Create a Character from any Animal

Course description

This class teaches you everything you need to know to draw any animal.

By understanding how to draw bears, dogs and horses, you will finish this class with an understanding of animal anatomy and drawing that will make make any future animal way easier. Along with that, you'll be able to break away from realistic drawings by creating fun character designs from what you learn.

What You'll learn

  • a step-by-step process for learning to draw any animal
  • the anatomy and function of bears, dogs and horses
  • the three movement classes that all land mammals fall into
  • how to draw from photos in a way that actually has you learn the subject
  • several techniques for coming up with interesting character concepts


Use the step-by-step process from the class to create a character based on any animal you like. The process is:

  1. Learn about the locomotive class of your animal and how it relates to us
  2. Draw from a variety of photos with simple shapes to make your animal easier to understand
  3. Create at least 5 character concepts based on key characteristics of your animal
  4. Finalize one design into a final line drawing
  5. (BONUS) Use your line drawing in tandem with any other design style to create a finished piece

Course outline

Lesson 1: Getting the most

In this initial lesson you'll be introduced to a couple of ideas to keep in mind as you progress through the course to ensure you get the most value.

Lessons 2-5: Drawing Bears

Follow along with Hayden as he explains the anatomy of bears, how they function and why they are the way they are. From here learn to draw from photos in a way that actually teaches you about the animal. Then, follow along as he creates interesting concepts and narrows them down to a refined character.

Lessons 6-9: Drawing Dogs

After learning about bears, follow the same approach for dogs—one of the most commonly drawn animals. You'll be learning this animal, and the other two, in a way that sets you up with knowledge to make any future animal easier to learn. Once again this culminates in creating a final, refined character design.

Lessons 10-13: Drawing Horses

Horses are one of the trickiest animals to learn. By comparing it with our own anatomy, it will be much easier. After this series of lessons you will be well-equipped to draw any hooved animal. As before, you will first learn about horses and then create a character from what you've learned.

Lesson 14: Going Forward

There are several steps you can take after this course. We discuss those here.

Bonus Lessons: Live Animal Drawings

In preparation for this class Hayden drew a lot of animals. Some of that was recorded as 5 hours of livestream video also available with this class. Here you can watch Hayden draw hedgehogs, komodo dragons, aardwolves, water deer and crows all while explaining his thought process.


About the teacher

Hayden Aube is a designer-turned-illustrator with an obsession for how we learn. Having made many big transitions in his life and career, Hayden now channels his time into helping other artists get where they want to be. This means tutorials, coaching and several community-based initiatives. To stay sharp, Hayden maintains a freelance illustration business, creates a variety of personal projects and is always enrolled in an online or in-person course himself.

Well studied. Lots of good info on how animals really work and how to translate it into original creations!
— Nate Bear
Super cool! Hayden is such a good teacher! 100% suggested if you want to improve your character design skills!!!
— Eleonora Morucci
This is a very nice course especially if you are a beginner or you draw realistic stuff and you want to learn something about how to design a more cartoon character. Thumbs up! :)
— Justyna Szanca

This course and many more for just $9/month