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January 5, 2011
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Winged Humanoids: P1 by mernolan Winged Humanoids: P1 by mernolan
Part I|Part II|Part III|Part IV

EDIT 2013: KEEPING THESE THINGS UPDATED IS QUITE A CHORE but I've long since done other studies since 2011
mernolan.tumblr.com/post/53441…
24.media.tumblr.com/43808b5b87…

Hey, remember this: fav.me/d31ofq8 well I went and did some research :D hopefully more useful/clear. And now I can move on with my life :B

These are you're basic 'donts' with wings in general with some of my pet peeves thrown in there
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:iconcjcroen:
CJCroen Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great tutorial!
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Professional Filmographer
thanks!
Reply
:icondragona15:
Dragona15 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
welp, there are versions that instead of using shoulders to stock the extta muscles, they place it between the middle and lower back
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Professional Filmographer
yeah there are probably a million ways to go about it, this is just the path I chose c:
Reply
:iconbluevelvetwings:
bluevelvetwings Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks for this :3 I think I'm going to keep my design as it is currently (shrunken ribcage to accomidate flight muscles so that the exterior effect resembles that of a human with majik chemicals in the blood for better oxygen efficiency despite that, so in general, pretty much no exterior change other than huge honking wings :P) but if I ever want to be more... realistic... I'll definitely know where to come~

'sides, I use our chickens as references, and they're good models :|
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I'm glad it is helpful!

chickens are also delicious
Reply
:iconotterchild:
otterchild Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This is GREAT, thanks!!
Reply
:iconrhejulmag:
RheJulMag Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Practicality in conflict with beauty. What else is new?

Thank you for the research, this saved me time.
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Professional Filmographer
happy to help c:
Reply
:iconpsyartista9:
Psyartista9 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012  Student General Artist
:iconbrilliantplz: Very useful information, great job.
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Professional Filmographer
thanks!
Reply
:iconjiggajiggabambam:
jiggajiggabambam Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice!
This is kind of The same thing I thought of when I was design my character's demon form because he had bat wings. I just studied bats a little bit then started making it similar to their design.
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Professional Filmographer
good method :)
Reply
:iconjiggajiggabambam:
jiggajiggabambam Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconanatawa-kuroneko-des:
nice!!!
thanks so much!!
Reply
:icontcat:
tcat Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2011
Faving this so I can stop losing the link for later XP I keep wanting to use these
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
lol okay c:
Reply
:iconcileo:
Cileo Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2011
Awesome tutorial, it really helps when you want to put some reality behind winged human drawings.
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thank you! :D
Reply
:iconkingkamor:
KingKamor Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2011
I find this series of concept art to be very informative and realistic. I hope that you don't mind me stealing some of it for a D&D campaign?
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2011  Professional Filmographer
You can use the information, that's why I put it on the internet :)
Reply
:iconkingkamor:
KingKamor Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011
Good to know. Thanks again, and good job with all of the research that it probably took to make those!
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thanks :)
Reply
:iconmenomenom:
menomenom Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011
I love you.
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Professional Filmographer
:heart:
Reply
:iconredvioletpanda:
RedVioletPanda Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2011   Digital Artist
Nice work with the wings here. I recently decided to do away with backwings with some of my anthros and gave them armwings, a somewhat more practical solution, though for clothing in general it makes you think.

When I draw angels or winged creatures in general, I usually don't think of flight as such, though now I'm thinking of it. Sometimes, due to my designs in creation and such, I've been designing characters (in my sketchbook) of characters with "floaty" wings, in such that their wings are more ephermal and mainly fantasy, though this is giving me some ideas in general on a project I hope to do in the future.
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thank you! I understand bout the 'floaty' wings and/or other stylistic adaptations, and I'm not saying that it's wrong because that's a stylistic choice (I just wish that certain styles would use more realistic solutions). How ever, if you are seriously considering flight, then you will have to sacrafice style for a more realistic approach but even then, you can still cheat on the anatomy to preserve a design or style xD Like the pectorals for the wings would be ridiculously massive, but in order to preserve the human figure you will want to thin out those muscles a little. Arm wings are BY FAR easier to work with
Reply
:iconredvioletpanda:
RedVioletPanda Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011   Digital Artist
Arm wings are pretty practical, considering how birds, bats and pterodactyls are built. I mean, even dealing with anatomy it's a far easier solution. Either that or go stylish with the floaty wings.
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I'm not opposed to either :D I'm just an anatomy nerd :B
Reply
:icon7th-pillar:
7th-Pillar Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great insights. Mechanics and engineering are key to creating a realistic wing.
thanks.
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thank you :)
Reply
:iconpklcha:
pklcha Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011  Student General Artist
nice!
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thanks!
Reply
:iconpklcha:
pklcha Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2011  Student General Artist
^^you're welcome!:la:
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:iconl-james:
L-James Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011   Digital Artist
Read all four parts. This is sooo useful thankyousomuch. :heart:

