This is the first in an excellent series of blog posts by Sandy Scott about horse sculpture. Refer to her blog, linked in the right hand column, for the rest of the series.
Several days ago I received an email from a student who had taken one of my bird sculpture and anatomy workshops asking where to find quadruped anatomy reference for the artist. I only teach workshops about bird sculpture but a large portion of my portfolio depicts a wide range of quadruped species and over the years,
I've collected many books about the subject which I use in conjunction with online data.
Quadrupeds - animals with four legs - as well as humans all have the same general skeleton design.
All mammals, including horses, dogs, cats, deer, humans, etc. evolved from the same prehistoric source and it's logical that their skeletons are fundamentally the same. Keep in mind, mammals, like human, have two arms and two legs . . . their two front limbs are arms and their two back limbs are legs.
Humans have evolved in such a way as to not walk on all fours like quadrupeds.
The spine is the main support or armature for the body, the skull houses the brain, and the ribs form a protective cage around the heart and lungs. Quadrupeds come in different sizes and shapes depending on how they evolved and were designed by nature according to their surroundings and way of life. Despite the diversity of design, the same main bones such as humerus, femur, etc. are in each creature. The artist who understands this can easily interpolate known functional data about specific species such as a horse, dog, or cat to other species in the wild which are difficult to study from life.
It's easier to pick up your dog and note how the joints articulate than to attempt handling a wolf or grizzly!
I have posted two previous blogs about this subject which gives much more information:
Blog #448, Nature's one pattern - posted July 31, 2013 www.Blog #448
Blog #450, Comparative anatomy - posted August 7, 2013 www.Blog #450
Below, are eight anatomy books that are directed toward the artist. . . I continue to use them all.
I've included the publisher's name and to my knowledge, they are still available and in print.
|Author: Gottfried Bammes Chartwell Books|
|Oxford University Press|
|Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers|
Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish