This drawing was done by commission for a family who lost their dog for various reasons. it took five hours total to complete and was given to them as a surprise. I hope you enjoy this instructable.
Step 1: Step 1: Proportion, Proportion, and Proportion
I cannot stress more how important it is to make sure before you start intense shading, that your drawing is in proportion. Fixing the proportions in a half shaded drawing is near impossible and is a completely unnecessary problem. In another 'ible I will go through steps of proportioning and outlining for beginners and professionals alike but for now I will only say that when you start doing your outlining for a drawing, double check your outlines and then begin shading. I have to admit I did cheap out a bit in this one at the start and it caused me some stress near the end.
What I have done here is outlined the basic shape of the dog and it's main features than started to shade in the head with pencil strokes imitating strands of fur. The values aren't exact yet just a basic understanding of what it will look like at the end. I will do this for the whole drawing and then tweak anything that needs it, darken some values, lighten others and all together complete the drawing. i hope that makes sense.
Step 2: Most Important Section
The face of the dog is crucial to get right because it is the center of focus in the drawing. it is also how people will recognize the dog as theirs, just like human portraits.
In this step I worked very hard to make the dog's face look exactly like the picture. and I had to rearrange the eyes and other features multiple times before I got it right so don't be discouraged if you don't get right the first time either. Shading in the fur of the dog requires a bit of knowledge in this case. The image I was given as reference was somewhat low resolution so I had to make up a lot of the details myself based on my knowledge of how the fur lays. I worked the harder on drawing the face than any other part of the drawing.
Step 3: Starting the Body
I apologize for not taking a closer picture in this step i did not make this drawing for an instructable so the pictures are not the best for instructional purposes. anyway...
Now you can see I have started to shade in the body now. following a pattern of how the fur appears to lay. Not much more to day other than that everything still needs darkening but everything is going well so far.
Step 4: Fur Pattern and Problems
Here I have started to
shade in a good chunk of the body, following the fur pattern of a German Shepherd. I have begun to run into a problem at this point because I didn't proportion everything properly (just saying ;) ). The legs are too short and skinny and I am running out of room on my meager 8"×10" page. because of this I had to cut off part of the legs and focus more attention on the face. A minor problem that could have gone really bad.
Step 5: Finishing
As you can see I have cut off the ends of the dog's poor legs for the sake of proportion and completed my latest pet portrait. I have darkened some values, and lightened others. This creates contrast which can make a drawing more realistic. The final thing I did was erase the smudged graphite all around the drawing on the blank page. If you do this it looks more professional and therefore will get you hired more as an artist.
And that concludes my second drawing instructable. I hope you all enjoyed it and for anyone interested, you can visit my Facebook page, it's called: Cole McElheran Art. See you all on my next instructable.