Brittany Spaniel Complete

I completely forgot that I never posted my finished drawing.  Here he is! I think this was a little boy.  The background colors didn’t quite come out how I planned, but I am mostly happy with this drawing.  I experimented and learned a few things.  This is the first time I’ve ever tried to texture the nose like that. It isn’t totally realistic per se, but I think it is interesting in a good way.  The ears are my favorite part of this drawing.

The white body was incredibly difficult.  I have actually purchased a new product that allows for a more opaque white.  I used it on the drawing I am currently working on and although it isn’t quite what I imagined, it was very  handy.  I will try to write about this next guy asap!

Also, I’m not sure if I mentioned that I have added prints for sale on a new site.  You can check them out here! 🙂

And one final thing for anyone reading, I did this drawing based on a photo I took at the shelter I volunteer at.  This is part of my series of drawings of purebred dogs at the shelter.  The hope is that I can sell some prints, but I also want to just bring awareness to the fact that you can find dogs of just about any breed at the shelter or in rescues! #AdoptDontShop

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Brittany – Choosing a Background

I was intending to work on the background tonight, but I found myself completely unable to decide on a color.  I scribbled test swatches on scratch paper, but still couldn’t decide.  Usually I make pretty swift decisions about which background colors will look good.  I’ve been leaning toward a green to tie in the small amount of green in the eyes, but I wasn’t set on it.  Finally I decided to go into Photoshop and try out some colors.  Here are some of the better trials…

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5

I also debated whether I should go more monochromatic and use the blues/purples that are more prominent.  I think my favorite is number 2 with the more muted greens and the darker blue-grey on top.  I normally put the darker colors on the bottom, and I usually use brighter colors, but as I filled in color after color the muted greens just seemed to go the best with the rest of the drawing.  I think it is more important to use the color that will look the best rather than try to stick to an idea of absolutely needing to use bright colors to stay within my style.

Another thing I have also been debating is whether or not to use a texture.  I was originally planning to give the background a different texture, but there isn’t a lot of background in this one and I have a lot of fluffy hairs I’m going to have to draw around on the top.  Adding in a texture could be more complex than what I’m really looking to do, but we will see…

Brittany Spaniel

I am DONE with school and I’ve been working on a Brittany Spaniel!  This Brittany was at the shelter I volunteer at earlier this year and was just a total doll.  I loved this dog.  The drawing is a part of my purebred dogs at the shelter series which I’m doing in an effort to bring awareness to the issue and also to hopefully generate some print sales.

At first I was super excited about this drawing, but I really struggled with the body portion and have lost a little enthusiasm.  The body is white, but half is in shadow so I was planning to make the shadow area “grey.” However, I messed up the portion that was supposed to be lighter and had to cover it with darker pencil marks, so the whole body came out looking a bit grey.  Sigh.  One day I will learn to draw a white dog properly. Anyway, without further ado, here is the progress of my drawing.  The images that are darker are from my camera and the ones with the bright white background are scans.  Also I made the contrast on some of the scans higher to make it more close to reality whereas I didn’t on some of the other scans.  I tried to take more photos and scans than I normally do to really show the progress of the drawing and the layers for anyone interested.

Scar is Finished!

I finished him! I’m pretty happy with this one.  Since I wrote a lot about my thoughts on the process previously, I’m just going to leave this here with the progressive image below.  On a different note, my wolf drawing made it to round 2 of the Minnesota State Fair judging, so I went and bought a frame for it yesterday.  It would be very cool to make it in again!

Scar Update

I’m really trying to stay on top of keeping this blog updated, so here are updates of my progress on Scar.  I forgot to scan him when he was completed but before the background, so I mocked that one (image 6) up in Photoshop.  In case anyone is wondering, I literally just pasted his shoulder and the rock he’s laying on from the final image in this post (7) into image 5.  I worked out decently.  I am having a lot of fun with this one.  I was a little hesitant to draw him just because I have more “important” stuff I want to draw, but I am glad I went with this one first.  It makes me excited to do more fanart in the future.

I used to write about all the layers, but this is just a little drawing, only 5 x 7 inches, so it is really difficult to scan it in between stages.  Essentially, all the colors are a variety of colors.  Like the purples in his fur are really something like magenta, sepia, a mint green color, then lilac over all of it.  The darker purples in the shadows include an umber and a raisin purple color.  The patch on his arm that is reflecting the green just includes a lot more of the mint green color and a lot less lilac.  I was using really light layers with everything else, then going over everything with a heavy layer of the lilac at the end.

