I've been thinking about what I could post here, and I think progress pictures of some of my favorite pieces may make sense. Let me know if these are helpful and I'll continue the series!
Kevin is one of my two rescue babies. He came to us a mess from Sunny Sky's Animal Rescue in Puyallup, WA. He was dropped off covered in scabs, scars, and emaciated. Because of his overall condition, we assumed he had too little to eat, but it turned out he had some major health issues. After going on a prescription diet, he is one of the prettiest dogs I've ever owned. He's also the biggest cuddle bug.
I draw my two dogs all the time, and the funny thing is Kevin hates it. He goes to war with colored pencils, rolling across paper and pawing at pencils. He loves being held and looks at anything that takes my attention away from him as competition.
Noses are interesting to me, and Kevin has a good one with a lot of variation in color, although you wouldn't think of it at first glance. It ranges from flesh tones to a solid dark gray with some nice browns in the mix. I started by drawing the little white circles in the highlight area. I encourage you to look closely at the texture of dog noses. It's very interesting with a tightly packed area of circular cells.
Because of the black paper, what seems initially bright, isn't. It takes many many layers to build up a piece. In this shot, I had layered down a lot of color, trying to keep the strokes in the direction of his fur. some areas have the right texture, such has the bumpy landscape of the nose, the glassy roundness of the eyes, and the fine hairs on the muzzle beneath the nose, but some of it is still a chalky looking mess. The nose also has some highlights in the wrong places, making it look flat rather than rounded around the nostrils. The color is good and close to where he is with his red hues, but the black paper is still showing through.
In the final piece, he has some softness to him. Kevin is actually velvet soft to the touch, so it was important to me to show that a bit in the drawing. I also love, love, love his random eyebrow whiskers winging off in front of his ears. I added a little more color and detail in the eyes and some additional shading to give depth to the nose. The color is much lighter, and I'm happy with how it turned out. You'll notice the typical broad swaths of color such as the pink on the left ear and some thick bans of white that are very much part of my style.
Here are some of the sample photos I worked from:
Let me know what you think! I'll go over a few new pieces in the coming weeks and would love to hear from you.