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Muzzle Problems :/


New Member
I'm fairly new to the field of doing Animal Humanoids, and I find that one of my major weaknesses is a lack in understand of the construction of the canine Lower Jaw... I mean I can draw it closed ( although I find the frontal view annoying as hell) I have immense issues drawing it open and having problem with it looking like a cat. Anyone have suggestions? Or References? I would love to improve in this area.

If you want to have open criticism of my work check out:



Well-Known Member
For a long-muzzled creature, the 'hinge' of the jaw is actually located farther back in the head than the eyes are. Random Google references:


For a closed mouth, the lips proceed only about half as far back as the jawline; when the mouth is wide open, the lips can be about as far back as the eyes; they don't reveal the entire lower jaw.


If you have a dog, or know someone who does, I'd say you should gently check out the dog's mouth. Nothing really helps like hands-on reference! But otherwise, you can turn to photos to try and figure out the way a dog's mouth works. It's pretty much open/close on the hinge, as with any animal. What really makes the canine mouth expressive is the lips. The more of an "o" face, the lips are bunched forward, but when their drawn back, either in a smile or snarl, they are thinner and stretched. :]

I think just about everyone has trouble with the straight on view. Foreshortening the muzzle is very hard to pull off, especially if you aren't adding any color or shading. Practice, of course, is the only real answer. :] Look at photos, watch dogs when you see them on the street, pay really close attention to their expressions and the way they hold their heads. A dog usually looks "down" it's nose, so unless it's a very specific look you're aiming for, a dog/canine will usually be showing some of the top of their muzzle. (which makes it a whole lot easier to show the length of the muzzle and keep it from looking stubby and feline.) :]


big noses = solves all problems


Has magical powers.
@Blotch: Wow x3 Thanks for posting that.
That makes a lot of sense :]

Now if only someone posts one for horses and dragons >:C!


A little bit daft.
Have you tried skulls? My college had several human heads (yes real- ew), and I often look up 'wolf skull' 'cat skull' deer skull' on google. Grey's anatomy has absolutely fantastic drawings of the entire skeletal structure in detail along with the musculature and how it works in a vast array of animals. :)

If you have the money I suggest buying small reproductions of the skulls. I don't have that cash flow myself unfortunately.

Also- do you live near any zoo's? Try gesture drawings of animals in the zoo!