How to Draw Snakes

Study the shapes of snake facial scales to help you identify and draw what you see. Snake bodies are covered with overlapping scales (see previous post for tricks on drawing body scales). The scales of the head of many snakes are larger and important clues to identification. Study the shapes of these scales to help

How to draw scales

Learn the geometry of snake scales to help you sketch in the field. Don’t drive yourself nuts trying to copy every scale exactly. You can suggest scales with the X technique (demonstrated below), add a few details and you are good. Draw an x pattern over the back of the snake. Each of the scales will fit into

Drawing Reptile and Amphibian Eyes

Look carefully at the patterns, colors, and structure of reptile and amphibian eyes. You will be surprised by the beauty and variability. Snakes have no eyelids so the eye is round round. Amphibians and most lizards (exceptions geckos and night lizards) have eyelids and so may have round eyes or an ellipse from squinting. Note the pupil shape.

How to draw reptiles and amphibians (video workshop)

This video of a reptile and amphibian drawing workshop was filmed on December 10, 2014 at the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Center in Cupertino CA. As I spoke the first great winter storm approached and took out the power about 3/4 of the way through the talk. We kept on going with a whiteboard and

Studying Salamanders

Amphibians have moist glandular skin. The wrinkles, warts, and folds of the skin are often important details for identification and to include in your sketches. Some species have a hairline crack between the lip and the nose. Also look for a flap of loose skin under the head that makes a fold behind the jawline.

How to draw a frog, step-by-step

In this step-by-step demonstration of how to draw a leopard frog we will explore watercolor technique and learn how bands and spots show the contour of limbs and the orientation of body planes. We also explore how to suggest amphibian’s moist and shiny skin with crisp white highlights. This demonstration is a good example of the

How to Draw A Salamander

Learn how to draw a salamander in this step-by-step tutorial. Yellow-blotched Ensatina, Ensatina eschscholtzii croceater Editor’s note: I have chozen not to spell check this post to let my readers see my unedatid spelling. I am dislexic and grew up with the shame that came from not being able to spell like my peers. For part of my childhood I was

How to Draw Frogs and Toads

Understanding frog anatomy and structure will both help you observe and be able to draw what you see. Study and look for these important anatomical details in photographs and live frogs to help you learn how to draw frogs and toads. Frogs that are adapted for jumping will have a prominent sacral hump on their backs. As

The wet look: how to make an object look wet or slimy

Drawing something that is wet and slimy? Here is how to get the look of sunlight bouncing off a wet surface. This could be an eyeball, slug, or a waxy cap mushroom. You will find this trick can be applied on many subjects. The secret is to overpaint your subject with specks or streaks of