Animal Illustration: Capturing Wildlife in a Sketchbook

A course by Jenny Rae
Artist. Exeter, United Kingdom.
Joined February 2021
, Artist

Learn to turn complex anatomy into simple shapes and portray the essence of an animal through illustration and collage

  • 100% Positive reviews (11)
  • 1001 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
Animal Illustration: Capturing Wildlife in a Sketchbook

Learn to turn complex anatomy into simple shapes and portray the essence of an animal through illustration and collage

  • 100% Positive reviews (11)
  • 1001 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: English
  • Level: Beginner
  • 11 Lessons (1h 26m)
  • Available from the app
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
  • Unlimited access forever
  • Certificate upon completion of the course

Use nature as your inspiration to create stylized animal illustrations in your sketchbook. Self-taught artist Jenny Rae turned her two biggest passions, drawing and animals, into her full-time career. She specializes in animal drawing and illustration and paints everything from pet portraits to tattoo designs.

In this course, Jenny takes you through her process for capturing the essence of an animal through the medium of illustration. Experiment with different techniques and materials to create unique illustrations which celebrate wildlife and its creations.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Making a Start
  • U3
    U3. Developing Your Sketchbook
  • U4
    U4. Finishing your Work
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

Get to know your teacher Jenny and how she transformed her love of animals into a profession. Go behind the scenes of the experiences that influenced her career as an artist and discover the people she looks to for inspiration, before delving into what you can expect from this course.

Learn about the materials she recommends, from collage papers to graphite pencils, then explore the different techniques to practice using your materials. Jenny shares her tips for finding a good animal reference and researching your subjects as well as turning complex animal anatomy into simple shapes on the page.

Start adding detail to your initial sketches, then learn to draw quickly, and get familiar with your subject by taking part in Jenny’s Time Challenge. Next, she walks you through drawing animals from your imagination using the techniques learned so far. Start with the basic shapes before moving on to more exaggerated references. Learn to develop your own unique style of illustration to add visual appeal to your drawings and make them your own. Then add watercolor to your illustration to emphasize your story.

Take your drawings to the next level by creating collages to frame them using scrap paper, colored tape, and stickers. To finish the course, Jenny shares her advice for photographing your work for your portfolio and sharing it with the world on social media.

What is this course's project?

Create a stylized illustration of an animal using pencil, watercolor, and collage techniques.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

This course is for anyone interested in learning to illustrate animals using stylization techniques.

What you need

A basic understanding of drawing is beneficial but not essential.

You will need paper or a sketchbook, pencils and/or pens, old paper for scrapbooking, glue, colorful paper tapes, watercolor paints or pens, and brushes.


1001 Students
11 Reviews
100% Positive ratings

Jenny Rae

A course by Jenny Rae


Jenny Rae is a self-taught artist from the UK who specializes in animal drawings and illustrations. Her grandfathers who were both artists themselves encouraged her to draw from a young age and, inspired by family visits to Bristol Zoo as a child, animals quickly became her favorite subjects. She went on to do a work experience placement at the same zoo where she spent time honing her drawing skills before going on to study animal behavior at Aberystwyth University. Jenny used illustration as a form of therapy throughout her studies before turning her passion into a career.

Today she illustrates everything from pet portraits to tattoo designs for her clients as well as sharing her work with her five-figure following on Instagram.


  • U1


    • About Me
    • Influences
  • U2

    Making a Start

    • Selecting Your Media and Material
    • Choosing Reference Animals
    • Complex Anatomy to Simple Shapes
  • U3

    Developing Your Sketchbook

    • Warming Up with Practice Sketches
    • Creating Your Own Poses From Your Imagination
    • Bringing Visual Appeal
    • Colouring With Watercolours
  • U4

    Finishing your Work

    • Building Up a Collage
    • Photographing and Sharing Your Work
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Animal Illustration: Capturing Wildlife with Watercolors

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and an easy-to-follow method. You set your own timetable.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert instructors

    Each instructor teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Earn a certificate with every course

    Get a personalized certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate as you about creativity.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

  • The course is 100% online, so once they are published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

  • The courses are divided into different units, each one includes lessons, informational texts, tasks and practice exercises to carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You will also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the instructor and other students, and share your work and your course project, thus creating a community around the course itself.

  • You can now redeem the course you received, just access redeeming page to enter your gift code and redeem it.

  • You'll get your personal certificate as soon as you complete the course. You can see all your certificates under the Certificates section in your profile. You can download your certificates in PDF and share the link online. Learn more about certificates

Animal Illustration: Capturing Wildlife in a Sketchbook. A Illustration course by Jenny Rae

Animal Illustration: Capturing Wildlife in a Sketchbook

A course by Jenny Rae
Artist. Exeter, United Kingdom.
Joined February 2021
  • 100% Positive reviews (11)
  • 1001 students