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February 1, 2013
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Fawnlings: A sketchy guide by Ehetere Fawnlings: A sketchy guide by Ehetere
A very rough guide complete with sketches about how I personally draw fawnlings, and a little bit more about the mechanics of them and how they work. I've also included some drawing tips if you get stuck.


Disclaimer: I have avoided making a decisive chart of characteristics for some time now as I fully recognize my fawnlings are drawn in my own style, they're stylized and they're supposed to be. They're fantastical creatures, and were meant to be represented as such by the artists who draw them in their own creative style, however here are a few notes that will hopefully aid in understanding how they work.

Head
- Normally I don't like circles to draw heads, however because fawnlings have a much shorter muzzle than horses do, it works for placement and jaw shape.
- Their heads are quite small comparative to their bodies, generally with a concave profile and tapering size (the nose is the smallest point).
- Aside from large eyes and a deer nose, they also have scent glands on their cheeks like deer do.

Ears
- I tend to use sweeping lines and ovals to map out my ears, but their shape can vary greatly from long to short, fat to thin, pointed to round.
- Unlike horse ears, they tend to be larger (larger even than deer ears) though this too varies. Also unlike horse ears, they taper to a much smaller join, and are highly dexterous.

Neck
- This trait is a real mix of horse and deer characteristics, however it is important to observe its anatomical construction is very much horse-ish. My inspiration for these tends to be Bambi style necks, and there's a very good reason for this. Deer have necks that are set much lower on the chest than horses and tends to slope down again before going up, reflecting the generally very, very downhill build of your average deer. The effect is similar to that of a ewe-necked horse - it looks unbalanced with the fawnling's longer, horse-like necks and generally looks ungainly and unattractive. Instead, their necks resemble a horse far more in that they are set higher on the chest and slope directly upward from the withers; much like Bambi-style deer who cheerfully ignore the less-attractive deer neck for the sake of a more noble artistic representation.
- Necks are also a very good indicator of body type on a fawnling; much like deer they store a lot of their bulk (fat) on their necks, in both males and females (unlike deer). Though the contrast is more apparent in stags who also have more muscle and testosterone to fuel a cresty neck, as a general rule their neck sets are actually quite arabian and fine in the lighter builds, with clean throat latches and straighter lines. As the body types progress to the heavier builds, and more mass is added to the neck, there is also more fat giving a puffed out appearance on the underside of the neck similar to a deer. All types medium-heavy and above will have a quite pronounced neck of this type, and very thick, with mediums resembling a thicker horse neck. Light types tend to have long, willowy necks with little fat.The length also tends to resemble horses, however not in relation to head to neck ratio, with does typically having longer necks than stags who need stouter necks to withstand forceful impact during rut. Light type stags who fight during rut can be paralyzed or killed if their necks are too long or thin, effectively helping to breed out this trait.

Body
- This tends to be rather more compact and shorter than your typical horse, and reflects a mostly even or slightly uphill topline. The hock joints on the hind legs and flexible hips allow them to drop their weight and add height to their leaps, which can result in a misleading representation of conformation similar to a horse being parked out at a show.
- Drawing tip: it is easier to make a stag look more masculine by a deeper chest and more angled stomach similar to a Thoroughbred, whereas does more feminine by creating a rounder, more even belly (in relation to the stiffle and elbow).
- As a general rule, females born of the same herd tend to be a full hand or more shorter than their male counterparts, and their heights tend to range around the lower hand of a herd's spectrum.

Hooves
- Fawnlings have cloven hooves like deer, meaning that unlike horses each hoof has two seperate toes, not one. No where are these two hooves connected to form one singular hoof like a horse and resemble a deer's hoof in most ways.
- They also have dew claws on their hocks, which are residual bony growths made of the same material as the hooves.
- The joints tend to be slimmer than on horses, and the hoof the same width as the fetlock.

Nose
- Again, not a horse nose but a deer nose. These tend to be quite small and taper to a point. The mouth is small with a very thin lower jaw.

Teeth
- Deer do not actually have teeth on their upper jaw, however fawnlings have teeth resembling horses (upper and lower teeth).

Horns
- These can grow on males or females, however it is a more common trait in stags where almost all have them.
- Females typically do not grow more than a single prong, however males tend to have theirs split into two or even three prongs from a central point.
- Horns always grow from a central point in the forehead, and are shed each year to regrow larger.
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:iconmokonaxmodoki:
mokonaxmodoki Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013
Hello! I just wanted to let you know that it was thanks to your guidance that I was able to create this: mokonaxmodoki.deviantart.com/a…

it's all thanks to you! :) 
Reply
:iconcaterang:
Caterang Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think they look amazing! :)
Reply
:iconopearl:
Opearl Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you very much =3 This is VERY informative!
Reply
:iconphenixfyre:
PhenixFyre Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Student General Artist
Ha, the only thing not on here is the only thing I have trouble with :lmao:

