drawing_class_imageJoe Weatherly is available to come to your institution and lecture on a myriad of subjects as they pertain to the world of animal art. Joe has lectured, instructed, and guided such prestigious groups as Dreamworks Feature Animation when they were in development on “Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron” and needed assistance on horse mechanics and anatomy.

Joe has taught animation students all over the country, helping them to better understand the sometimes frustrating proposition of drawing animals quickly and with authority. Joe assisted Universal Pictures when the “Balto II: Wolf Quest” character designers needed an expert on dog anatomy to give their designs clarity and a grounding in reality. Joe continues to be an authority and leader in the artistic world of animal drawing, painting, locomotion, and comparative anatomy.

If you are interested in having a fun, engaging, and informative drawing session, contact Joe for rates and availability.

Upcoming Workshops


joe_weatherly_2016lg2Animal Drawing and Painting

June 26, 2016 – July 2, 2016

Medium: Pencil and Oil

Level: All Levels

5-Day Studio/Outdoor Class

Hudson River Valley Art Workshops Website


This class will be held both on location and in the studio. Animals will be drawn from life with an emphasis on there basic structure, form, and gesture. Methods of how to draw a moving subject will be explored as will drawing from imagination. A variety of animals will be sketched throughout the day. Students should come prepared to draw with sketchbook, pens and pencils. The main points discussed in this class include action, form analysis, anatomy and expression and is based on the recommended text for the class, The Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals.

The painting portion of this class will focus on “oil quick sketch” which entails an alla prima approach from a live subject. Through a series of quick poses, the student develops a personal style for rapid animal indication. Emphasis is placed on communication through gesture, shape, value, color and composition. Students will have the choice of working on multiple paintings and/or developing a single piece. A painterly approach to indicate form and planes will be encouraged.

Course Objective: This class focuses on learning how to draw animals using solid drawing principles. The emphasis of this class is on learning to draw animals by understanding action, analysis of form, construction, expressive drawing and simplified anatomy. Learning to draw from life and imagination are covered as well.

Students should have an understanding of the following by the conclusion of this class.

Gesture Drawings: Drawings that give a feeling of life and movement from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. These drawings should clearly convey the essence of the pose to help show us what the subject is doing. Movement, volume, and structure clarity must be captured quickly in line. The attitude of the character will also be suggested.

Construction: This is drawing animals using basic geometric shapes to construct forms. The analysis of form and volume will be emphasized. Structural unity, along with clarity and simplicity, will be used to help create a 3-D illusion on a flat piece of paper. Other key factors in drawing using construction are wedging or interlocking of forms and drawing through the forms. We are looking for the dynamics of the animal, and choosing lively poses and dramatic angles will help us to convey this.

Anatomy: Constructive anatomy will be covered emphasizing bones and muscles that are important to the artist. Muscles will be taught as simple shapes that can be sculpted onto basic geometric forms. The importance of being able to understand “active anatomy” and how the animal works as a machine is paramount in good drawing.
Drawing from Imagination: This is perhaps the most important topic. To draw animals from imagination at any angle is the ultimate in good draftsmanship. This requires the knowledge of action, construction, and the ability to turn simple forms in space.

Joe Weatherly is a Southern California based artist specializing in the drawing and painting of animals. His style is bold and vigorous capturing the essence and drama of the subjects he draws and paints. The attitude and expression of the animal’s character along with telling a visual story is what his work conveys. Conservation of the natural world is something Joe is very passionate about and hopes his work will motivate people to protect it and promote its survival.

Books that Joe Weatherly has published are the Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals, Animal Essence the Art of Joe Weatherly, and the Joe Weatherly Sketchbook.

Teaching drawing is a part time endeavor of Joe’s and some of his clients include Nickelodeon Animation, Dreamworks Feature Animation, Universal Studios, Art Center, Laguna College of Art and Design, and The Academy of Art in San Francisco.