Behind the Scenes: Lassie

Waaay back in April of this year, our church held it’s annual short term missions auction. I entered a gift certificate for an 8 x 10 unframed drawing again, and anxiously awaited it to sell so I could start planning a new drawing.

This year was a little different; normally, the certificate will sell, and I will have absolutely no idea what the drawing will be until I meet with the winner (like any normal commission I do). However, I knew what it would be before the winner even was presented the certificate.

Don and Linda are dear friends of ours at church. Earlier this year, they lost their beloved sheltie, Lassie. As soon as I saw Linda bidding on the certificate, I knew I’d be doing another pet portrait if she won:


Title: Lassie

Medium: Graphite and ink on paper

Size: 8″ x 10″

Time to complete: About 10 – 12 hours total

Thought Process: This was mostly straightforward. Linda brought me quite a few photos of Lassie for me to choose from, and I fell in love with one in particular. We ended up changing it a little by removing the scarf to show the white fur, but other than that it was an easy piece to plan out. I did remove some of the leaves and background objects just to make sure that Lass was the focus of the piece.


Problems with the piece: Well, if you notice, it is November. And I got this commission in April.

No, it doesn’t usually take me this long to finish a piece.

However, when someone hurts their drawing hand and can barely write, much less draw, for a few months, projects have to get placed on the back burner. Thankfully Don and Linda were understanding that I couldn’t get the piece done in the original amount of time!

Favorite part: PUPPY PAWS! Oh man, I love puppy paws.

Also, my white gel pen was a lifesaver for getting highlights in the eyes and getting more fur highlighted, so I think having that made the process much more enjoyable!

Oh! And I’m getting better at dog noses! This was the first one that didn’t give me a headache! But, this is also the fifth dog I’ve drawn, so practice really has helped.

Seeing Linda’s reaction by far was one of the best parts!


I love doing pet portraits! I’ve done five dogs and two horses (being revealed after Thanksgiving). Maybe one day I’ll get around to drawing a cat….or a lizard would be fun! What animal should I try next for fun?

4 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Lassie

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