Behind the Scenes: Milo the Dog

Here he is!

Milo finished

Title: Milo

Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: 8″ x 10″

When: End of May, early June 2014

Purpose: Commission by Missey Ewell for her husband, Gordy, as a Father’s Day gift

Time to complete: Off and on for about a week; the drawing probably only took 5-6 hours!

Milo eyes

History: At this year’s short term mission’s auction at church, Missey was trying to win my gift certificate for an 8″ x 10″ drawing of the winning bidder’s choice. She didn’t win, and I could see that she was a little frustrated. After talking to one of the chair people for the mission’s committee the following morning to make sure this was ok, I approached Missey and said if she was willing to make a donation to the mission’s auction, I was willing to do her drawing for her. Everyone was on board, and that’s how this drawing got started!

Thought process: This was pretty straight forward; Missey and her son took pictures of Milo and sent me a bunch to choose from (thankfully we all loved the same pose!), and then I drew him. Easy peasy 🙂

Milo ear 2

Problems I encountered: This drawing was actually pretty easy. Getting the perspective of the face just right was a little tricky, but once I started getting some shading in I was able to tweak everything to make it look the way it should.

Oh, and the nose. Oh man oh man the nose. Have you ever really looked at a dog nose before? They are so weird looking! Drawing dog noses are tricky, just so you know. It would have been easier if I hadn’t lost my kneaded eraser (I can mold it into whatever shape I need, and it also is a very gentle eraser so it is great for only doing light erasing), so there was a lot of going back and forth with erasing and adding graphite back in to get it look the right shape.

Milo nose

Favorite part: Everything. Is that possible? Okay, not everything. I think seeing Missey’s expression when I showed her previews at church one morning was priceless. I just love how the drawing turned out. I think this is my best drawing that I’ve done, so I’m just really pleased with how it turned out.

Milo ear 1

Least favorite part: Handing it over. I got really attached to this drawing, but I know that it’ll be treasured for years to come, so that makes it easier. Plus I have pictures, so it’s all good 🙂

I also think I should have done more with the grass against the leg to make it look like the leg was more in the grass. You know me, a perfectionist!

Milo leg

Questions: This was asked over and over again by some of my babysitting kids:

How do you get it to look like it’s actually fur/grass? Did it take forever to draw those?

It’s mostly just shading and tricking the eye to think it sees fur or grass. It’s really quite quick to do; actually sketching the dog in and getting the original sketch to look right was more frustrating and time consuming!

Milo collar

Fun tidbits: This is actually the second dog I’ve drawn that’s been commissioned by the wife as a gift to her husband. Both have been so much fun to do, and the other dog will be featured on my Throwback Thursday post in just a couple weeks! I’m finding I love drawing the dogs. I’m thinking I’m going to have to try a cat to see if they’re as fun to do. Or a long haired dog; both dogs have been short haired, so that’s pretty easy. Maybe one of my cats or my dog will be a model for me someday!


Have you ever thought about having a drawing done of your pet?

4 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Milo the Dog

  1. Hmmm…I know of a long-haired dog (or photos of a long-haired dog) that might work…black dog…Collie/German Shepherd/Lab/Chow mix… And also a fairly-short-haired dog…German Shepherd/Husky/horse mix… *sigh*

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