Anthro Art - Different Genres - Anthro vs Furry
The unique thing about Anthro art is that it can take different shapes, sizes, and forms. The only limitation is your imagination. One of the most common misconceptions for Anthro art is that people generally associate it with "Furry" art because most of Anthro art is enveloped around furry animals that look like humans ( Below the very talented ^Katmomma has written up a quick guide to the differences between "Furry" and "Anthro"). Lions, Tigers, Bears and WereWolves. But contrary to popular belief, Anthro art can range from animals to toasters that doesn't involve fur at all! In my previous post about Anthro art, I explained what Anthropomorphic was. Anthro art is based on the very definition below:
Anthropomorphic: Ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human, especially to a deity.
There is no "right" or "wrong" way to draw or portray Anthro art because like fantasy art, they do not exist so there is nothing to "reference" them off from. Only our imagination. So with that, there is a wide variety of different styles and unique ways that Anthro artists display them.
Anthro Vs Furry
Defined by ^Katmomma | Related Article - Anthro Vs Furry: Semantics Problem
"People continue to debate this topic because very few people look at it
objectively or choose to only view one opinion on the matter. After
investigating both the communities of deviantART and Furaffinity, the
question is not about a comparison.
There is a difference between furry and a furry. "Furry" is an adjective and "a furry" is a noun.
"Anthro" or Anthropomorphism is a philosophy of conceptual design.
" A Furry" is a person with specific state of mind
"Furry" is an adjective to describe a specific quality of anthropomorphic art.
(and it is also an adjective that describes anything extensively covered
with fur lol)
Anthro is the conceptual philosophy involving the projection of human physical or behavioral traits onto anything that is not human. (also known in literature as personification).
"A Furry" is a term invented by a group of people who have many levels of
interest in the personification of animals. If the anthropomorhised
thing happens to be an animal that has fur....people of this state of
mind assume it is "a furry." People who say they are "a furry" associate
with what is called the furry fandom.
Not all "anthro" is "furry" (a talking toilet is anthro..... but does not have fur)
Not all "furry" is anthro (a drawing of a feral wolf is furry....but is not anthropomorphic)
Someone who draws anthropomorphic art IS NOT ALWAYS "a furry"
Someone who draws anthropomorphic art CAN BE "a furry"
Objects & Things
Yes! objects can be turned into "Anthropomorphic" art. As the definition implies, putting 'human' attributes to a being or thing not human. Below are some examples.
This type of Anthro art depicts more "animal" subjects with "human" characteristics.
Human with Anthro features
Sometimes the type of Anthro work can resembled more "human" traits with animal characteristics.
Common Anthro Art
This is most common in the Anthro Community. Ascribing human attributes to an animal, creature, fantasy, etc.
Advice From Fellow Anthro Artists
Sometimes there are tips and tricks that others have learned through their experience in the art world. Below are some Anthro Artists who have offered some insight on Anthro art.
"Words of advice I could give are...keep going. Don't compare yourself to
artist whose skill level surpasses your current one. It is ok to want
to improve to their level, to have artists you look up to, just don't
compare to the point you feel there is no way you can get to where they
are. I used to and if I am to be honest still feel that way a great deal
of the time. there are always new artists who far surpass you but
instead of doing a direct comparison against their work I pick out the
things they do well that I aspire to do well and use those points in
practice. What it comes down to is a hunger to improve, don't lose it,
no matter how 'good' you get...don't lose the hunger and even the sky is
not the limit!
Beyond that, study life. If you are standing
around waiting for a bus and bored, watch the shadows on the ground, see
how the color of the sky impacts the shadows, watch them move and
change shape. Sketch people on the bus bench or walking outside. If you
want to improve your color, choose photos you like and try to paint
them. Avoid using the color picker, pick the colors using your own
instincts and afterwards pick colors in the original photo and your
piece and see how close you got. You will surprise yourself and you will
also train your eye to instinctively pick colors. You will also learn
how different colors interact and what colors compliment or contrast
each other. Trust yourself more. Also don't worry about succeeding when
you practice. Use practice sessions as fun times and don't plan on
having something finished to show for your time spent. If you worry too
much about having a final product you will fail more often than you
succeed because you have expectations. Lose them and let yourself go
into the work..don't plan..just start painting and see where it takes
you. And if something does turn out, it will be a pleasant surprise!
