Drawing Spiders Volume 2 How to Draw Spiders For the Beginner
Drawing Spiders Volume 2 How to Draw Spiders For the Beginner
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Parts of a Spider
A spider's body structure is divided into two major parts. The upper portion is the cephalothorax
(also called prosoma); this includes the spider's head and the thorax. The carapace covers the
dorsal side (backside) of the upper body. At the center of the front edge of the head are the palps
(the fangs/chelicera are at the lower center of the palps and are usually unnoticable to many
species of spiders), and right above the palps are the eyes (number of eyes may differ, either
eight or six depending on the breed). The main pair of eyes at the center is usually bigger
compared to others. A minor dent/ dimple at the center of the carapace is the fovea, this is
usually where the markings of the carapace start (especially on several kinds of tarantulas).
The lower part of the spider's body is its abdomen which is also called opisthosoma. The
abdomen is always bigger in size and mass. At the center of the abdomen is the cardiac mark, it
may or may not be visible to the other spiders especially those with uniquely shaped abdomens.
At the lower edge of the abdomen where the silk comes out is called the spinner, this is barely
seen (hidden most of the time) on a spider's dorsal view. Spiders have four pairs of legs (8 in
total), and all are connected ventrally (underside) to the prosoma. A spider's leg is composed of 7
segments; the coxa which is connected to the base/upper body, followed by the trochanter which
connects the coxa to the femur (the thickest and is usually the longest segment of the leg), then
the joint which is the spider's knee called patella, followed by the tibia, metatarsus, and the tarsus
which is the leg's tip.
This orbweaving spider comes in many different names; spiny orbweaver spider, spiny bellied
orbweaver, crab-like orbweaver, jewel box spider, the star spider, etc. These names are made to
describe its wide and spiky oval-shaped abdomen which separates it from the others of the same
species. It also referred as the smiley-face (the yellow-colored variety) due to the manner of dot
formations (dorsal view) on its abdomen/opisthosoma.
The body of a gastheracantha cancriformis is generally black, excluding the oval abdomen,
having few white short hairs. The limbs are typical to orbweaving spiders’, and some containing
faint stripes of brown or copper tone along the metatarsus (hind legs). The unique form of the
abdomen is basically oval-shaped, containing 6 short thick spines (three pairs) along the edges of
the dorsal side pointing outward, with two pairs on both sides and one pair on top-end. The
dorsal color of the abdomen could be yellow or dirty white. Those with white upper sides could
have red or black spines, while those with yellow only have black spines. The abdomen always
contains black spots, which is always in the same linear formation.
There are 19 irregular spots that are uniformly arranged to 4 rows in a diagonal position on the
dorsal side (head at the bottom). The first row are curved with the oval surface contour of the
abdomen, containing five small dots, and the next row has 4 bigger dots at the mid-center of the
abdomen, followed by a row with slightly smaller dots having two, and the row (also curved) at
the near-bottom of the abdomen contains 8 small dots. The small black dots on the near edges of
the abdomen are sometimes linked together, but the number of bigger dots at the center is always
• Start with the simplest form.
The oval abdomen of a gasteracantha cancriformis is quite thick (like of crab's); in ventral view,
the lower half of the upper body/cephalothorax is usually hidden/overlapped and only the head
can be seen.
Start establishing the shape with the abdomen. Find the center of the oval and mark it with a
vertical line, and then draw the head right below the reference line. Establish the length of the
exposed limbs using simple stick lines.
• Add the details of the abdomen.
Place the spines of the abdomen properly, there should be four thick spikes at the side edges of
the oval and then another pair on top it. Use the reference line to equally level the dot marks of
the abdomen. Start with the four dots at the center, with the first pair having more gap in
between. Add two more dots right next to first pair of dots on a slightly higher level (to form a
row of arc). Draw five smaller dots near the edge of the oval's upper area (also in an arc form)
with the third dot at the center of the reference line. And at the lower edge, draw eight smaller
dots with the fourth and fifth aligning with the pair of dots above it.
• Shade the areas that should be dark.
Once all the details of the abdomen are properly placed, erase the reference line and shade these
dot marks. Apply a darker and thicker shade at the top and bottom sides of each dots. Thicken
the margining outline of the abdomen's top and bottom outline; these outlining edges are black
(in contrast to the bright color of the abdomen). Apply some shade to the body as well; shade the
near edges of the limbs to effectively convey their cylindrical contour shape. Use linear shading/
hatches for the head to portray its partly hairy texture.
• Apply the brown tone of the limbs.
Color the last segment of the legs (from metatarsus to tarsus) with light/copper brown. And also
apply a brown color to the palps.
• Smear the shades.
Carefully smudges the shades of the limbs to produce a gray tone at the middle areas that should
appear darker (than the brightest portions). Leave some highlights on the parts of the limbs to
portray/establish its angle.
With the pencil/charcoal stains on the smudge stick you previously used, apply some gray
blots/irregular dots on the far sides of the abdomen. Simply dapple these areas with fairly light
stippling hand strokes.
• Color the spines.
Start applying the red color tone of the spines. The red tone contains a faint orange value. To
obtain this hue, apply some orange color on one side of the spines, and then overlap it with red.
Leave a highlight at the center of each spine to portray its conical shape. And then apply few
more orange tones around each spines.
• Make the final retouches.
Re-outline the shape of the spider especially the smudged outlines of the limbs. Re-darken the
areas that should appear darker (the black spot should have the darkest tone), then cast a shadow
to finalize the drawing.
The scientific name ‘gasteracantha cancriformis’ is a combination of four Greek terms, 'gaster'
means belly and 'acantha' means thorn, 'cancrim' was taken from the word 'cancer' which means
crab, and formis means 'form'. This orbweaver can be found on shady areas of the woods (mostly
on trees or around it) and at gardens covered in shrubs. The size of a female is approximately ten
to thirteen millimeters in width, with a length of approximately five to nine millimeters. A male
gasteracantha cancriformis is significantly smaller, with a shape having a longer length and a
The red knee tarantula is one of the most preferred type of tarantula genus by arachnid
enthusiasts and spider breeders because of its docile nature. It can also be handled by those who
are just starting to keep arachnid species as pets due to its relatively calm nature. This burrower
(like most tarantulas) will often stay on its burrow most of the time, and patiently wait for its
prey (and avoid any potential threat). If disturbed or mishandled, it will only attack by using
uricating hairs (by flicking its leg) instead of biting, and the venom level it releases is low and
not life-threatening to humans (but for safety measures, you should still ask for a proper medical
attention, especially if you received more than one bite). The red knee tarantula, also known as
brachypelma smithi, is common in Mexico, specifically, to the western side of Sierra Madre
( Occidental and del Sur) mountain, having a body size of approximately four inches, the leg
length could grow long for approximately six inches. The size of the male and female is
relatively the same, the only difference is the body proportion (males have smaller bodies but
have longer limbs).
This tarantula is bicolored with strong color values. Its shape is common for tarantula species
(round semi-flat upper body and bulky oval abdomen). The color is a combination of black and
orange/red. The upper body (cephalothorax) with a dull black tone thickly margined with orange.
The abdomen is black, containing few strands of pale orange. Its limbs have stripes of black and
orange, with the folding joints/ knees having the orange color of the strongest value. The femur
is always black, and the section of patella/knees is reddish orange. The alternating colors are
continued (stripes) down to the tip (tarsus), and this color rendition is uniform to red knee
tarantulas. The color value of the orange segments (as well as its thickness) diminishes as it
reaches the tip of the limb. Read more..
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