Wednesday, 11 March 2015

#616 In the studio: Quadruped anatomy reference for the artist

Several days ago I received an email from a student who had taken one of my bird sculpture and anatomy workshops asking where to find quadruped anatomy reference for the artist.  I only teach workshops about bird sculpture but a large portion of my portfolio depicts a wide range of  quadruped species and over the years, 
I've collected many books about the subject which I use in conjunction with online data. 

Quadrupeds - animals with four legs - as well as humans all have the same general skeleton design. 
All mammals, including horses, dogs, cats, deer, humans, etc. evolved from the same prehistoric source and it's logical that their skeletons are fundamentally the same.  Keep in mind, mammals, like human, have two arms and two legs . . . their two front limbs are arms and their two back limbs are legs. 
 Humans have evolved in such a way as to not walk on all fours like quadrupeds.

The spine is the main support or armature for the body, the skull houses the brain, and the ribs form a protective cage around the heart and lungs.  Quadrupeds come in different sizes and shapes depending on how they evolved and were designed by nature according  to their surroundings and way of life.  Despite the diversity of design, the same main bones such as humerus, femur, etc. are in each creature.  The artist who understands this can easily interpolate known functional data about specific species such as a horse, dog, or cat to other species in the wild which are difficult to study from life.
It's easier to pick up your dog and note how the joints articulate than to attempt handling a wolf or grizzly! 

I have posted two previous blogs about this subject which gives much more information:

Blog #448,  Nature's one pattern  -  posted July 31, 2013   www.Blog #448
 Blog #450,  Comparative anatomy  -  posted August 7, 2013   www.Blog #450

Below, are eight anatomy books that are directed toward the artist.  I continue to use them all and they are the source,
along with "Zoobooks" for some of the instructional imagery and information in this blog. . . credit is given when used.  
I've included the publisher's name and to my knowledge, they are still available and in print.

Author: Gottfried Bammes                               Chartwell Books

Oxford University Press

Dover Publications

Dover Publications

Dover Publications

Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers

Dover Publications

Dover Publications

Go to the BLOG INDEX and Reference Page for more information.

The books above have been used as a source of information and imagery for some of the instructional posts
 in this blog and are individually noted.  This material is meant for learning and to be used
as a reference source for artists and students in the studio.  Also, see post #655

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