Sketches from Live Pets! :-)

Julie Chapman recently posted a couple of sketches of her dog on her blog (no, we won’t go there). A series of comments followed about the value of drawing.

You can read my comments here: . They’re #5 of 6. She just finished doing her summer animal drawing workshop outside of Kalispell, Montana at the Triple D Game Ranch. I attended a few years ago and found it very worthwhile.

So, she challenged the readers of her blog to get out the charcoal and draw along. I accepted.  It took a few more days than I’d hoped, but here’s the best of what I came up with over about an hour this morning. One challenge was drawing kittens that are black and fluffy. A little hard to see the structure. I also found that they would get up and come running to the front of the crate every time they saw me watching them. The trick is to ignore all that and go for the gesture. These took maybe 15 seconds.

Then I went into the house and there was Persephone, aka The Princess, taking her morning princess nap on the bed. She then sat up and I got a quick start on a head study. Didn’t get all the stripes in, though.

Finally, next to the window on the floor, Niki the collie was zonked out. This one is mostly coat (he’s got a big one!), but the curves were nice.

I used a 4B Wolff’s Carbon pencil for all the sketches and a Canson Universal Recycled Sketchbook. The paper has a good amount of tooth for the pencil.


Today’s thought is from Edgar Payne’s seminal book, Composition of Outdoor Painting, which every artist who paints outdoors or anywhere else, for that matter, should have. It’s expensive and might be hard to find, but it is as good a presentation of the traditional craft of oil painting as you will find.

“While talent or genius must exist, at best they are merely embryonic factors and no one can guide these into productive artistry without the initiative, perseverance and determination of the student. To say that the artist is born and not made, is only partly true. Actually, while it is an important qualification, there is no proof of real worth in talent until it has been developed and expanded by a tremendous amount of serious study and hard work.” (Bold added by me)

2 thoughts on “Sketches from Live Pets! :-)

  1. The first two took about 15 seconds each and half of that was memory, really. It’s mostly a matter of practice. You didn’t see the dozen that didn’t make the cut. And I’ve been doing this since 1989.

    It’s awkward at first but if you soldier on, eventually you’ll pick up how to edit for the gesture. I encourage you to give it a go!

    Thanks for commenting!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s