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Look inside Drawing and Painting Animals with Expression
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 19 October 2016
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782213215
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 290
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: £15.99
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Drawing and Painting Animals with Expression


by Marjolein Kruijt (Author)

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Book Description

Marjolein Kruijt's deep and abiding love of animals is obvious in this book, which will teach you the technical aspects of drawing domestic and wild animals, such as different breeds of dog and cat, and long and short fur. In addition, it will help you to capture their inner nature. 

Table of Contents

The artist 9
Materials 11
Workshop equipment 13
Charcoal and pencil 13
Ink 14
Pastel 15
Oil 17
Watercolour 19
On location 21
Where can you draw animals? 22
Why work from observation? 23
Which materials? 24
Basic techniques of drawing 25
Stuffed animals 30
Using photographs as inspiration 34
Your own style 37
Cats 38
Inspiration 40
Using space and backgrounds 46
Anatomy and coat 53
Capturing characteristics in your sketches 60
Dogs 62
Inspiration 64
Using space and backgrounds 70
Anatomy and coat 76
Capturing characteristics in your sketches 82
Wildlife 86
Inspiration 88
Using space and backgrounds 94
Anatomy, fur and feathers 100
Drawing at the zoo and on your travels 104
Demonstrations 112
Borzoi in oil 114
Collies in pastel 118
Maine Coon in watercolour 122
Norwegian Forest cat in pastel 126
Rabbit in oil 132
Dog in oil 136
Biography 143

About the Author

About Marjolein Kruijt

Inspired by the essence of her subjects, Marjolein Kruijt specialises in capturing nature and animals on canvas, always aiming to capture their beauty and innocence. She received her degree in arts from the Royal Art Academy in The Hague, then trained as an art teacher in Amsterdam, HvA. She has worked as a full time artist since 1999. She exhibits internationally and has published a number of books. 

Marjolein lives in Amersfoort, Netherlands


Library Journal USA

Artist Kruijt approaches animals with admiration, pulling inspiration from their ability to be always in the moment. The value of working from observation, whether outdoors on location, in zoos, at home with your pet, or in a museum with taxidermied specimens, is emphasized. Photography is discussed as a reference tool, but readers are cautioned to be interpretive and sparing with its use. Early chapters discuss animal anatomy and behavior, accompanied by lots of successful sketches and paintings. The final section is full of step-by-step demonstrations. Tips, such as animal-specific color palettes, are provided throughout. VERDICT Animal lovers of all artistic skill levels will want to check out this guide.

Paint & Draw

Issue 10 - July 17

We've all heard that famouns showbiz saying  'Never work with children or animals'. But Marjolein Kruijt owers her livelihood to the latter, and begins her book to the 'inspiring beauty' of creatures great and small. Split into easy-to-use chapters, she includes a list of useful materials, as well as a comparison of sources of inspiration ranging from the excitement of location based sketching, to using photography for reference.

The text is punchy, with each spread dominated by photography, sketches and artwork relating to different aspects of animal portraiture. Much of the focus is on personality, with whole chapters dedicated to cats and dogs, as well as a more general wildlife section. But there are also plenty of useful tips on general topics such as colour, texture, composition and anatomy.

With 13 years experience, Marjolein also weaves in a few tales animal painting exploits. And to prove she practices what she preaches, the book concludes with walkthroughs of some of her favourite pieces. A great guide for any animal loving painter.

The Artist


This remarkably comprehensive guide is not for the beginner. Animas have a variety of facial expressions and getting them right is as important as it is in painting a human portrait. As well as form and perspective, the set of the face can make the difference between a successful and unsuccesful result. The variety here is astonishing. From domestic to wild animals and even birds. Most of the illustration is by example and there are few lessons and demonstrations, though there is a lot of discussion of different species and breeds. Media, it should be noted, are mainly pastels and oils, which may affect your decision on its relevance to you. The thoroughness and variety may outweigh this though.

The Leisure Painter

Feb 2017

Marjolein Kruijt's latest book looks at that most difficult of subjects capturing often unwilling subjects on paper. Although not for the absolute beginner because of inherent difficulty of the subject, Marjolein shows us how to draw both domestic and animals, with subtleties that help you capture their personalities. Using a variety of media, including pencil and charcoal, ink, pastel, oil and watercolour, Marjolein covers basic materials and techniques, how to make sketches of animals, use photographs as inspiration as well as how to create your own style. There's information on specific areas, such as including space and background, anatomy and coat, fur and feathers and drawing at the zoo, as well as step-by-step projects for you to work on.


