Tag Archives: dogs

I’m Here To Make You Look Cool! – part 1

6 Oct

IHTMYLC part 1

To take away any fear that your art isn’t good enough to put on the Internet, here is part 1 of my brand new comic “I’m Here To Make You Look Cool!”. If that’s not an endorsement to finally put your art online, I don’t know what is.

The comic is Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike, Non-Commercial, 2.0. If you make a derivative work, please let me know (if the comments are closed, you can use my about page, which has a contact form).

That is all.

PS This has been so much fun making. A little bit of self-deprecation puts one in one’s place again, way back in line, where the misfits and failures in life reside. Things can only get better from here on out.

Drawing a dog skeleton, part 2

3 Oct

So after a night’s sleep I tried two more sketches of a dog skeleton, based on an illustration of J.C. Amberlyn. I think each version was better than the previous, and I get a better feel for how the bones interconnect into a skeleton and why they are shaped as they are. The sketches are still very off-model, though.

Dog skeleton, part 2
Dog skeleton, part 3

To avoid focusing too much on a single illustration, I looked for online photo references. By watching the video podcast Tekzilla Daily Tip 454 I came across a new Google Labs feature called Google Similar Images. It is similar to Google Images search, which the difference that you can look for images that are visually very similar.

Of course, I can’t share those images here (most are fully copyrighted), but I can share the artist’s impression of those images. For me it’s just another way to improve my drawing skills.

I hope this search tip will help you as well.

That is all.

Drawing a dog skeleton

2 Oct

After having had a bit of fun with that puppy drawing, it was time for some serious drawing. So I decided to draw a dog skeleton, based on an illustration in the excellent book by J.C. Amberlyn Drawing Wildlife.

Dog skeleton

I wanted a rough approximation, to get a feel for the proportions, but still draw from looking at the illustration instead of measuring it and trying to reconstruct it. I think I’ll need a few rough sketches, try a few with the dog underneath it, and then try to figure out where the skeleton is in a reference photo of a short-haired breed dog.

I should do something similar for a human being, and then find out how both animals compare and differ. This should give me a clue how to turn a cartoon human into a cartoon dog. At least, I hope it does.

In any case, a thick marker is an advantage here, because you really can’t fuss over your lines. The huge size of the point simply doesn’t allow it. You need to get it on paper the best you can without the possibility of corrections. I personally think that using a marker to draw keeps you focussed. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can switch back to the safety net of a pencil and eraser, or even a computer and Control-Z (Command-Z on the Mac), for a more precise construction.

In my experience, constructing drawings without a basic feel for you subject is a sure method of making your drawing look lifeless, because it is too cerebral, too doctored. A good drawing comes from within, from your passion for the subject.

That is all.

Drawing canines

2 Oct

I was reading about how to draw dogs and how it is oh so important to know how the skeleton works, and blah, blah. You know what? I just wanted to draw something.


And there is the second rough sketch I did of a puppy I found on Flickr. You can see I first place the eye too low in the head and needed to redraw it higher up.

I’m sure it is anatomically incorrect, but it was a lot of fun.

That is all.

Drawing another sweet mutt

11 Aug

When I saw the photo of this dog on Flickr, I wondered why I had dismissed it earlier. The expressiveness of this dog makes it hard not to make a great drawing of it.

Scruffy dog, part 5

I also made a time-lapse recording while I was drawing. The video lasted originally 60 seconds, at 24 frames per second, which tells me I needed 24 minutes to create the sketch.

Now I only need to study how to construct dogs, instead of using reference photos for the pose.

That is all.

Scruffy dog, part 4

10 Aug

I made this quick sketch of a dog in roughly 20 minutes. The sketch is perhaps rougher than I wanted. The problem is that I really haven’t a clue how to draw dogs efficiently, so I muddle along until I have figured it out. Maybe I should browse some of my books for advice.

Scruffy dog, part 4

While I was drawing, I had set up my Canon Ixus 70 for time-lapse recording on a tripod. It was a bit of a hassle to zoom in, get the right focus and white balance. At first I was aware of the setup, but after a few minutes I was totally into the zone with drawing, so I forgot about it. The only thing I had to remember was to not move the sketchpad while recording.

That is all.

Scruffy dog, part 3

9 Aug

I guess there is no better gift for a young child than a sweet puppy dog (or an equally sweet kitten). It isn’t a toy, and you can’t leave it to its own devices. It needs care and attention to stay healthy. Yet the care for a pet is much less complicated than the care for a human infant.

Scruffy dog, part 3

So drawing this young pet allows me to get rid of the frustration that my parents didn’t believe in that, because of one (yes one) bad experience. One of my older brothers even developed a fear of cats from that experience. My parents fetched a kitten from the street, to try it out, but it was too feral to be kept in home. Mom and dad had no other choice than to let go of the kitten after it had clawed one of my brothers and made him cry. Even today, forty years later, he is still afraid of cats. I have to lock my cats away when and if he visits me.

Ah well, once I was an adult, I picked my own kitten, and he was so easy to deal with. If you took him in your hands, back down, paws up, he purred himself to sleep. He kept doing that in my arms until the day I had to put him to sleep, for good, because his body was too weak to sustain him any longer.

Although we have many pets after the first, we never forget our first pets. They have a special place in our hearts. So, parents who decide to get a pet for their children, let that first family pet be a special pet for a loving home. Don’t get your first pet from the street, rationalizing that way it will cost you nothing. Nothing good can come from that.

That is all.