I suppose I could tell you how to draw a dog. But my way is just one way, and who says it's the right way.
So instead I'll share with you how I drew one dog in particular. A dog called Asha...
Asha is a Border Collie puppy. She belongs to my friend Ivor who works in the motorcycle workshop beneath my studio. He brought her into the studio one day so I could take a few photos of her. She is a very cute dog.
Ivor asked me to draw a portrait of Asha in pencil. He chose medium size, which is A4 (210x297mm).
Working from a printed photo, the first thing I did was lightly draw Asha's outline and the main features of her head.
I left a gap between Asha and the edge of the paper (2cm minimum) so that a mount or frame wouldn't cover any of the drawing.
Then I checked that the layout of the image as a whole felt 'right'. That's a personal judgement call, but it's based on my experience of drawing other portraits, and looking at art in general.
Next, I drew the face in detail. I always start with the eyes, then either the ears or the nose, followed by the mouth. I take a lot of time to draw these features as accurately as possible, because they determine the likeness of the portrait.
I left areas blank where I wanted the white paper to shine through, such as the bridge of Asha's nose and the reflections in her eyes.
I made some marks to indicate where Asha's body is, but I kept them rough and relatively light so they didn't attract too much attention away from the head.
I used increasingly soft pencils (6B, 7B, 8B) and made firmer marks to add layers of tone and texture to the head, and to sharply define features that are unique to Asha. Occasionally I added layers to the body too, to balance the image.
Finally I added a wash of light blue ink and a touch of brown to bring Asha's incredible eyes to life.
If you'd like to me share the making of other portraits in my gallery, let me know.
Richard Pettitt, cartoonist.