We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

E-book purchase
Choose a subscription

Downloaded copy on your device does not expire. Includes 4 years of Bookshelf Online.


Where applicable, tax will be added to the above price prior to payment.

E-book purchasing help


Animal Anatomy for Artists

The Elements of Form

Eliot Goldfinger

Publication Date - November 2004

ISBN: 9780195142143

256 pages
9 x 12 inches

In Stock

From horses and cats to elephants and giraffes--the definitive reference on animal anatomy for painters, sculptors, and illustrators


From the author of the classic Human Anatomy for Artists comes this user-friendly reference guide featuring over five hundred original drawings and over seventy photographs.
Designed for painters, sculptors, and illustrators who use animal imagery in their work, Animal Anatomy for Artists offers thorough, in-depth information about the most commonly depicted animals, presented in a logical and easily understood format for artists--whether beginner or accomplished professional. The book focuses on the forms created by muscles and bones, giving artists a crucial three-dimensional understanding of the final, complex outer surface of the animal. Goldfinger not only covers the anatomy of the more common animals, such as the horse, dog, cat, cow, pig, squirrel, and rabbit, but also the anatomy of numerous wild species, including the lion, giraffe, deer, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, elephant, gorilla, sea lion, and bear. Included are drawings of skeletons and how they move at the joints, individual muscles showing their attachments on the skeleton, muscles of the entire animal, cross sections, photographs of live animals, and silhouettes of related animals comparing their shapes and proportions. He offers a new and innovative section on the basic body plan of four-legged animals, giving the reader a crucial conceptual understanding of overall animal structure to which the details of individual animals can then be applied. The chapter on birds covers the skeleton, muscles and feather patterns. The appendix presents photographs of skulls with magnificent horns and antlers and a section on major surface veins.
Incredibly thorough, packed with essential information, Animal Anatomy for Artists is a definitive reference work, an essential book for everyone who depicts animals in their art.

About the Author(s)

Eliot Goldfinger is a renowned sculptor and anatomist. He developed the anatomy program at The New York Academy of Art and has been an instructor at The Art Students League in New York City. He is the author of Human Anatomy for Artists, the standard reference in the field.


"The definitive reference guide on the subject."--American Artist

"This technical treasure is sure to find an audience among artists and serious animal enthusiasts alike."--Booklist

"An excellent tool for beginner or master painter, sculptor, or illustrator."--Art Times

"The work of artist Eliot Goldfinger combines scientific rigor with aesthetic discrimination. In its wide scope and copious detail, his new book on animal anatomy is an invaluable reference for anyone intent on the vivid depiction of animal life, including painters, sculptors and animators. Artistic anatomy has fallen on hard times in recent years; no one has done more to bring it out of the doldrums--with this book and its predecessor on human anatomy--than Eliot Goldfinger."--Gary Faigin, Artist; Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Seattle Academy of fine Arts; Instructor of anatomy, painting and drawing; Author of The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression

"Animal Anatomy for Artists is an essential reference for any artist working with animals. It provides remarkably extensive material on the horse, cow, lion, and dog, and strong basic material on numerous other species, domestic and exotic. Goldfinger presents material that is not available in any other anatomy book in print. I, and many of my colleagues familiar with his excellent and important text, Human Anatomy for Artists, are fortunate to have this book for our use as well as that of our students. Animal Anatomy for Artists is an exciting and major addition to the literature of art education."--David Klass, Artist; Instructor in animal and human anatomy at the New York Academy of Art in New York City and the Loveland Academy of Fine Arts in Loveland, Colorado

"While this book is indeed useful to artists, Animal Anatomy for Artists is so much more than an anatomy reference book--it is Eliot Goldfinger's graphic celebration of the wonders and intricacies of animal anatomy, a visual testimony to his consummate skill as an anatomist and an artist. To appreciate the way the animals are put together, use this book, and along the way, marvel at the depth and range of its author."--Richard Ellis, Natural history painter and writer; Author and illustrator of Great White Shark, Aquagenesis, and The Empty Ocean