How to Draw Dogs, Cats and Horses is a quick, easy to follow, beginner guide to drawing those animals. Originally published in 1959, the information is just as useful today as it was back then. At under 30 pages, and few text with a lot of sketch examples, this is a great book for young learners as well. I chose this for my 11 year old and she found it very useful.
The book is designed to give quick sketches, not detailed illustrations. So fur, anatomy, shading, etc. are not a part of this easy-to-follow 30 page book. Each section gives a small paragraph about the challenges of that animal and then shows how to build the framework. It is understood that since there are so many breeds/varieties, you’ll add those details in later. E.g., the book notes in the dog section, “Every shape, size, shade, and character is to be found among dogs. But – and this is why you can learn to draw them all – the general, basic, structure is the same in all dogs” The author then adds several different positions, from standing to sitting, all using that basic structure. And indeed, different breeds from poodles to mastiffs.
For cats, the author focuses on the fluidity and moods of the animal. Although cats have the same barrel shape as a dog, mood is what differentiates them. Artists are encourage to really watch a cat to understand how to draw those moods – from alert and ready to pounce to relaxed and drowsy.
Horses take a different shape to draw, mostly emphasizing their streamlined, economical anatomy. Again, a lot of different poses are given and various stages of sketching are included – from shapes to more detail. Even polo players/riders are featured.
Dover is very good about giving us precise, very focused subjects for its books. How to Draw Dogs, Cats and Horses is definitely a very general, sketching outline which I found particularly useful for my 11 year old. It wasn’t so large that it was daunting and had few text with many examples. As such, it is an ideal book for the beginner drawer.
Reviewed from an ARC.