning on the page and the proportions correct first. Just draw the way that comes naturally to you and develop your work as you go, don't stress too much with how others do it, but take from them what will help you learn and do what works for you. Everyone has their own way of working.

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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby kennyc » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:30 pm

I've always thought the krap about knowing muscle and bone structure was a bit silly. Draw what you see!

I think the op's use of 'wireframe' comes from the 3d animation world. Not really a term used (that I know of) in the drawing/painting world.
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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby Bev » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:16 pm

You are right Kenny, expert knowledge of muscles is not always necessary, but if you are drawing a horse (smooth coated) moving, it is helpful to know a bit about it unless you have a fantastic ref photo to work from when yes...draw what you see, but not always possible to get hold of great refs so a knowledge here could help. I am definitely no expert on the muscle groups of animals and I think I get by OK with what I do know. But I have picked up a lot by looking and drawing over the years.

Yes I gathered that Anisha was coming from a digital background and thinking about it maybe you want to do digital drawing Anisha? If so I am not going to be any good because I don't know anything about 3D digital stuff I can only help with the good old fashioned paper and pencils ;)
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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby kennyc » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:04 pm

Yep, agreed Bev. Certainly can't hurt to know about the muscles.....well I guess it could it you try to 'over-do' it .... but yeah....
I've never done 3D stuff but done a fair amount of digital painting....in the traditional manner....i.e. start with a blank canvas get your brushes and go from scratch....using (now) Corel Painter. I love it!
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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby Anisha » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:31 am

Thanks for replying to both of you.

I have zero interest in digital drawing.
Attached picture shows the meaning of wireframes.

1.png


My question is that if I learn how to draw wireframes for anything, will it be "helpful" to shade realistic things?

I actually wish to draw from my imagination. I don't wish to copy.

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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby Bev » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:20 pm

I have never drawn anything using the sort of wireframe you have shown Anisha, I wouldn't even know how to start. I think that if you want to draw from your imagination just go for it, like Kenny says, get out your pencils and paper and go from scratch. The wireframe thing seems to me to overcomplicate the whole process. Learn about form, shading etc as you go. I am pretty sure that's how we all started. Just out of interest, where did you get the idea that you would need to learn to draw using a wireframe?
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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby kennyc » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:25 pm

Agreed. I've never heard of anyone drawing/sketching/painting starting from a wireframe other than in 3D digital work.

I would suggest Mike Sibley's Book as a great place to start as well as JD Hillberry's (see the sidebar and visit our host's websites) or the book I really got into serious drawing from Gene Frank's The Art of Pencil Drawing (I have the older version) and have bought several copies of all three books for myself, family and others on occasion. :) )

There is much to be learned just by hanging out here and following along the works in progress (WIPs). It seems very slow at the moment, and I'm newly back myself so don't know if the lack of participation is just due to Summertime or if it is just slow....
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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby Anisha » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:25 am

Thanks for replying.

Click on the Demo 1: Pitcher Plant title in this page. They have shown the wireframe:
http://drawabox.com/lesson/3

I asked this question here also, and they are stressing on the importance of wireframes:
https://crafts.stackexchange.com/questi ... rame-first

Now, I did purchase JD Hillbery's book on shading, and that book's first exercise talks about shading according to contours. That's where the wireframe comes into picture. The book shows a simple example of a flower pot. Guessing the contours would be easy there, but what about the contours of a crumbled paper? How am I going to shade according to contours when I don't know where the contours are?

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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby Bev » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:01 pm

I still think you are overcomplicating this wireframe issue. I had a look at the links and for some reason the term 'Wireframe' has been used instead of 'basic shapes'. Pencil, paper, your eyes and lots of practice is all you need. Don't expect to get it right the first time. Take a good hard look at your subject (start simple, something boring like an apple) and roughly sketch out the basic shapes (this was explained in your link). once you have got the basics, you can then develop your drawing in greater detail and once you are happy you can trace this sketch leaving out all the unnecessary lines and transfer it onto your final piece of drawing paper, then the fun bit starts...the shading. It really is just a matter of practice and the more you draw the better you will get. Forget the wireframe....just a confusing term. And leave the crumpled paper for a bit further on when you have more confidence and ability. You can also just trace from a good photo, ideally your own, (controversal issue but lots of us do it to save time), but better to learn to draw first.
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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby kennyc » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:03 pm

Yes. Well said Bev.
Kenny A. Chaffin
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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby Bev » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:07 pm

Just a thought, if you follow those exercises from your first link you will get what I have said, yes its boring but it's what you have to do for starters, Once you have mastered those exercises you can move onto the next step. Good luck!
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Re: Knowing about muscles while drawing realistic birds

Postby Mike Sibley » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:31 pm

Anisha wrote:My question is that if I learn how to draw wireframes for anything, will it be "helpful" to shade realistic things? I actually wish to draw from my imagination. I don't wish to copy.

Sorry - got to be brief...... It seems to me that if you know enough about the
three-dimensional form of the subject that you can draw a wireframe... you don't need the wireframe.

To shade believably you do need a clear idea of the subject's three-dimensional form - but once you have that the wireframe won't help you or even be useful - unless you're trying to kill some time :)

A wireframe has only one use - to tell a computer what you already know.

If it's any help, when I first began to seriously draw dogs I got a couple of books on anatomy from the local library. One had an excellent line-drawn illustration of a skeleton. I photographed the illustration, returned the book, and stuck my photo up on the wall beside me. I think you can learn where the principle muscles are over time as you work, but knowing the underlying structure - the skeleton - can sometimes be very helpful. For example, it helped me to make sense of the paws and legs, in a breed such as a Greyhound, where the sinews and some major veins are visible as sub-surface features.
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