“How to Draw Animals” by Tanis MacDonald

After Jack Hamm

Sketch the sweeping curve of shoulder
and hip. Keep joints supple in their sockets,
muscles at rest or run, legs fully aloft as

Muybridge showed: exposures of Sallie
Gardner in stop-motion. Shade the horse’s
zygomatic crest, see how the skull’s empty 

spaces form the face. Bone embossment
is nothing to sneeze at, though reckoning
with showy biceps is a must. Some torsos 

lend themselves to box treatment, so
the cow is the best professor of anatomy.
Stop and study Holsteins, fore and aft. 

Observe the bear’s body simplified: they
are adroit at warding off people who enjoy
drawing. The quagga has a lesson 

for us all: if I had known that erasing
was allowed, I’d have drawn sooner.

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