I made a few sketches to explain pony leg/joint anatomy to somepony, but I figured other people might be able to use these sketches to learn pony anatomy as well.
For animal legs I've always remembered a picture from my biology book in high school which compared the skeleton structure in human arms with the legs/wings of animals. The "equivalent" bones had the same color, so it was really clear to see how the joints worked. (like this: [link])
These sketches are in no way anatomically accurate, they're just a simplified visualisation of the similarities between human and animal limbs and to show how you can use your arm as a reference when drawing ponies
Also, pony/horse bones don't look like that... I just drew some random bone-y thingies there x3
This is... well... I'm not going to say it's WRONG, as it isn't entirely inaccurate, plus we're talking about cartoon ponies here. However, there is a little discrepancy that I do feel should be pointed out. That discrepancy is exactly what parts of the legs correspond to what in the hind leg. First off, the knee joint is actually in the thigh of the cartoon ponies. What everyone assumes is the knee (and what you have listed here as corresponding to the elbow) actually corresponds to the ankle. It should be obvious by this point, but the only hinge joints past that in a human are the toes. Yes, the hooves are actually the toes of an equine, not the hands and feet. Like I said though, this diagram isn't entirely wrong, only slightly so. The forelegs are fine, but in the hind legs are missing a bone, the femur, which would be in-between the blue bone (tibia fibula) and the pelvis.
"These sketches are in no way anatomically accurate, they're just a simplified visualisation of the similarities between human and animal limbs and to show how you can use your arm as a reference when drawing ponies "
*shrugs* I'm not a biology expert nor someone's trying to draw in a show-accurate style. This is just how I do it and how I think it looks good (too). ^u^
Anatomy should be correct (to a certain extend), but drawing styles and such always leave room for a little interpretation :3 As long as the basics are all right (such as limbs not bending in the wrong direction or having too many joints), then I find almost anything goes
This is fantastic! I'm drawing up designs for the joints so I could out a wooden pony together. This really helped clear up the leg structure, especially the hind legs, for me. Should be much easier to make this little guy now. Thanks for making this!
LOL. The random bone thingies you gave the ponies definitely made me laugh.
And you're definitely oversimplifying things. Think about how many bones are in the human hand to allow adept manipulation. The pony hoof as one apparently solid appendage would prolly be even more complex to allow their manipulation. lol.
Ofc it's not anatomically correct, but the comparison is harder to make with our legs than with our arms. Our knee joint is placed in a horse/pony's hip and their "knees" are actually our ankles. I find it confusing so I stick with comparing arms
It's also easier when I'm doubting, I just stick out my arm in the pose I want and I have my reference right in front of me ^^
The thing I keep in mind is "ponies walk on their toes." Think of how a cat or dog walks, how the heel is halfway up the leg and only touches the ground when they sit. That's how four-legged animals walk, hoofed or not. (So much "cat" in my ponies!)
Or those prosthetic legs for amputee runners that are basically leaf-springs. PopSci.com
Of course, my "reference" is currently napping in my lap. Not everyone has a cat or dog on hand.
Well, not necessarily. Not all. Bears are "plantigrade" meaning they walk on what is roughly equivalent to the fronts of our palms. Rabbits, raccoons, hedgehogs, and wolverines are other plantigrades that I can name off the top of my head.
And horses and other hoofed animals are "farther" up on their toes (toenail, actually) than dogs or cats. They're called ungulates.
actually most of four-legged animals are plantigrade, only several "families", like canines, felines and similar to them have digitigrade structure of leg. It's unstable and energy-ineffective structure.
Ungulates actually have different structure of limbs, unique to them, their front legs can be straight, like plantigrade, and thus statically stable. Read legs are stable at bottom part, only strained muscles are at hip, but those are main propulsion muscles.
Hooves aren't toes, what left of toes in that anatomy is welded into solid bone, known as canon. Practically, hooves are fingertips with overgrown toenails
I see. I'm not criticizing. Its always good to see how other artists see things differently. If i draw i imagine my hands and feet being strapped to stilts, or either being very long. Its art, not science. If it looks good, it is good.
True! On the other hand, the smooth, simplified style of FIM means that it's hard to tell where the "hand" ends and the "fingers" begin. (Causing me no end of confusion when I want to have a leg bent at the "wrist".)