Here’s a little drawing I just finished:


Title: Mozzie

Size: 6″ x 8″

Medium: Graphite on paper

When: Summer 2014

Purpose: I had a lot of fun drawing QD and Milo, and wanted to try to do other animals. A cat seemed like a good next choice, so this is just a study of Mozzie.

History: Mozzie is my one year old cat. He sleeps in the most random positions, and his favorite place to sleep is on my office chair. Sometimes he’ll share my chair and then I can work on writing blog posts or editing pictures of my work, but more often than not he gets annoyed that I’m invading his space and walks away pouting. One day he was laying on the chair, hugging his feet to his head. He looked so cute, that I had to photograph him, and eventually draw him 🙂

Thought process: It was fairly straight forward. I liked his position, and the composition that I thought was best was just cropping in on his face and paws. The fact that Mozz is a black and white cat made it really easy to differentiate between the lights and darks when drawing him!

Problems I encountered: Keeping the white parts white enough. My paper itself is an off-white color, so the brilliant whites already were dulled down. As I draw, areas tend to get smudged as well, so I don’t think there’s enough of the bright whites here. If I had used really white paper, I could go back with paint or white charcoal to highlight the areas. On this paper, it would just look odd with the off-white paper.

Fun tidbits: Mozzie was named after a character from the TV show White Collar 🙂

We actually got Mozz as a kitten from Milo’s parents! He was born in their hay loft by a stray cat, and when I heard they had black and white kittens, I had to get one. He actually has a white tip to his tail, so it looks like he’d dipped his black tail into white paint and was trying to paint. Once I saw his tail, I knew he was the kitty for me!

This was the first piece I’ve used a mechanical pencil on. I’d seen and heard about other artists using them, but didn’t know if they’d really work or not. It was amazing getting into the tiny places and doing fur with it! I’ve officially added a mechanical pencil to my pencil case because now I’m not sure I’ll be able to do a drawing without it!

Favorite part: How fuzzy his chest fur looks (above his chin), and his front paw hanging in front. They capture his fuzziness and I think Mozz has awesome big white paws!

Least favorite part: Getting the black fur to look right. If you go to dark, you run the risk of the graphite getting shiny or too pigmented to be able to erase. If you go too light, it looks gray and there isn’t enough difference between the lights and darks. As this was just a study of a cat and not a full blown piece (think of it as a practice piece, a learning experience), it’s okay that it’s not perfect. It’s something I’m going to have to work on, though!


Do you prefer dogs or cats? I thought I’ve always been a dog person, but now I’m starting to lean towards cats!

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?