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Animal Anatomy - Cats Part 1 by akeli Animal Anatomy - Cats Part 1 by akeli
So, people keep requesting an anatomy tutorial. Here it is:

This is probably the #1 anatomy mistake I see from people trying to draw cats. I'm not sure if it comes from drawing dogs too much or if it is a side-effect of the Evana craze. The side-legs can be a cute stylization, but if you're trying to get closer to real life, it doesn't work.

Hope this helps! :)

As always -
Art copyright to :iconakeli:

Download for full size!

Another note, here is a great reference that shows the muscles better. It's from one of the books I have called Animal Anatomy for Artists (which has many other great drawings of lions/horses/dogs): [link]

PS! The cats in this tutorial were referenced from live footage and photographs I took myself. I wanted to make sure I mostly had everything right on this tutorial.
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KINGSirDrMr Featured By Owner May 4, 2015
Failed that exact same pose. Wish I'd had that during my English final.
SupeRobotLazerTiger Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much,  I'm going to be modeling a tiger in the near future, and this has definitely cleared a few things up.
KoinuPuppy Featured By Owner Edited Sep 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this tutorial!

Side Note: I am getting a book soon, called An Atlas of Animal Anatomy for Artists. I don't know if it's the same book you have but it's probably similar.
Qzedd Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Student Digital Artist
This helps a lot :D (Big Grin) 
DarkreaperToky Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This will tremendously help me with drawing one of my original creatures in the future, thank you!
Cleolith Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Rasajna Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
This is sure to help me when I try drawing tigers, thanks!
BlackRose38 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
this is sure to help me! THANK YA
EnteGeminis Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Student General Artist
Helpful tutorial!
vizziebrr Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
man boobs

you made my day
Rothest Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
"crazy man boob muscles." 
LMAO. Thanks for this!! 
Candykitty90 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
Louvy Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013  Student General Artist
thank you !
BAMillustration Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you, this is very helpful!
xXMacoyXx Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Could you do a tutorial on a side view of a tigers head and how head shapes vary from skinny animals to over weight animals please as im having trouble with getting the faces right...
Shmuggly Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Very helpful and well done!
WolfKidz Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
Very nice

shiomara Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013
dondena Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I recently bought a book that's about uncovering tiger anatomy. It's real informative even about other cats too, but it still tried to stay more on topic of the tiger.
Phil314 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Clear and simple, very helpful. Thank you
Astrafur Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013
Very helpful!
thanks for the help, now I know, how to draw tiger's paws!
Rogue-Knyte Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Are you ever going to submit a part 2? And thank you so much for sharing this tutorial!
AL-MountainRain Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Student
beautiful! def could use this for project im working on now!
MashiL Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student General Artist
wow :iconohmyglobplz:
nicolasjolly Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
wow very interesting!!
Naomi-Bee Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Filmographer
OOH This is so cool. I have never drawn an animal EVER! Ok I have but not since i was 8 years old... so this is GREAT. I never would have noticed the difference in the bottom 3 pictures. Thanks for taking the time to create this.
Dragon-NeX Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
-didnt think I needed it-

-looked at it for teh lolz-

-Come to find out....I had it wrong the entire time-

Well that shot my pride in the ass. Glad you put this up!:icongrin--plz:
sketcherjak Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
dis b vry kewl. Word.
DPRagan Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
Been needing a Tiger tutorial :)
theENDuniverse Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012   Filmographer
i was wondering if you'd mind this being put in my group [link] for people to use? it's a group for people to go when they need help drawing.
Ragnarok6664 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sivatherium07 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have seen crazy man boob muscles on some male lions
toboe29 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Student Artisan Crafter
thats so cool
psycokiller97 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
here kitty kitty kitty
Fawnir Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012
This has been super helpful. I have been getting better with my big cat art and I plan to use it in my griffon/ eyrie (c) Would you like me to credit the tutorial for the inspiration?
Gemini-two Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012
this is totally going to come in handy,thanks!!
johnnymendoza95 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Super awesome! have you made more?
Or know were I can find more tutorials :)
Magicofwolf Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
wow this just helped me out a ton thanks so much for making this
SnowRaven-Moonstar Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012   Writer
This is great. I don't know a lot about feline anatomy even though I've always had cats. the one thing that I was always facinated by with the shoulder "hunch" that cat's have behind their head (that's not quite acurate but I hope you know what I meant. Dogs maybe have it a little bit too but it always seemed more obvious in cat's too me. i realized in recent year(s) that cat's probably have more muscle (or as you showed, different muscle configuration) because cat's use their forelegs as weapons more than dogs. Would that be acurate?
tawneyeyes Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
this is so useful :D *runs off to start drawing tigers*
have you thought of doing a tutorial of different views? i think many people (including me) would probably get the anatomy wrong with some views eg, a leaping tiger or a crouch
SacredCandybar Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2012
How helpful! I found this through Google images, actually; I was trying to find references on tiger anatomy specifically, and, well, that's what I found! Thank you! I had no idea that cat's neck/front leg muscles connected that way! I feel kind of stupid, really. ^^; I feel like I should know better. Well, now I do, I guess. You're right, that side leg thing is a decent way to stylize a large cat, but it is good to know how their bodies work in real life. At least then you can make an informed decision on how you will draw them. Thanks again for helping us out!
verran99 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice work!
Werelemur Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Student Digital Artist
thanks for the effort , it's been a real pain to find useful reference on the internet.
Tea-Tigress Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2011  Student General Artist
hahahahah crazy man boob muscles :XD:
F1hybrids Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Dragongirl45 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice,This looks so amazing!
Suicunesrider Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist
what was the "Evana" craze? o.0
akeli Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011   General Artist
A while back a lot of people were trying to imitate :iconevana:. The problem is, her style is very hard to do well. She has her own style of "anatomy" that works for her because of her great skill at expression. When *she* draws it, it comes off as believable that a creature would be formed that way. It also is intended to be cartoony and lively. Most people that tried to copy her just ended up with drawings that looked like animals with bad anatomy. They also went on to change styles, but since they used evana's anatomy or even tlk anatomy, it translated over to realistic animals with cartoon anatomy...which just look weird.
Suicunesrider Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011  Hobbyist
ohhh, I see. Thankyou! ^__^
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Submitted on
November 13, 2009
Image Size
1.3 MB


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