Drawing Dogs

I’ve always loved animals, and I’ve been drawing since high school, but I’ve only combined those passions very recently when a friend asked me to sketch her dog last year. I’ve drawn several dogs and cats since then, and it’s been an amazing new avenue of art to explore especially because animals can be so much more expressive than people.

My first commission: Shorty.

Take my dog Chloe, for example. With just her eyes and tail, she perfectly expresses joy, worry, affection, fear, and disdain… all without using the volumes of words humans think necessary. I think I probably take my interpretations too far, though. I have long conversations with Chloe where I feel like we’re communicating on a deep, heart-to-heart level. But if I had to realistically guess, it’s probably more likely that her thoughts are more along the lines of, “Why are you still making mouth noises? Please give me my share of whatever you’re eating!”

I interpret this expression as: Get your own pillow thing. This one is MINE.

You’d think that I would have a handful of drawings of Chloe, but nope. I never would have ever drawn a single dog or cat if people hadn’t started paying me to do it. I have enough trouble having the patience to draw folds in clothing, but fur? WAY too painstaking.

Luckily, my enthusiasm for commissions helped me over this hurdle, and I really think it’s grown me as an artist. I get all the fun of drawing their faces and expressions, and I’ve had to develop new techniques for drawing differing lengths of fur and non-human musculature.

All in all, it’s a good arrangement. I acquire new skills and some cute puppies for my portfolio, my friends get sketches of their furry loved ones, and Chloe gets some doggie treats. Everybody wins.

Here are some more of my doggie sketches:

Jake.

Woody.

Archie.

Do you see what I mean about the fur? Painstaking.

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