How to draw a dog in graphite head

Graphite Drawing of a Dog


Most of the tutorials featured on this website are quick demonstrations of a particular medium or technique.   In this case, I decided to chronicle a recent commission work.  The video below shows various points in the creation of the drawing of a dog.  The entire drawing took me about 10 hours to complete.  I started and completed the drawing in one day.  I used an "HB" pencil and a"4B" pencil to complete the drawing.  The drawing was created on charcoal paper which produces a unique texture

I began by taking a look at the photos that the client provided to get a sense of the personality of the dog and decide which image would translate best as a drawing.  I manipulated the chosen photo in Adobe Photoshop by adjusting the values in the image.  For example, I made the areas around the dog darker to enhance the contrast and provide more focus on the dog. 

Next, I created a grid on my 8" by 10" paper and laid a corresponding grid over the photo in Photoshop.  I then worked from the photo to develop a light outline of the dog onto the paper.  I then began working on adding value and texture in area around the eyes.  I began in this area because I wanted the eyes to be the focal point in the image. 

I then worked outward from the eyes to develop the texture and value range of the animal's fur.  I was careful to create a full range of value without sacrificing the illusion of white fur.  The contrasting value of the negative space helped out quite a bit with this.  As I worked, I was careful not smear the graphite.  Instead, I adjusted the pressure on the pencil to achieve the value range desired.  I also worked with a paper towel under my drawing hand to keep my hand from smearing my work. 

Creating drawings on a commission basis can be a rewarding endeavor.  I enjoyed creating this drawing for a client.  The featured video chronicles the drawing process of a dog in graphite.

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