Bring your animal portraits to vibrant life with this book of tips.  Whatever your medium there are ways to add more character and realism, and this book is full of ideas.  It is not for the beginner but for those who are either artists who want to start depicting animals or for those who want to add that extra spark.  The book starts with an overview of what materials are around and hints on what to buy and why, then moves on to where you are going to work.  This section weighs up the pros and cons of working outdoors, from live animals, stuffed or photographs.  The rest of the book deals with a variety of animals and how best to depict what makes them special and unique.  There is a chapter each for cats and dogs, then a third covering zoo and wild animals and birds.  Most of each chapter is filled with inspiring paintings and drawings each with a caption explaining what has been done to achieve the look.  This is followed by a piece on backgrounds, drawing fur, feathers and anatomy and how to capture characteristics when sketching.  The final chapter contains demonstrations, which are staged projects showing how to bring together what you have learned.  Each has a number of good sized captioned photographs so you can build up your work bit by bit, plus a list of what you need.  Instead of giving the exact colors there is a looser list elsewhere in the book to refer back to.  There are six projects done in a variety of media depicting three dogs, two cats and a rabbit.  This is a handsomely produced book that will appeal to the intermediate and up artist which falls down in one area; it has truly tiny print.


This book tackles the skilful area of painting and drawing of achieving expression and character. It deals solely with animals and is ideal for any animal lover and painter. Capture what distinguishes one pet or wild animal from another. Instructions include using various mediums. If your animal paintings or drawings look wrong, this is the book for you as the tips will perfect your techniques and help you portray realistic yet natural-looking animals. I would not call myself an animal painter, but this book had me wanting to be one - from the freedom of the sketches, to step-by-step detailed drawings, this book is very inspiring. Cats, birds, horses, dogs, lizards, elephants and more there is so much to learn from this book. 33 pages of cats, 23 of dogs and 25 of wildlife with superb illustrations of the artist's work. There are 6 step-by-step demonstrations using watercolours, pastels and oils, depicting dogs, cats and a rabbit. A short guide to using basic shapes means that this book is good for confident beginners and those who need to learn more about progressing their work to the next level. A superb book that is great value for money and one you will use for a long time.

Jules Hollinshead

This book is stunning. I love the mix of completed paintings and initial dynamic sketches.
From showing beginners how to do quick sketches with simple shapes to the tricks of mastering difficult shadows on white or black fur, this book is an inspiration.
Step by step tutorials in watercolours, pastels and oils are all clear and easy to follow. Although I don't use these mediums myself, the mastery of them is amazing and I want to try pastels now!
An absolute must have for anyone thinking of drawing or painting fur and feathers, for both beginners and artists. Could not put the book down for two hours!
Amazed at the size of the book. Value for money.

Lynda Colley

Absolute must for an aspiring animal artist!
Beautiful visuals show the different ways in which you can structure your pieces and use a variety of materials to create a masterpiece.
Step-by-step tutorials help aid your understanding of the sections at the end.
As there are only a few step-by-step tutorials I think this would be best for a more experienced artist as this book I feel is aimed for you to develop you're work further by considering composition, background and tone rather than the basics of just drawing an animal.
Would definitely recommend to people interested in refining their work.


There are two things that need to be said about this from the outset. First, its not a book for the beginner and second, most of the illustrations are in pastel or oil. Neither of these counts against it, of course, but they do define its market.

There is a lot more to what is in fact a comprehensive guide just about every species and many breeds are here, from domestic to wild animals and even birds. As becomes clear, expression is as important with animals as with people and this is much more than anthropomorphism there are no cute portraits here. It is perhaps as important as form, structure and perspective, aspects at which Marjolein Kruijt is equally adept.

Most of the illustration is by example and the few lessons are at the end of the book. The bulk of the text discusses the structure and form of both the subject and the resulting painting. Although there is a very useful introduction to materials and media, Marjolein tends to assume that you will know about methods of application. If you do, youll be thankful not to find 50% of the book taken up with things you dont need to be told. If you dont, well, to be honest, capturing character in such detail is probably not the skill you most need to learn. Think of it as a masterclass.

This is a serious book that takes its subject and its readership seriously and is all the better for that.

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