The greens in his fur include a light blue, peach, the minty-green color, and a yellowish green.  I’m not entirely happy with his paw.  I need to work out some kinks in it before I’m finished.  I also need to fill in the very edge of the green on his face, there’s a lighter patch before the purple that really bothers me on this computer scan.  In real life it is not as obvious.

For his mane, I put down a lot of minty green and the lighter lime green colors, then went over it all with black while leaving some green to shine through.  I really love working with black for that reason, it’s just easy. If his mane hadn’t been black,  I would have had to use a different method.

 

Practice Drawing – Scar

I’m finally done with school! Yay! I had been trying to figure out a practice drawing for a while.  I’ve been wanting to do some fan art.  I also felt like I needed to do an animal since that is usually what I draw.  Drawing a human character from one of my fandoms didn’t seem like it would be the most beneficial.  I sometimes look at fan art while I am bored or procrastinating and while I was looking I saw a drawing of Scar.  It wasn’t that original or unique, but it gave me the idea to draw him.  I looked around for the meanest looking still of him I could find.  I love his Be Prepared song, so I picked a still from that.  I’ve only worked on it for a few days now, but I’ve made some good progress and I like how its coming out so far!

Another reason I picked this image was because of the unique colors.  These colors look really exaggerated, but they are pretty similar to the colors in the still image that I found.  They are a little exaggerated obviously.  The third one with his mohawk made me laugh a little because I thought he looked like a rock star.  The one thing that is throwing me off a little is the mixture of the hairy texture with the cartoonish hair clumps, but that is the style I decided on beforehand.  It is just a little tricky to work with.

 

Aiden – Gray Wolf

I really love dogs and likewise I love wolves.  I think they’re just beautiful and am fascinated by how they both resemble dogs and differ from them.  In addition to my pet portraits and purebred shelter dog series I have drawn some endangered animals.  I had really wanted to do a wolf drawing for quite a while, but the online references that are free to use were pathetic.  Finally in 2015 I made it up to the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota, a place I had wanted to go for years.  We went on a weekend where they had a special early (it really was early) photography session before the center opened up for the day.  I got some amazing photos during that session.  The wolves were active, playful, and most importantly in the part of the exhibit that is visible to guests.  My original reference photo for this drawing is below.

I zoomed in and cropped it to make it easier to work with.  This is one of my most favorite drawings I’ve ever done.  I wanted to go for a different style where the paper was not completely covered with a solid, thick layer of colored pencil.  I was trying to capture the hairy look of the fur, similar to an old drawing I did of of this husky dog.

I think it worked out really well.  The colors I love.  Purples and blues are my favorite, but what I tried to do was go by how my photo printed out.  This is my secret trick for almost all of my color choices.  I have a sort of crappy printer that I use to print the reference photos.  I make two copies, one to draw a grid on and one left clean.  Even at its highest quality, the images are not great nor are the colors accurate, but within the colors you can see all sorts of other colors, like blues, purples, etc.  So most of my drawings I just more or less mimic the inaccuracies of the printer colors with some enhancements.

The only part that I am not thrilled about is the rock portion at the bottom of the page.  I tried to mimic the photo, but it was too detailed to copy easily and as soon as I start trying to simplify what I’m seeing in the photo it usually doesn’t come out as well. I also really struggled with the peach spots on the leg and belly area, but I’m not sure my struggle is really that apparent just looking at the image here.  My plan is to enter this drawing into the Minnesota State Fair, which is a huge event.  I made it in last year.  I don’t necessarily expect to make it in again, but I believe there is a chance that I could.  Fingers crossed.

This next image resulted from me having some fun in Photoshop.  Obviously the original is top left, then I have the black and white image in the bottom left, bottom right is the inverted image of the original, and the top right is the black and white version of the inverted image.  The two inverted images are a little strange, but I like strange things.

Needless to say, I don’t feel these beautiful creatures should be hunted.  I have plans to donate portions of any prints sold to Howling for Wolves which is an organization that works to protect wolves in Minnesota.  They focus on presenting scientific findings about wolves and push non-lethal wolf management.  They are highly against trophy hunting of wolves, as am I.

 

Buster the Labrador

Another short blog in an effort to get my website all caught up.  This is Buster the Labrador.  I drew him last spring and summer.  It was very spread out over the course of several months because I was a full-time student and working 30 hours a week at that point too.  I decided to do this drawing instead of a Poodle I had sketched because I thought it would be faster and easier.  While I’m sure it was definitely faster (curly Poodle hair is difficult!) I really struggled with the coloration of his face.  I never could pinpoint why.  Maybe because my original photo was a bit blurred? In any case, I am okay with how it came out, but it is definitely my least favorite in my series of purebred dogs so far.

