Thursday, March 7, 2024

Doggie Do-Over


3/3/24 Bug (Art Stix in Uglybook sketchbook)

In Gal Cohen’s “Unique Line” class last week, she showed us many examples of artworks that were realistic in content (not abstract) but were also highly expressive and evocative. Although many could be described as “loose,” not all were. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, my desire is not necessarily to be “loose” as it is to have the appearance of ease (two different things).

The images and our class discussions gave me a nudge about what I want to explore, both in and out of class. Although it wasn’t an assignment, the class prompted this idea: Use the same photo reference of a dog I had already drawn in my usual descriptive style and try to sketch it more expressively. I used chunky Prismacolor Art Stix, which help me avoid getting too detailed. I’ve tried this same approach with human portraits and even with beets. It seems to help when I make the more realistic attempt first. As with the humans, I wanted to capture Bug’s essential personality and expression with resemblance being secondary.

1/31/24 Realistically rendered Bug

Speaking of do-overs, of the 70 pet portraits I made since December and shipped to their owners, none got lost in the mail – except poor Moose (below). When I was informed by the owner that the piece never arrived, I quickly made a new one. They are both shown here. I used a slightly different mix of media the second time, but otherwise, I tried to make the second one look about the same as the first. It was an unusual circumstance to try to reproduce a drawing. Although I think the second one is more accurate in terms of resemblance, I like the first one better. Partly it has something to do with “freshness” – they eye and brain are engaged more actively the first time.

1/25/24 the original Moose, sadly lost
3/2/24 replacement Moose


  1. Sorry the portrait of Moose didn't arrive. There is something about the first one that I like better.

    1. I so rarely have problems with USPS that I started getting complacent!


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