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How To Draw Unguligrade Bipeds (IE: Hoofed People) by The13thBlackCat How To Draw Unguligrade Bipeds (IE: Hoofed People) by The13thBlackCat
Edit How To Draw Unguligrade Bipeds: Advanced Course /Edit

One of my biggest peeves in fantasy art is seeing perfectly good--amazing, even!--artists manage to fuck up what seems to be fairly basic leg anatomy. And after seeing one too many fucked up fauns and SNAFU'd satyrs, I finally decided the world needed a tutorial on how to do things right (because I am always right, you see, because this is the internet).

Well, anyway. I thought someone might find this useful. It feels weird to do a tutorial; I never thought I would. I'm horrible at teaching.

I kinda want some kind of llama character now
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:iconekf501:
ekf501 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2015
Thank you sooooo much. I'm working on a family of human/caribou hybrids as part of a university course for my final project and I was dreading the posing and how to make them look realistic while also clearly of the cervidae genus. This is incredibly helpful and thank you again :D
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm happy to hear it! :D An oh, caribou are so awesome. Big adorable fluffy deer <3
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:iconekf501:
ekf501 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2015
Lol I know, and the baby caribou? Too adorable to pass up a chance at making him a little boy :3
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:iconjmiera:
JMiera Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015  Professional Filmographer
This is so helpful! thanks for making it! :)
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy to help! :3
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:iconrezina-the-fluffycat:
Rezina-The-FluffyCat Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing tutorial~! X3 Do you know any good tutorials on how to do more feline anthro legs?
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh yes! Luckily, it's much easier to find guides for that than for hoofed things. Really, the basics are very similar to my tutorial in any case, except you would draw paws at the end instead of hooves.

This is one of my favorites. This isn't bad for just paws, but I think they may be more canine paws...but it may still help to give you some basic ideas of how to structure them. This and this look like good guides for feline paws in general, and this is just a good guide for basic digitigrade legs. I'd suggest searching on dA for digitigrade leg tutorials and feline paw tutorials, we have a lot of good guides around and you may find something I haven't seen yet!
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:iconrezina-the-fluffycat:
Rezina-The-FluffyCat Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Omg thank you so much ;w; Legs are paws are probably one of the hardest things for me
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem. :3 Paws confuse the heck out of me too, that's why I like hoofed things better I think. XD I'm pretty good at digitigrade/unguligrade legs, but I'm awful at plantigrade ones. Tutorials are such a life-saver, haha.
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:iconsalahmandrah:
SalahMandrah Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
USEFUL! *-*
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hope so! :D
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:iconsalahmandrah:
SalahMandrah Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
yep yep! :)
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:iconpatrykwojciechowicz:
PatrykWojciechowicz Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015  Student General Artist
It's very helpful! Thank you very much The13thBlackCat  Clap 
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:blush: I'm happy to help!
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:iconnightshadetheranger:
NightshadeTheRanger Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015  Student Writer
This tutorial is amazing!!! Love 
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:blush: Aww, thank you so much!
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:iconmenardboy19:
Menardboy19 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015
Hi I'm starting out with the drawing in general and wanted to work with satyr legs but can't keep consistency. Any idea?
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Consistency is just something you build over time, really, and if you're just starting out on anything you should expect your art to be wonky for a while until you get a "feel" for what you're drawing. The best advice I can offer is to practice, practice, practice, and use a lot of references! In the case of satyr legs, I'd use a lot of references of human and goat legs, and any other satyrs you really like the look of. And if you draw something you really like, keep it around so you can look back on it and try to replicate the parts you like in future drawings! Practice will be your best tool, though, since that will help you get used to what you're drawing.

Good luck! :)
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:iconmenardboy19:
Menardboy19 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2015
thanks for the advice in the mean time:shakepaintbrush: 
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:iconmulunia:
Mulunia Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014
Is it possible to translate these lessons for other -grade characters? Like, would the same rules apply?
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Basically, yes, at least for digitigrade legs. There's some minor differences in the actual anatomy, but for drawing purposes, you pretty much would just draw a paw instead of a hoof at the end, because they're very very similar. This is a really good tutorial for digitigrade characters, and this has some excellent notes about them! (The second one mostly has to do with balancing a character out and making them look more realistic instead of awkward.)

(As for plantigrade legs, well, those are a bit more drastically different, but I'm sure better artists have tutorials for them. X3 DeviantART actually has a lot of good tutorials, so I suggest searching around to see if you can find someone who has better/more in-depth ones! Especially since I'm not exactly an anatomy expert, here. =P)
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:iconmulunia:
Mulunia Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2014
Ah! I see! Thank you so much! You're incredibly helpful! Mudkip Neuro Happy 
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem, happy to help! :3
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:iconkillerwerewolf1:
KillerWereWolf1 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I absolutely love the action poses at the bottom!
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! :D They were fun to doodle, though I kinda ran out of ideas after, like...two. XD
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:iconkillerwerewolf1:
KillerWereWolf1 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, I actually used this to create my first oc! Would it be okay if I posted it in my gallery, giving you credit for the inspiration in the description?
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, awesome! :la: I hope it helped!

