Drawing cartoon canines and perspective

I’ve been trying to work on concept art for my cartoon canine characters, but it’s been difficult since I am not good at perspective, particularly with drawing eyes and faces. I would like to know how do I get better at drawing a cartoon canine character from different perspectives, the face being the biggest issue.

There’s a subset of cartoon artists that have devoted themselves creatively to canine characters- furries. In my limited experience with them, they’re generally quite happy to talk about their art and share information about it. I wouldn’t care to generalize about any group of people, especially with the limited sample set I have, but the few furries I’ve known have always been friendly and forthcoming.

If you are brave, I would google things like “furry art tips”, “furry art tutorials”, etc. From what I understand (and to be honest, I understand very little about this community), this may lead you into some unsavory places if you’re not cautious, so just be mindful of what you’re clicking on and maybe use SafeSearch :slight_smile:

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I do know how much NSFW furry artwork exists. However, I am thankful to have Google SafeSearch as my default filter. And by the way, the way furry character heads are drawn is like how the heads of my winged quadrupedal canines look.

I shouldn’t be very different than drawing a human head in perspective / volume .
And that goes down to drawing simple volume shapes : cubes , spheres, cylinders. It takes a lot of practice to get confident with it once you know the basics.

But in the meantime, you can always cheat a bit, like making a rough 3D models and use that as a base to draw on top of that.
Try to model basic shapes and draw the details.

You can also work in different step. Draw a side view if you’re confident with it, then do a base 3D model and draw on top of it for the other angles.

And if you really into learning to draw better in perspective / volume , then maybe it’s best to start with simpler exercises, buy a good book about cartoony drawing and practice regularly.

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You can draw the face with grease pencil in Blender and then to rotate in any possible way.

Initially I disliked grease pencil, it seemed like a joke and totally pointless.

However only after trying it in various cases, I realized that is the most superior drawing software tool that exists right now.

Such as for example:

  • Draw a shape in (switching top/side/front views) and then rotate it in any way possible to find out it’s shape from every possible angle. The most important study tool ever created.

  • Change the viewport focal point to understand perspective better. Not even architect professors with Phd can get better perspective than this.

  • If you make lots of mistakes in your drawing, jump in the sculpt mode (grease pencil) and reshape everything to fit better into the reference image.

So the bottom line:

  • Blender: Good for ideas, prototyping, sketching, studying, learning, trying.
  • Photoshop: For polishing and retouch.

It’s less about perspective, and rather more about understanding volumes and shapes in 3d space.

If you are interested in cartoon characters, definitely have a look at Preston Blair’s original (and updated) book:

The updated book can be purchased online. The original is free (link above) and features the original (copyrighted) cartoon characters seen in the classic tunes.

It looks simple, but really requires good practice to get it to look right.

PS it is actually a good exercise to sculpt the basic cartoon shapes (as presented in his books) in Blender to gain a better understanding of how they work in 3d space and as volumes.

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