Thursday, November 10th, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

Master elephant anatomy for creature design

The Gnomon Workshop has released Elephant Anatomy, a new two-part series of tutorials on drawing the anatomy of elephants – modern, prehistoric, and fictional – recorded by creature designer Terryl Whitlatch.

Volume 1 focuses on modern Asian and African elephants. Volume 2 focuses on elephants’ prehistoric relatives, and fantasy creatures inspired by elephants. Each provides over nine hours of video training.

An essential guide to elephant anatomy for both students and professional concept artists
From the stylised depictions of real elephants in Dumbo to the Mûmakil of Lord of the Rings, elephants and their relatives crop up repeatedly in visual effects, animation and videogames.

In her two-part series of video tutorials, Whitlatch discusses the anatomy and evolutionary history of elephants, providing the foundation required to design believable fantasy creatures.

Volume 1 focuses on modern Asian and African elephants and their prehistoric relatives, demonstrating their skeletons and musculature, and how to draw shorthand versions of complex anatomical structures.

Volume 2 focuses on prehistoric species of elephants, including mammoths and mastodons, and imaginary, elephant-inspired species, including an Oliphant, Behemoth, and exaggerated and stylised designs.

A bonus chapter in Volume 2 covers the anatomy of the manatee, a surprisingly close relative of elephants.

The workshops are targeted both at students looking to increase their knowledge of animal anatomy, and professional concept artists looking for a work of reference for entertainment or scientific visualisation work.

About the artist
Widely considered to be one of today’s leading creature designers and animal anatomists, Terryl Whitlatch’s resume includes movies ranging from Jumaji and the Star Wars prequels to Brother Bear and Beowulf.

Her clients have included Industrial Light and Magic, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Walt Disney Feature Animation, EA, LucasArts, Chronicle Books, Simon and Schuster, and various zoos and natural history museums.

Pricing and availability
Terryl Whitlatch’s Elephant Anatomy tutorials are available via a subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, providing access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year. Free trials are available.

Read more about Elephant Anatomy Vol. 1: Drawing Skeletons & Musculature

Read more about Elephant Anatomy Vol. 2: Prehistoric Studies & Imaginary Concepts

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.