Drawing – Dog Curled on Bed

With a close-up of a dog face under my belt, it was time to tackle a different perspective. This is my mom’s dog, Dixie, in full dream mode. She’s very camera shy, so this is as good as reference photos get for her.


First session lasted a couple of hours, but only after having done an initial reference sketch, which helped get the difficult curled up shape and proportions of body parts just so. Once I had this much done I had to give my arm a break. All those hairs start to drive you nuts. Pretty good start, but a little creepy since she’s floating on the page. Dixie Drawing Lg Another session, probably 90 minutes, got the obvious dog bed in place, but also worked the ebony pencil to get the values right on the folds of Dixie’s coat. Dixie Drawing Finished

Pretty happy with the final composition. I’m genuinely surprised at how quickly this came together. There were 3 big challenges with this drawing.

1. The face and general complexity of dog parts involved in a curled canine. But the reference photo was really washed out for the face, so I had to draw what I knew was there rather than just what I saw, b/c I knew what I was looking at was wrong.

2. The hair is much different compared to my previous effort with Zip’s dog face. The strokes are longer and thinner. It was also very tricky to get the white dotted pattern and random splotches in some places just right. Used a 2B for most of the hairs, but in some spots experimented with an HB.

3. The values on a curled up dog SUCK! I’d love to blame it on the lighting in the photo, but even if the lighting was studio quality, I’m pretty sure the challenge of gradating values to show the change in depth in the curled center area would be the same. But I got it to a good point and decided I better leave it alone.

Overall very happy with this one. I’ll have to do a similar composition of my dogs curled on their beds.

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