akireru's avatar

Designing a Unique Wolf

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By akireru   |   Watch
Published: April 15, 2011
© 2011 - 2020 akireru
I started this a few months ago, and lost interest halfway through (basically I had everything done and just needed to arrange it, haha).
But I was encouraged by ~AddictionHalfWay (among others) to complete it :)



I've been staring at it for a long time, so if there is anything confusing (or any gaping errors) feel free to ask!
And if you have anything to add or straight up disagree with something I said, by all means, tell me! =D I'd love to discuss it with you.

So yeah, I hope you all find this at least a little bit helpful =P
For further examples of varying underlying structure and not just colors and hairdos, try these:

[link] by ~AddictionHalfWay
[link] by ~stephensilver


Oh, and the photos in my tut were simply snagged off Google, I claim no ownership!
Image size
1000x4786px 1.23 MB
IMAGE DETAILS
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh
Comments54
anonymous's avatar
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Dragonsor's avatar
DragonsorHobbyist General Artist
A friend pointed me in this direction. Definitely adding it to my favorites and having it on hand for later :) Thanks!
EldritchLJThurston's avatar
EldritchLJThurstonHobbyist Digital Artist
Wow!!! This is really useful and fun to read and look at at the same time!!! very descriptive yet quite easy to understand once our minds are ut into it!!! I'm faving this!!! :aww:

Oh and By the way, can this technique also be applied to other animals besides wolves? 😃
pinkykyra's avatar
Funny thing is that wolves can also have different features in real life too :D. I do agree with you on this though. Take for example this wolf www.pinterest.com/pin/48899247… and this wolf www.pinterest.com/pin/48899247…. Its probably not the best comparison but yeah ^^;.

By the way, what kind of features would you find with a grumpy, and stubborn kind of wolf? I didn't want him to be too strong or bulky looking but enough to convey he's strong.
akireru's avatar
akireruProfessional General Artist
That is SO true (and a really awesome example!)! But real wolf differences are a little more subtle than drawings, and you have to be really familiar with wolves in to see the difference. I once had a (very well-known!) artist tell me she spent a long time studying wolves and came to the conclusion that they all look the same O_O

Hmm, for a stubborn wolf I think I'd go with a moderately-broad chest, just enough so he doesn't look like anyone could push him around. The rest I'd convey with body language. Is he proud-grumpy? Then make sure he holds his head high as if he thinks he's better than everyone else. Or is he tired of the world and grumpy? Maybe he keeps his head low like he can't even summon the energy to feign interest about the world around him :)

Hope that helps (or at least gets you brainstorming!)
pinkykyra's avatar
Yeah, that's true. I think I'm just so used to the way wolves work and look that I can spot the differences. You can most definitely see the difference in the facial area. Their ears can be really perky and high set or some can be small. I've seen some differences in the shape of the snout as well. Some are curved or indented. Some are very straight or even short.

Ok. So maybe a build something like this: www.breederretriever.com/photo… or this?: 2.bp.blogspot.com/-nUK4h67poMI…
And he's mostly proud-grumpy, most definitely :D
akireru's avatar
akireruProfessional General Artist
the first one works really well for proud-grumpy, I think :)
Selkra's avatar
SelkraHobbyist General Artist
This is applicable to any species. Even made up ones. True words of wisdom right here.
akireru's avatar
akireruProfessional General Artist
yeah exactly! Obviously I couldn't touch on all of them though so I just went with one of the most popular :P
Reddtalon's avatar
ReddtalonHobbyist
I like the way your perception on exaggerating the body. I'll try to keep this in mind when I'm work on drawing different animals. 
akireru's avatar
akireruProfessional General Artist
cool! Glad to see you're applying it to other animals, that's what I wanted :)
TheHeroesCavern's avatar
TheHeroesCavernStudent Filmographer
I knew you would have something like this. Working on a Red Riding Hood comic for my Comic Book class and I wanted to figure how to break down a wolf body. Thanks for the tutorial I'll tag you in the studies and final posts crediting you!
akireru's avatar
akireruProfessional General Artist
haha I'm glad I didn't disappoint you!
Can't wait to see the final product :D

Is that a class offered at UMBC? :O
TheHeroesCavern's avatar
TheHeroesCavernStudent Filmographer
Yep Comic Book Literature Professor Blumberg
akireru's avatar
akireruProfessional General Artist
Ah, its an English course? I was hoping we had one on making comics, haha
TheHeroesCavern's avatar
TheHeroesCavernStudent Filmographer
I wish. An animation professor is working with this professor to make one but that will only be possible after we leave
akireru's avatar
akireruProfessional General Artist
too bad :/
MistyWisty's avatar
MistyWistyHobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much, this tutorial is extremely helpful! My anatomy isn't bad, but I do need to work harder on my character designs, so far I only see them as generic wolves, that needs work. ^-^
The silhouette is a really good tip, and I understand everything perfectly, great work! *runs off to start designing*
akireru's avatar
akireruProfessional General Artist
Thank you! I'm glad I could help! Best of luck with your designing! :)
MistyWisty's avatar
MistyWistyHobbyist General Artist
Welcome! :3 And thanks, I'll be needing it. ;)
faustuga's avatar
Thanks! This is amazing! :D
Rabbidsquierrel's avatar
Wow, I've been thinking about making a wolf character lately, so this is going to be very helpful.
tairourou's avatar
tairourouHobbyist General Artist
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am trying to illustrate a children's book about wolves and I know nothing about them, so this is a great help.
akireru's avatar
akireruProfessional General Artist
Sure thing!
If you've never drawn wolves before, I highly suggest doing some quick studies of their movements/poses/anatomy (either from photos, video or even a wolf-like dog if you have access to one!).
This tutorial sort of assumes you've already got a working knowledge of all that.


I usually wouldn't recommend that kind of intense study, but since you're going to be (I assume) drawing a lot of pages of wolves in active poses, you don't want them to look stiff! :)
Violetwolfe's avatar
VioletwolfeStudent General Artist
So. Amazingly. Useful.
This is just what i needed. Thanks soo much for posting this!
anonymous's avatar
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