Drawing a Day Challenge: Day #16

Happy National Puppy Day!!!!

It’s kind of funny; I couldn’t remember what today’s drawing was going to be, so to mentally prepare I looked at my schedule last night. And what do you know, it was my dog! What better way to celebrate Puppy Day than by drawing the sweetest pupper ever?

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Title: Mason

Medium: Graphite pencil on acid free paper

Size: 5×7

Meet Mason! He’s an Australian Shepherd mix, and seriously so sweet. We’ve had him for five years, and he’s about eight or so years old. There’s not much paperwork on him, and what we do have, his birth year is inconsistent. We adopted him from a local shelter; they somehow knew we’d be a great fit and instead of us going to go check him out and then having them come to do a home visit to make sure the house was suitable for him, they brought him to us and got it all done in an afternoon! He was a relatively new dog to the shelter at that point, and had just been sent to them from another shelter in ALABAMA. Mase was found roaming the streets with another dog, but was fully trained and in great health. The first time he’d ever seen snow was with us, and he was so scared of it! I think this winter was the first time he ever played in it! He’s depressed that it’s melting; he’s going to miss it!

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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:

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Behind the Scenes: Kaya

It’s time to start revealing the Christmas gift commissions!!! Are you excited? I am!!!!

I’m going a little out of order this year as I want to make sure I don’t reveal any pictures that haven’t been given yet. I’ll be revealing them in the order I definitely know they were received, and as I hand delivered this one and saw it be opened, I know it’s okay to do this one first 😉

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Title: Kaya

Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: 5 x 7, framed and matted to 8 x 10

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Throwback Thursday: Q.D.

Here’s a drawing done about 6 months ago:

QD final

Title: Q.D.

Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: 11″ x 14″

When: Sketched out quickly in November 2013, but the rest was done completely on December 28, 2013.

Purpose: Commissioned by Edy Steggs as a birthday gift for her husband, Dave.

History: I remember when I first met Edy at church; a series of 11 of my drawings were in the process of being displayed around the sanctuary, and I remember that she really really liked them. She approached me last year about doing a drawing of their great dane, Q.D., as a gift for Dave’s birthday. Q.D. apparently sits on the edge of the couch, and she wanted to capture that as a special surprise for Dave.

Thought process: This was pretty straight forward; Edy sent me a few pictures of Q.D. sitting on the couch, and narrowing it down was pretty tricky. Trying to figure out how much of the couch to include took some time; I wanted enough in the picture so you knew what the dog was doing, but yet not so much that it took away from the dog. Once I figured out which picture, it went pretty well.

Face

Problems I encountered: Finding the time to get it done was a bit challenging. I did my initial sketch in November, but then as I got two drawing orders as Christmas gifts in, I put Q.D. to the side as this drawing had a later due date (I didn’t have to have it done until December 29th). With the craziness of the Christmas season, I didn’t have a chance to pick it up again to work on until December 28th, the day before I had promised it finished. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh? Luckily the 28th also happens to be my birthday, so sitting around drawing for an afternoon was a perfectly acceptable thing to do 🙂

Figuring out what to do with the pillow was tricky. The pillow in the original picture has a floral print on it. I didn’t want to do the exact pattern as I was afraid it would be too busy and would take away from Q.D.. What I basically ended up doing was making a gray pillow and then using two different erasers in two different patterns to create a design on it. It was soft enough to not take away from the dog, but still interesting enough to create a nice composition.

Pillow

I thought doing Q.D.’s chest patch was going to be difficult with the black skin markings with the white fur on top, but it ended up being ridiculously easy!

ChestFavorite part of the piece: I think, hands down, my favorite part of commissioned pieces is seeing the joy on people’s faces when they unwrap the drawing for the first time. Edy was thrilled, and the Sunday after Dave’s birthday, they both came over to thank me for the drawing. I love being able to make people happy!

Oh, and is it weird that I love Q.D.’s paws? I love the spots on them! Isn’t it cute?

PawLeast favorite part of the piece: I don’t think there’s anything I really don’t like about it! Man, I love it when that happens 🙂

Fun tidbits: Between Q.D. and Milo, I’m discovering that I love to draw animals! I’m debating what animal to try next: a long haired dog, a curly haired dog, or a cat.

Also, this post wasn’t supposed to go up for another couple weeks. But, I just happened to look at the church calendar and discovered that today is Dave and Edy’s wedding anniversary! It felt appropriate to rearrange my posts so this could go up for them today. Happy anniversary, you two!

 

What animal should I try to draw next?

 

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?