Sure! :3 I don't mind!
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:iconkillerwerewolf1:
KillerWereWolf1 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay, thank you so much!
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:iconlunaticmindgamer:
LunaticMindGamer Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks master!
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:iconfaer-windstormfan:
faer-windstormfan Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You know, oddly enough, this is helping me with anatomy for digitigrade characters as well... it's not entirely the same but it's similar enough to make this guide VERY helpful.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, I don't find it very odd at all, really! It's largely very similar anatomy, except you have toes at the end instead of hooves (which are technically toes themselves, but...anyway!). There's a lot of really good digitigrade tutorials here on dA that I've seen. This one and this one are two of my favorites, if you haven't already seen them, and I'm sure there's more. (I don't go looking for them, really, I just find them by happenstance, haha.)
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:iconfaer-windstormfan:
faer-windstormfan Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, wow, thank you for the tuts, thank you so so so so so much!!!!!!! I didn't expect to get a reply honestly O___o

Those are really awesome (the second one is soooo cute sdlfas;ldfkas;dlfkj). I'll admit I'm an offender of the 'awkward crouch' thing especially with birdlike characters... oh well, back to practice for me! :DDD

But seriously, thanks bunches, and your tut was so informative and amazing, no wonder everyone loves it. And you're nice and friendly too which is always a bonus. Keep doing what you do, seriously, there aren't enough nice people out there making stuff.
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem. :) I found them pretty quickly just by searching for "digitigrade tutorial", but admittedly I did know which pictures I was looking for too. Still, I've found that dA usually has good tutorials about a lot of things! (And I always try to reply to comments if I can! Just polite, I think.)

Haha, everyone was an offender of that at one point, I think. XD Even I was, I'm sure, though I've put so much effort into drawing unguligrade legs properly for the past forever that I don't remember much before it... =P

Thanks! :3 I really need to update a couple things on it, but I'm happy so many people are finding it useful and helpful. :blush: Thank you so much! Good luck with your future arting! :dummy:
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:iconfaer-windstormfan:
faer-windstormfan Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot~  I will say that from what I've seen of your art that your efforts have paid off immensely!
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, I'd hope so, since I've been working at it for something like over seven years. (Geez, that makes it sound like so long ago that I took interest in this...) And yet I still tend to draw legs too long. Pfft. We'll call it a "stylistic choice". X3

Thanks, though, I'm glad you think so! :D
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:iconfaer-windstormfan:
faer-windstormfan Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey, trust me, my art style is anime - I know allll about the too-long-legs thing. It's kind of difficult to draw a humanoid character with any kind of animal leg portions and have them with normally-proportioned legs, anyway, because there's too much detail for them. (Which I think is brought up in this tutorial)

Hahahahah, seven years is a pretty good long time, and I think it's awesome that you've been drawing what you love for that long :D
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, I'm sure that's where my proportion problems stem from. My style used to be pretty anime until I decided to actively try and be more realistic...also about seven years ago, probably. XD Maybe a bit before. I still slip a little more into anime proportions than I'd like sometimes. Which would be fine if I wasn't trying for (somewhat cartoony, admittedly) realism. XD Argh. Oh well. More to improve on, I suppose!

Haha, oh, that's only as long as I've been drawing many hoofy bipedal things, I was drawing all sorts of silliness before that. X3 Lots of animal-featured people, so I have a lot of practice at that business. Though it was mostly more anime-cat-girl style stuff back then. (Well, with a little more fur, and different animals a lot of the time, but otherwise...basically that. :P)
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(1 Reply)
:iconcoffeepilot:
CoffeePilot Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this! Thank you so much for making it! Really helps a lot writing a story involving a satyr transformation to have a great reference like this. :)
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to help! :) I hope it's useful for you!
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:iconderiaux:
Deriaux Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
dont make the kitten sad

make it happy by not being a terrible artist?

Taemin Yeah..no EMOTICON 
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:iconthelemonpotato:
TheLemonPotato Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014
Would you mind if I use the llama legs?
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, I don't mind, it was just an example anyway. Not like I've copyrighted the idea. Go crazy! :D
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:iconthelemonpotato:
TheLemonPotato Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014
Thank you so much!
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem! :aww:
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:iconthe-fianna:
The-Fianna Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
would you mind if I used that crouching pose as a reference? 
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sure, go ahead! :D
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:iconthe-fianna:
The-Fianna Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
fav.me/d7lweeu
in case you wanted to see
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:iconthe-fianna:
The-Fianna Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you!
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:iconvixendra:
VixenDra Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I prefer the shorter legs and normal torso.
BTW you say sth about not enough space for leg muscles... but you didn't consider that if you enshorten the torso, you make too less space for inner organs and torso muscles;] I think these are more important^^ So I don't tkink it's a good idea to enshorten the torso just to 'make space' for legs^^
This is the only panel I disagree with^^ The rest sounds fine:)
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:iconjohannahelena:
JohannaHelena Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Not sure if this question has been asked already, but are there canine and feline fauns even though that that isn't the true definition of a faun? And also would the legs look slightly different except for paws instead? 

Excellent tutorial btw! I loved the llama legs so much :3
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