I may or may not have explained in my previous posts that I am attempting to create a series of drawings of purebred dogs for several reasons.  First, I am (so far) using only photos of dogs I walk while volunteering at the Animal Humane Society in Minnesota.  I want to bring attention to the fact that there are purebred dogs in the shelter all of the time.  Secondly is because I want to raise money to be able to donate to rescues and based on the commissions I have received, I believe that prints of purebreds will sell better than prints of mixed-breed dogs.  Although I have only ever owned mixed-breed dogs myself, there are purebreds that I love and I can identify with wanting prints of purebreds, so I’m compensating my promotion of purebreds by attempting to raise awareness and giving back to rescues essentially.

With all that said, here is my progression of Buster.

I used layers of peaches and oranges, light yellows, and even lavender.  I believe there is a bit of brown in there too. I wanted to keep the background colors in the same color scheme, but I wish I would have switched something up a bit.  Like I said, this is my least favorite of the series.  Maybe I’ll have to do a Chocolate or Black Lab in the future. 🙂

While I was writing the above, I decided it would be cool to create a collage of the series so far for anyone who is looking at this post only and not my others.  Right now I’ve got a Basset Hound, Chihuahua, and Labrador.  Although I haven’t done any art whatsoever since last October because of school, I will be down to a half-time student from full-time in 3 weeks and I fully plan so start doing art immediately.  

 

 

Johnny the Chihuahua

Hi everyone! I’m back! I have not completely forgotten about my art, but I’ve been in school earning an accounting degree and it has been very time consuming.  First, I want to say that my previously posted drawing, Daisy the Basset, made it into the Minnesota State Fair last year (2016!) It was my first year making it in and it was super exciting.  I have another entry set to go for this year.  It’s a wolf drawing.  I will post about him later.  Hopefully I will find time to write some posts in these upcoming weeks, but I will be down to one remaining class in July so at that point I will for sure have time to update this site.Anyway, this the drawing I worked on after Daisy the Basset.  He is Johnny the Chihuahua.  This is from February-ish of 2016, so over a year ago.  I am really happy with how he turned out.  I wanted to use bright colors in the background and I think it fits really well with his coloring and also with gives it a fiesta kind of feel.  I still remember him at the shelter.  He was very shy, but was with a friend.  I’m sure they are happy in the home they found.

As with Daisy, Johnny is an 8 x 10 drawing.  They’re part of a series showcasing purebred dogs at the shelter.  I’ve collected a lot of photos of purebred dogs, just need to get time to draw them! AND start taking commissions again.  I’m getting excited to get back to my art.  It’s been a long time coming.  Here’s Johnny!!
Chihuahua Panorama 7

I used circular motions for the background.  I think it shows up a little bit.  Lots of layers of colors.  Looking at this again, I’m really happy with the eyes especially.  I remember working on it and being concerned that they were going to look strange because they were different from the regular pattern of highlights and whatnot that I use.  It’s really nice to be using photos I’ve taken myself so I can make sure I have the quality I need.  So much of the quality of the drawing depends on the quality of the photos.

Chihuahua 16

 

Peace everyone.  Hopefully I will be back soon!

 

Daisy the Basset Hound

This is Daisy. She’s a Basset Hound. I walked her while volunteering at my local humane society last fall. Her portrait the first in a set I’m working on as a new project. I am not taking new commissions while I’m back in school due to lack of time, so I’ve decided what I want to do over the next few years is build up a set of drawings that I can sell prints of.  Although I personally don’t support dog breeding, from a business perspective, doing portraits of purebreds will generate more income than mixed breed prints. Part of my project is to gather photos of purebred dogs at my local shelter to start with. If I run out of breeds (only certain breeds make their way there, for example, in the last 4 years I’ve only ever seen one Great Dane. I’ve never seen a Doberman, etc.) I might reach out to breed specific rescues. I started this whole project back in the winter, so since then I’ve also decided that I want to do some wildlife drawings as well.  My most successful drawing as far as selling prints goes is actually a wolf drawing that I did in a completely different style.

Back to this drawing. This is Daisy. I really like how she came out. I wanted to do a pattern in the background. It looked good until I started coloring it in, then it looked really awful. I erased it as best as I could and covered it up with other dark layers.

This particular drawing has been uploaded to my page on Fine Art America’s website so people can order prints on demand. I’m going to donate a portion of any proceeds to Basset Buddies rescue if I ever sell any. Each portrait I do will have a different rescue designation. I’m going to do my best to coordinate them with the breed in the portrait. I also want to do this same thing with my future wildlife drawings, but one thing at a time. For now, here’s Daisy!

Daisy 1 Daisy 2 Daisy 3 Daisy 4 Daisy 5Daisy 6

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