Sketching Pets: Seeing clearly and combining multiple images

This is a recent drawing I did of our family dog, Pongo. I was super lucky he sat still for as long as he did. For the most part, he was staring right into my eyes. He did get antsy after a while so we took a play break. He was very cooperative and went right back to his modeling spot. I had a lot of fun sketching him. It was a beautiful experience to take in all these neat details and features I hadn't noticed before. Dogs are quite mysterious with their huge marble eyes, sensitive velvet ears and active noses. I am grateful for the companionship of such fun and loyal spirits.

Technically speaking, I don't have much experience drawing animals. Their fur and unique details make them a little harder to capture than humans. Pongo has short, smooth hair, so there wasn't any need to emphasize it. He did move his head around a little as I was working on his face. This is something I had to work around with kids too. I've learned to trust my eyes' judgment on whether a drawing actually looks like the subject or not. So, even if they have shifted 15 times, I can look at my drawing and back at them and ask "is this the same person (or animal)?" If not, I study them to see what is missing or skewed and correct it. I think the brain is capable of blending multiple perspectives into one coherent and recognizable image, but it takes practice. It's an informed approximation. Eventually, you look at the drawing and can see that being in there, gazing back at you. It is clear they've been "captured."

Thanks for checking out my blog and as always, I'd love to hear about your own experiences with this and other art topics!



P.S. I studied his nose after completing this sketch and discovered it is way different than I expected! The nose is incredibly intricate and not very straightforward. I didn't notice it in the darkness of the room before.

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