Class: Drawing from the Bestiary: Animal Anatomy of Real and Imagined Creatures with Saul Chernick


"Field Urchin," 2011, by Saul Chernick; drawn from a series of studies in which he attempted to impose the proportions of cherubs onto horses.

A 4-part class with Artist Saul Chernick, M.F.A., Rutgers University
Dates: Mondays June 25, July 2, July 9 & July 16th
(4 consecutive Mondays)
Time: 6:30-9:00 PM
Class Fee: $120

***Class size limited to 15; Must RSVP to
morbidanatomy [at]
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy

Contemporary artist and arts educator Saul Chernick is renowned for  gorgeous artworks featuring convincingly corporeal depictions of imaginary or mythical creatures rendered in the style of Medieval and early Renaissance woodcuts from Northern Europe. Observatory is very pleased to announce a new workshop developed by Saul Chernick specially for the Morbid Anatomy Art Academy. In this class, Chernick will teach students-via illustrated lectures and in-class projects including paper puppets and bestiary pages-”to use observational and imaginative drawing skills in tandem to capture the essential qualities of their subject” and “learn to draw animals (real, mythic, and otherwise) with greater skill and sensitivity.”

Full class description follows; you can see more of Chernick’s fantastic work by clicking here. Class size limited to 15; Please RSVP to morbidanatomy [at]

Course Description
Open to artists of all levels, the goal of this workshop is help participants learn to draw animals (real, mythic, and otherwise) with greater skill and sensitivity. Through exercises in drawing and paper puppetry, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the skeletal/muscular structures of most mammals, reptiles, and birds. Participants will also learn to use observational and imaginative drawing skills in tandem to capture the essential qualities of their subject and create works of convincing visual fiction!

What to expect

  • Participants will cull images from the web to create a dossier on the animal(s) that interest them
  • Participants will fashion movable paper puppets to understand how their chosen animal moves
  • Participants will draw studies of the skeletal and muscular structures of animals
  • Participants will use the medium of their choice to create a Bestiary page entry that depicts an animal situated in an environment

What to bring to the first class:

  • Choose 1-3 animals and gather pictures on the web. Be sure to get images of their skeletons in profile. Please print these as they may be hard to use on a phone screen.
  • 3-5 sheets of Bristol Board Paper 9″ x 12″ or larger
  • Pencils & erasers
  • Scissors
  • Xacto or utility knife
  • Glue

What to bring for subsequent classes:

  • White or tinted drawing paper 16″ x 20″ or 18″ x 24″
  • Tracing paper (same size as drawing paper)
  • Mechanical and/or regular pencils (2h, hb, 2b, 4b)


  • Markers, watercolors, gouache, ink, brushes, chalk/oil pastels, colored pencils, Caran D’Ache, collage papers, etc (we’ll discuss further in detail!)

Saul Chernick, M.F.A., Rutgers University, is a visual artist and educator. Chernick has exhibited internationally in galleries and museums including the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, the Bronx Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum of Art, as well as Max Protetch and Meulensteen Galleries in New York City. He has taught art for the public school system, the 92nd Street Y, Cooper Union, Parson’s School of Design, and the Museum of Modern Art. He is currently the Professional Development Coordinator for the Joan Mitchell Foundation where he coaches New York artists in teaching art to young people throughout city. His work can be seen at

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