cow trouble-input welcome!

  • SVS OG

    trying to draw a cow running to the right.

    ![0_1516755575961_IMG_20180123_165703.jpg](Uploading 100%)


    The cow is chasing Uncl Carl. I am still tring to figure out how to do it all. The head? Which way should it be facing and do the legs look okay? I used a resource from pinterest but it isn't easy to find exactly what I want from the images. Not too many cows running to the right. Also looked at bull runs. I am trying to match the cow I drew on the first page too so.... thanks.


  • SVS OG

    I feel your pain! I have been working (on and off) on a story with a donkey and getting the anatomy right is difficult. A lot of the time, I have found horses in the pose I wanted and then modified the bone structure to reflect the donkey's anatomy which might work with cows too. Your second picture looks more accurate to me but I'm not sure that a running cow would ever take both of its front feet that far off the ground unless it was leaping over something (say a log in the road). Here is what I came up with for a donkey running in profile if it helps (though now that I look at it, I'm thinking my donkey's left front leg should be a little shorter.)


  • SVS OG

    It looks really good! I agree about th eleft front leg though-just a little shorter :-0 My son mentioned looking at horses too. I want the cow to be exaggerated in it's running to make it funnier but......I don't know. I did copy an actual cow on the first one except the head. The head is way differen tthan an actual cow but somehow we still know it's a cow.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    If you guys are running into trouble drawing 4 legged animals, I would suggest watching jakes "how to draw animals" video. It looks like you aren't drawing through the forms and getting a solid structural build. Look at how animators draw, wrap lines around cylinders, and make sure to use center lines to build out from. You can still stylize and make whimsical shapes using solid drawing techniques.


  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen Cows are tough! I need to start figuring them out for a project I have coming up and I've been dreading it. They are like buses... complicated inner workings hidden under a square frame.

    I really like your first drawing.
    Looking at some photo refs:
    And I wonder if bringing the rear background leg down behind the udder would make it read a bit better?


  • I thought I'd look for some references for you, too. Maybe these can help?




  • SVS OG

    @pam-boutilier That looks a lot better, thanks.

  • SVS OG

    @lee-white Well, actually I have watched it a couple of times but it was awhile ago. I'll go watch again. It used to be worse. I want the cow to look really excited, it's almost like a caricature of a cow and I have one on the first page that I also need to match. Thanks. It will be good to watch that again and I have also been watching visual perspective. I tried to put the cow in a box 🙂 Hmmm...that could be a story idea The Cow in the Box.

  • SVS OG

    @miriam Thanks for all the references! That was so thoughtful of you to look them up!

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    You guys, I hate to say the same thing I did before, but I don't think i made the point as clear as i could have. You are making things much more difficult on yourself than you have to. Take some time to really look at these drawings. Understand the basic shapes and then you will have real power so you don't need great/perfect reference photos. To struggle with trying to just guess at how to draw it, or need the perfect reference is not the way any pro works. Note: the box wont help you for this particular drawing problem, but roughing out the big forms of the animal will.

    All 4 legged animals have a basic build with different proportions for each of the parts. Cows don't really run, per se, so look to horses. Within two seconds of a google search I come up with these images.

    Note that the basic parts are a squared pelvis and shoulder girdle with a cylinder around the mid section. Once you have those parts, then start playing with the shapes to make them more playful or cartoony.

    2_1516839698562_horse.jpg 1_1516839698562_drawn-horse-horse-anatomy-3.jpg 0_1516839698562_tumblr_inline_o6vh7pN48G1run8rj_540.jpg

  • @lee-white
    Ha, ha! Cows can run, Lee! ..."The running of the bulls"..."stampedes" There's a reason cowboys ride Quarter Horses more than Clydesdales.
    (It's not unheard of, though!)

    But I know what you're saying, and you're right--they don't seem to like to run the way horses do, and it's easy to find guides like you posted of horses. Thanks for all your input & advice! (And for putting up with me giving you a hard time!) 🙂

  • SVS OG

    @lee-white Thanks. I'll keep trying 🙂 These are very helpful.

  • SVS OG

    I know it isn't perfect but I can live with this cow, time to finish this project so I can learn from a new one! I still have a lot to do though. Thanks for your input on this! Also, sorry for the fuzzy photo.

    0_1517449122538_IMG_20180131_171616.jpg .

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