Advanced Animal Drawing

Traditional Classes > Drawing > Advanced Animal Drawing

    Teacher Information

    Mike Wiesmeier is an animation production professional with 24 years of experience.  He has worked in various capacities for companies such as Walt Disney Feature Animation, Eidos-Montréal/Square Enix and Toon Boom Animation, among others. His artwork has been featured in acclaimed animated movies such as Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Fantasia 2000, Tarzan, and Beauty and the Beast . Mike started teaching at the American Animation Institute when he was working at Disney and since then he has been teaching at various prestigious schools around the world including CalArts and The Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles and Nemo Academy in Florence. Mike will be teaching Advanced Animal Drawing at Syn Studio this summer.

    Course Outline

    Week 1 – Introduction: Learn how to create quick sketches and get in touch with your kinesthetic sense so you can capture the gesture and effectively draw from observation with ease.

    Week 2 – Develop the skills required to build dimension and perspective from simple forms. Learn to focus on the most relevant details so you can simplify and capture the essence of the pose.

    Weeks 3 - 5 – Gain a deeper understanding of the pelvic and pectoral girdle of a quadruped creature by comparing its anatomy with a human/primate. Become proficient in creating volume from simple shapes so you can highlight your creature’s personality and powerfully emphasize its gestures and movements. Take a field trip (week 4) to practice your skills with live animals in their natural habitats.

    Week 6 – Become proficient designing interesting and dynamic sketches using curves and straights so you can depict your animals and creatures interacting and displaying their unique personalities

    Week 7 – Gain a deep knowledge of the different muscle groups so you can draw your creature and depict its characteristic movements in a believable and convincing fashion.

    Week 8 – Acquire the skills required to add minute expressions and personality features so your drawings can portray multiple authentic and captivating emotions.

    Week 9 and 10 – Learn how to capture animals in motion from observation and memory while sketching from life so you can create compelling portfolio pieces. Take a trip in week 9 to the Montreal EcoMuseum Zoo (or an alternate location in case of bad weather) to further hone your observation skills and build your visual library so you can imagine and create amazing animal and creature concept art and illustration.


    Thursdays from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM **

    Date of first class: July 12th

    * Please note that this course may have some field trips, probably on Sundays, to draw animals up close.
    Stay tuned for more information!

    Duration: 10 weeks

    Language: English

    You can register at the bottom-left of this page.



    Do you want to gain the ability to draw animals in their natural setting and invent fantastic but credible creatures from your imagination? Do you wish to build up on your basic animal drawing skills so you can accurately depict animal anatomy both at rest and in motion? Top creature designers, illustrators and animators possess intricate knowledge and the technical expertise required to portray different species of animal life in a beautiful and convincing manner.

    This course, through a combination of in class and field trip exercises, provides you the opportunity to learn the nuances of animal drawing from Mike Wiesmeier, a veteran Disney animator. You will learn how to build perspective with simplified forms and use these forms to create volume that will help you to effectively reproduce the quadruped anatomy. You will become proficient in representing gestures and movements from observation and memory in addition to being able to accurately capture the essence of the pose.

    You will gain a deeper knowledge of the different muscular groups of quadruped creatures through a series of exercises which will enable you to depict your character’s emotion and personality in a unique, interesting and dynamic manner. Finally you will be able use all the knowledge you have gained to draw from imagination and create convincing animal and creature designs and illustrations.

    By the end of this class, you will have the skills and knowledge necessary to quickly and accurately create believable animal sketches. You will be able to invent creatures that are realistic and compelling and depict their emotions and personality in an engaging and alluring manner. Your designs, animations, comics and concept art will appear richer and more life-like and you will have several new pieces for your portfolio!


    This is a class designed for people who have already taken our Drawing Animals course OR have equivalent experience.

    Language requirements : You need at least intermediate level English to take this class (the teacher is bilingual and can explain concepts and give feedback in both languages).


    Due to popular demand for a class like this we expect it to fill up very fast!. $470. $430.

    Late registration still available for this class if there is a "Register Now" button below.


    • Gain a deeper understanding of the anatomy and characteristic gestures of quadrupeds so you can accurately depict them in action.
    • Become proficient in adding subtle expressions to your drawings so you can portray convincing emotions.
    • Hone your observation skills with drawing from life exercises to create fantastic animal and creature concept art and illustration.

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