Most pieces I start for myself end up failing, and it's ok! The failures
can actually teach you more than the successes!
Be careful about
using tutorials you find online, even from artists you admire. You may
well learn a great deal from them and they are certainly invaluable
learning tools but keep in mind that while you can learn things the
artist does well you can also learn their mistakes and use them in your
own art. By mistakes I mean things like bad anatomy or color advice.
This is what I always advise when someone asks if they can use my art to
learn from. I welcome them to but I warn them to be careful because I
make a lot of mistakes in my work that I don't want them to pick up in
their own. Trained mistakes can be a hard habit to break if it becomes a
part of your process. So the best advice I can give is just be
careful..don't take tutorials as the final word on things. Study other
tutorials..and life..life is the best tutorial there is!
Don't paint with that goal in mind. IE don't sit down and think "I want
to paint a wolf...but I want to do something that someone hasn't done
before". In doing so you actually end up thinking more inside the box
than outside, because your goal is not the feel of the art...or what you
want it's soul to look like but standing out of the crowd. It sounds
cliche but create what you care about and where it may not start off
original this is more likely to help you develop an image as an artist, a
style that is uniquely yours. Don't be afraid to be inspired by other
artists, but also don't try to become them. I do not begrudge emulating
styles to learn but I warn against letting them hold you back. You can
learn a lot by emulating, but you are also a unique individual and will
never be exactly like someone else. Let all the things you learn along
the way shape how you create and you will find you become an individual.
But don't let being an individual be your end all goal.
Along the lines of what I said above, you other artists out there who
have been creating for a long time and have developed a style all your
own, don't fixate on your style. Don't get angry when someone copies
your style..this is inevitable to happen if many people like what you
are doing. It happens in both professional and amateur circles (look how
many video games styles resemble other video games very closely as an
example). It can also bring about new ideas and new artistic movements.
Many historical art movements built upon what previous art movements
did, as an example expressionism was very closely related to
impressionism and arguably arose out of impressionism. Also if you look
through history, different periods of art have many overlapping
similarities, be it in the color palettes use, the preferred
compositions or even the style the subjects themselves were depicted in.
People always emulate, it isn't exclusively a bad thing.
you are a dynamic changing artist who is always growing so regardless
of how well someone copies your style now..chances are they will always
be a step behind you and you will always be moving ahead and new
additions and polish comes into your evolving style. I especially hazard
against picking on young artists who are just starting out. We all
traced and copied at some point in our young artistic careers. It is in
our nature to learn by emulating.. I would say know when to be flattered
by it! Of course it does no harm to lightly warn people copying styles
too closely that it can stunt their artistic growth, but oftentimes
people use styles as learning steps. I realize this is a touchy subject
and we are all bound to feel hurt if we see an artist we may have helped
along the way start selling art that closely resembles what we do...but
frankly...there's nothing you can do about it but hope they find their
own way. No matter how hard we try to combat this, it is an
inevitability..so instead of focusing on what 'they' are doing...try
instead to focus your energy on what you are doing.
artists specifically, keep at it. I think this is a genre of art that
has so much untapped potential. And where many professional artists
advice against putting 'anthro' art in your professional portfolio I do
not share that mindset. Be who you are in your work and create what you
care about..it is more likely to end up taking you places than following
the mainstream. That's how new ideas became mainstream..when someone
sticks with their convictions and brings a vision to the world that may
at first meet with hostility...but eventually change something in the
mainstream. This doesn't just apply to art either. Besides chasing the
mainstream because it is already accepted, well you are less likely to
discover the roads less traveled and new ideas that may take you to bold
- "Practice your butt off. Look at art that isn't furry, get inspiration from things outside the community."
- Practice drawing humans! Anthrōpos) = man, therefore be familiar with human anatomy. It is also very handy to learn the names of muscles and bones in the human body, something that I need to study more myself.
Anthro Related Groups
Here is a list of Anthro Groups around DevianART!