...the tails...just can't get the hair to look natural and flowy looking enough :XD:
Reply
:iconomnipsionic:
omnipsionic Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
Okay, erm, Ehe,
I sketched a fawnling, for practise a few days ago, and it's come out great, but, I'm really nervous because it looks like a slightly longer legged deer with the Fawnling bells and whistles (don't worry, I'm not actually gonna use this sketch at all), but that's my style, and I'm lacking in confidence that I should be able to try out for the art auctions. Should I go ahead and give it a go, see if my style is accepted or...?
Reply
:iconehetere:
Ehetere Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You never know until you try :)
Reply
:iconomnipsionic:
omnipsionic Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
Well, okay then :giggle:
Reply
:iconjian89:
Jian89 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
horns grow from a central point, oke, need to remember that XD
Reply
:iconshadowfaxgait:
shadowfaxgait Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice
Reply
:iconchameleongiant:
ChameleonGiant Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Student General Artist
I'm like thinking," O my gosh, it's BAMBI!!!" The whole time I'm lookin' at this. 8}
Reply
:iconcoyoteluck:
CoyoteLuck Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
pssst... they're antlers, not horns :) but nice work.
Reply
:iconehetere:
Ehetere Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know, but people think there are two of them if I call them antlers ;)
Reply
:iconfalconsong:
Falconsong Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Kinoko beat me to it. Horns != antlers... Horns can not be shed and are a completely different makeup (Keratin sheath over bone, where antlers are completely bone)- it's kinda like calling an tail an arm just because you want people to know that the tail is prehensile. If you don't want people to think there's two then don't call them "antlers" call it "antler" or "single antler". People still think there's two because you said Horns (plural) and not horn (singular) anyway, so you might as well call them the correct name.
Reply
:iconehetere:
Ehetere Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, but then the trick is some split in two and others don't. At the end of the day, they're fantastical animals based off unicorns and deer. Originally I had their bones that weren't even made out of conventional bone, so by extension they have neither horns nor antlers but something else entirely. I'll use the terminology that I want for my species thank you. I know the difference, you know the difference, fine and dandy. Most people don't and therefore don't really care.
Reply
:iconequide--designs:
Equide--Designs Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Student Photographer
Can females have two prongs on a rare occasion?
Reply
:iconehetere:
Ehetere Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
They can indeed :)
Reply
:iconequide--designs:
Equide--Designs Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Student Photographer
Yay ^^
Thank you!
Reply
:iconmirakhall:
MiraKHall Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
With thick necks like that, I keep thinking: "A deer's gotta do what a deer's gotta do!" :XD:
Reply
:iconneighko:
Neighko Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist
YES.
Reply
:iconmirakhall:
MiraKHall Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So you know where that quote comes from, then?
Reply
:iconneighko:
Neighko Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist
the first thing that comes to mind for me is Captain Hammer :p
Reply
:iconmirakhall:
MiraKHall Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Never heard of it. Good? (actually, the deer quote was from a Courage the Cowardly Dog episode)
Reply
:iconneighko:
Neighko Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist
doctor horrible's sing along blog :la: it's fantastic :3
and awesome ;D
Reply
:iconhurricaneleslie1:
HurricaneLeslie1 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
Very informative!
Reply
:iconitamimerodii:
ItamiMerodii Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
It's Bambi's Daddy~! :3
Reply
:iconpblegion:
pblegion Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Those are not horns those are antlers, horns are living bone surrounded by a thick layer of keratin (ie: the substance from which fingernails, hair and well, horns, are made); antlers are dead bone surrounded initially by skin and fur (when they grow) and then by nothing (once they've grown).

</biology teacher>

Even though, nice tutorial!
Reply
:iconehetere:
Ehetere Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I do know the difference, however use both terms since horn tends to help people think one (ie like a unicorn's horn, which this is sort of based on), rather than antlers with tends to be synonymous with two. Many people draw them incorrectly as growing from two base points rather than one in the centre of the forehead, so its simply to help with the idea of a single 'antler' and think of it like a unicorn's horn instead.
Reply
:iconeverdeer:
everdeer Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
I hope you have seen Bambi II because everyone should.
Reply
:iconehetere:
Ehetere Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I watched it an unspeakable number of times while my internet was dead :XD:
Reply
:iconeverdeer:
everdeer Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
THANK YOU!

I like to watch Bambi up until the mom 'cannot be with you any longer' then I stop that, watch the mid-quel, then pick Bambi up again at twitter-pated.

I think that movie is so under-rated and it is a precious little gem.
Reply
:iconehetere:
Ehetere Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Definitely, I like the second one much more than the first, possibly because the first has a gaping hole where the second one should be XD
Reply
:iconeverdeer:
everdeer Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Patrick Stewart will be at comic con and I am bringing a picture of the great prince of the forest for him to sign.
Reply
:icontigressdesign:
TigressDesign Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wait, Sir Patrick voices in Bambi!? AHMG. MUST WATCH RIGHT THIS INSTANCE. How did I miss that x.x
Reply
:iconeverdeer:
everdeer Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
GO GO GO. IT IS *AMAZING*
Reply
:iconehetere:
Ehetere Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, lucky! The great prince had to be my fave char (obviously), I do wish they'd made Ronno more complex though :/
Reply
:iconeverdeer:
everdeer Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
To be perfectly honest I may not get to see him at all. I am going to the convention to meet Gillian Anderson and Carrie Fisher but will bring the Bambi picture just in case
Reply
:iconehetere:
Ehetere Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Always just in case!
Reply
:iconluckyveda:
luckyveda Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013   Digital Artist
Have you ever seen a deer's nose? It's huge! We had a baby deer that used to come around and play with our horses all the time. It let us pet it and such... it had a big wet dog nose.. so very odd. That is the only point at which I kind of disagree with you. Since both horse noses and deer noses are big, it seems like fawnlings should have big noses as well.
Reply
:iconehetere:
Ehetere Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, they are fantastcal and their noses are deer-ish shaped. They're certainly not horse shaped.
Reply
:iconlaughingheron:
LaughingHeron Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice I learned some things I'm doing wrong. Thank you this is so helpful.
Reply
:icontheblack-sheep:
THEblack-sheep Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very hopeful!!
Reply
:iconsevslover6195:
Sevslover6195 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You live! And thank you so much!
Reply
:iconfulociraptor:
fulociraptor Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is very helpful, especially the feet.
Reply
:iconyulittle:
yulittle Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
lovely drawing and very informational =)
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