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. 

Remember, the first secret to drawing is that drawing is at least 50% observation.

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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. 

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