There's a lot that never really occurred to me, and you obviously did a lot of research on this. Thank you for sharing C:
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thank you! It was my pleasure ;)
Reply
:iconsarahfraggle:
SarahFraggle Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011
I have been having the same problems with my winged humanoid characters, and I thank you for making this because even though I was aware of things like having to have a keeled sternum for the pectoral muscles of the wing, and studying the proper anatomy of a birds wing, you have pointed out other things that would probably not occurred to me such as altering the hip bone and muscles of the legs.

I am astounded by all the work you have put into you characters biology. I applaud you for all the hard work this had to have taken, because I know how frustrating this sort of thing gets to me. Although I have my own anatomy in mind for my characters, you've made me think more on how much work really goes into flight and that I'm gonna probably need to change their biology a lot more then I had originally realized if i want them to be believable. :)
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I'm glad this will help you :) Of course, this isn't the only way to go about doing this and it's a shame that not a lot of people present their theories visually :( In all honesty, any character with this kind of anatomy would probably be really lame flier xD just thought it was the best way to give us wings while still keeping most of our human figure the same c:
Reply
:iconsarahfraggle:
SarahFraggle Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011
I have seen a few other ideas for such people, but yeah not many. I started working out my stuff awhile back and I plan on working out the rest of it soon. Depending how confident I am with the designs I may put 'em on dA.

Yeah, you can only take realism so far in fantasy obviously. Keeping the human like figure the same is certainly a challenge when adding extra stuff onto it, that is also something that has been on my mind when working on this stuff. :)
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I'd be happy to look at your designs if you want to share them with me :) This kind of stuff also depends on how someone wants their character to look or move. If someone is ambitious enough, some sort of reference that shows the progression from 'mostly human' to 'most avian' body types I would find EXTREMELY HELPFUL ;)
Reply
:iconsarahfraggle:
SarahFraggle Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011
Well I'd very much appreciate that, I could certainly use a critique when it is done. Whenever I get it worked out I'll probably submit it to a few groups to hopefully get some feedback you'll no doubt see it there.

Hmm, that's a very interesting idea indeed. So you mean like an evolutionary progression?:)
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011  Professional Filmographer
yeah! something like that! to show the different body types or whatnot
Reply
:iconsarahfraggle:
SarahFraggle Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011
Hmm, I see. Well since you've brought this up I've been thinking and may have an idea in mind related to different forms. This concept I had started before but like so much other stuff I do ends up just sitting around unfinished. Although it is not an evolutionary concept but more like magical transformation instead, The principle should be the same I think.

I will start sketching later today hopefully, if it looks decent I will share when it's done if you like.:)
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Well, even with magical stuff, it definitely looks a lot better when things look real, even if its magical. xD Share whenever you're ready :)
Reply
:iconendorell-taelos:
Endorell-Taelos Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011   General Artist
Awesome "D
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconbloodmoonequinox:
BloodMoonEquinox Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2011  Student General Artist
I'll just say everything right here so I don't spam all your tutorials with comments! :) I think this is GREAT and it would be a big help to a lot (and I do mean a LOT--including me!) of people. The details are wonderful and the anatomy is so well thought out that you could almost fool a biology teacher! :D

Would you mind if I suggested this to :iconartistshospital:? I think your tutorial would get the views it deserves, and spread the love for anatomically-correct winged humanoids! :)

Again, fantastic tutorial! Keep up the good work! :clap:
Reply
:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thank you so much! and of course you can suggest it to the group c:
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:iconkelazi5:
Kelazi5 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2011
Thanks for doing this. I'm not an artist but it'll help my stories whenever i decide to add a winged humanoid race.
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:iconmernolan:
mernolan Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2011  Professional Filmographer
no problem! :)
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