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Drawing Animals

A 10 week course which teaches you the tools and techniques required to draw animals with convincing and believable features

Teacher Artwork by Bobby Rebholz

This class is full. Please send an email to [email protected] to be on the waiting list. You can also check out our Intro to Digital Painting, Analytical Sketching, and Foundations of Drawing classes

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Teacher Artwork by Bobby Rebholz

Drawing Animals

Would you like to be able to elegantly and accurately depict the natural world in your art? Ideal for those interested in illustration, concept art, animation, comics, or fine art, this course gives you the techniques and anatomical knowledge required to beautifully and believably draw a wide variety of mammals, birds, and insects. You will learn to use line, tone, texture, and composition to create convincing sketches of creatures, both real and imaginary.

Through gesture drawing and rotation studies from photo reference, you will build your visual library and learn to represent the essential anatomical and behavioral elements which make each type of living being unique. You will also complete texture studies and learn to render specific features while receiving one-on-one feedback and correction from the instructor.

By the end of this class, you will have the skills and knowledge to quickly and accurately sketch a wide variety of species. You will have the tools necessary to create compelling nature illustrations, credible creature designs, more believable comics, and beautiful fine art studies. You will have several new pieces for your portfolio and the experience of having taken one of the most fun classes that Syn Studio has to offer!

  • Course Type Traditional Drawing Classes
  • Duration 10 weeks
  • Skill Level
    Level 2
    Level 2

    Second level classes are for students who have a good foundation in the basics of realistic drawing (such as perspective, proportion, shading and colour theory) and already know how to use Photoshop, but need more in-depth knowledge to create professional and complex artwork.

    This level is about expanding knowledge, strengthening skills, and transitioning to the world of concept art and illustration.

  • Language English


Note: This class will be offered online only

Class Timings: Tuesdays from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT or UTC-4h)

Date of first class: April 6th

Duration: 10 weeks

If you are unable to attend the class during the times listed above, you will still have access to video recordings of the class lectures and will still receive personalized feedback from your instructor.



Foundations of Drawing or equivalent experience (having a foundation in the basics of realistic drawing, such as basic perspective, proportion and shading) is required.

Language requirements: You need at least intermediate level English to take this class (the teacher will use many visual examples and can help you if you don't understand something).

*Note that the students at Syn Studio are mostly all adults and you should be 16 years or older to take any classes here.


Required Materials

You may draw with traditional materials (pencil, paper, eraser, marker, etc.) or digital materials (Photoshop, Procreate, etc.) or whatever you feel most comfortable with.

Tech Requirements for Attending Syn Studio Online Classes

Minimum Requirements

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 600kbps bandwidth (up/down).
  • A Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a single core processor (at least 1 GHZ processing speed) or a smartphone/tablet with equivalent processing capabilities
  • Good speakers/earphones to listen to the classes 
  • Browser - IE7+, Safari 5+, Firefox, Chrome 
  • Operating System - Windows XP, Mac OS 10.6, Linux distro based on 3.0 kernel, Android 5.0, iOS 10


Syn Studio Recommendations

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 1.5Mbps bandwidth (up/down). You can also connect to the internet directly using your ethernet cable to improve your experience.
  • Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a dual core processor with at least 2 GHZ processing speed and a 4 GB RAM
  • High Quality speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
  • Browser & Operating System - We recommend using the latest version of the browser and operating system for an optimal online classroom experience.

Course Outline

In this course you will learn to accurately and spontaneously draw the natural world. Each animal drawing class begins with a short presentation on anatomical features and behaviour. This is followed by a series of sketches to study anatomy, movement, skin textures (fur, scales, feathers) and explore different drawing techniques while receiving personalized feedback and correction from the instructor. Each species studied will be completed with a final drawing to be presented the following week.

*This course outline is currently being updated and a new, more detailed outline will be sent to students before the start of the course.

Week 1 - Understand the basics of sketching animals and learn to draw cetaceans and fish.

Week 2 - Learn different sketching techniques and how to draw insects.

Weeks 3 and 4 - Understand how to render scales as you draw reptiles and snakes from reference or imagination.

Weeks 5 and 6 - Understand the anatomy and movement of canines and felines so you can draw any kind of wild or domestic cat or dog. Develop your skills sketching cats and dogs from reference.

Week 7 - Learn how to draw convincing birds, using a bird as a subject.

Week 8 - Understand how to design believable creatures, inspired by real-world animal anatomy. Learn to do effective research and silhouette studies.

Week 9 - Become more proficient at designing credible creatures by adapting your creature's anatomical features to its environment. Make your audience believe your creature could really feed, reproduce and survive. Learn to produce a finished illustration you can use in your portfolio.

Week 10 - Understand how to effectively present your fantasy creature to an audience. Then wrap up the course by developing your proficiency in drawing various skulls (beaver, coyote, lynx, etc.) to better comprehend the anatomical variation of the natural world and all the possibilities.

Check out the entire outline

Speak to an advisor

Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 514-998-7625
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