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Submitted on
June 24, 2012


4,718 (1 today)
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Rats are very fascinating little creatures. They have small hands like humans, minus the thumbs. They are intelligent and social, and each rat has a unique personality. They can also easily stand on their hind legs, making them an easy transition to an anthropomorphic form for stories and art.

Unfortunately, though, they are damn difficult to draw, and there are precious few resources for those wishing to delve into their anatomical structure (certainly me included). So I will be collecting references, both photos and drawings, that I think might be helpful to someone looking to draw my charming friend Rattus norvegicus (and perhaps some of his closest family members). I will probably add to this from time to time as I find new resources, so please feel free to suggest things that you think might be useful!

Scans from "An Illustrated Dissection Guide to the Rat," by Allen Kurta
Lineart only, these are not gory
Rat Skeleton:…
Rat Muscles, Ventral View:…
Rat Muscles, Lateral View:…
Rat Muscles, Shoulder:…

Rat Musculature Sketches, from
Linked from tumblr, suggested by kaijae

Rat Skeletal Drawing
Suggested by kaijae…

3D Rat Anatomy Model
Unfortunately, the download model is expensive, but the sample images are still well worth a look
Suggested by kaijae and Duzloo…,

Rat X-ray GIF
Suggested by LannVouivre…

DA Artists with Rat Stock Photos for Reference
Suggestions by DawnFrost and myself
Her rat gallery is here:…
No dedicated rat section, just browse her gallery

Rat feet by phantompanther-stock
Reference - Rat Feet 01 by phantompanther-stock

Rat Drawing Guide by Deskleaves
Drawing rats by Deskleaves

Rat Tutorial by NezuPanda
Rat Tutorial by NezuPanda

Drawing Rats: Some pointers by Deskleaves
Drawing Rats: some pointers by Deskleaves

Add a Comment:
ridollstix Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
This is so helpful! Thanks so much for putting this together!
MoonsongWolf Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012
No problem! I'm glad that you found it useful. :)
Thumperduck Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
this is useful! I never expect rats to be hard to draw until I actually try it, and it doesn't look right ^^;
MoonsongWolf Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2012
They are definitely more difficult to draw than you would initially expect! I have live models at home, and I still have a hard time with their strange anatomy sometimes. :lol:
Thumperduck Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
well, I expect live models are better than the rubber one I've got =P good thing for me I don't draw rats a lot, I guess :laughing:
MoonsongWolf Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012
At least the rubber ones stay still! :lol: My girls aren't exactly the best models. They spend most of their time either spastically running about or hiding other things while they nap.
Thumperduck Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Solution: become a magician :nod:
"I snap my fingers, and you will pose as I tell you too!"
LicianDragon Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I have two boys of my own and even with seeing them everyday they are very difficult to draw! This will help a lot :)
MoonsongWolf Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2012
Oh, same here, I have three girls... and it is still very difficult to get a grasp on their anatomy. It seems that they are either always in motion or curled up asleep somewhere, and neither of those things is conducive to drawing them. And they have so much fur and pudge that gets in the way of their muscular structure. :lol:
LicianDragon Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That and anytime you pull out a camera they either turn their butts towards you or shove their noses in the lens! :laughing:
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