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Saturday, October 10 • 1:00pm - 2:30pm

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Please click the VIDEO STREAM to view this class as a recording! This program is being presented exclusively for conference attendees, and is not to be shared or copied without permission of the presenter and conference organizer.


When you are trying to capture a moving animal target on a journal page, it is helpful to understand a bit about how their bodies work and move, and how that compares to the movements of our human bodies. In this session, we'll get familiar with the characteristic postures and poses of mammals and birds as they go about their business and enjoy moments of repose.

SUPPLIES: Journal and pen.

UPDATE FROM MARK, OCT. 8, via email:

Mark Simmons writes:
Hello, everyone!

I hope you’re all enjoying the conference so far. It’s been pretty much non-stop great stuff! Hopefully we’ll make it to the weekend without our heads exploding from too much awesomeness.

As promised, I’ve put together a couple of handouts for our Saturday class, Sketching Animals At Rest & In Motion. I’ve posted these on our class page, over at the main schedule site

[see this page]

If, for some reason, you’re having trouble, I also put these handouts in a Google Drive folder:


The first handout, wildwonder_animals_handout.pdf, includes a brief introduction, a few tips on quick-sketching animals, and some detailed notes on mammal and bird movement. You don’t need to study the movement notes ahead of time! I just put them in because I’ll reference these notes in my presentation without discussing them in detail, and I thought that might be frustrating if you didn’t have them yet.

The other handout, wildwonder_animals_images.pdf, contains some photos we can use for drawing practice during the class. Most of these are my own pictures, but Ashok Khosla very kindly gave me permission to include some photos of birds in flight from his wonderful website "Seeing Birds" (https://www.seeingbirds.com/). We won’t use all of these during the class, but we should have time for a couple.

Enjoy the conference, and I’ll look forward to drawing with you on Saturday!


Hello, everyone! Thank you so much for attending today’s Sketching Animals at Rest & in Motion class (or viewing the replay in the future, depending).

As I mentioned, I’ve posted my slideshow presentation (in PDF format) on the Sched site:


And also in this Google Drive folder:


The slideshow file is "wildwonder_animalmotion_mini.pdf". You’ll also find a handout with some general tips and movement notes, and a set of practice images, including some awesome birds from Ashok Khosla’s "Seeing Birds" website (https://www.seeingbirds.com/).

I packed a lot of material into today’s class, and I salute you for hanging in there! Hopefully these notes and files will help you revisit the parts that went by too quickly. Feel free to quiz me about things by email and in the Facebook Nature Journal Club group, too! Sketching animals is a pretty deep subject, and as you may suspect, it’s one I always enjoy talking about.

All the best, and happy critter-drawing!

--  Mark

P.S. I gather some people were asking about other Mark-related information and resources. I don’t have a lot available online, aside from a couple of recordings of past Nature Journal Club workshops, and my website (http://www.ultimatemark.com/) and social media presence have been a little neglected. If I’m doing something exciting, I’ll probably mention it on Facebook and possibly on my Twitter account (@toysdream). Thank you!

avatar for Mark Simmons

Mark Simmons

Mark Simmons is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, specializing in comics and storyboarding. His past teaching adventures include teaching figure drawing at the Academy of Art University, and classes in cartooning, sketching, and wildlife illustration for SF Bay Area institutions... Read More →

Saturday October 10, 2020 1:00pm - 2:30pm PDT
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