I finished a new drawing! This one is an 11×14 graphite on Strathmore 400 series drawing paper. It depicts my family’s dog, Lady, standing in front of our doorway, hence the title. Lady was running around a lot as I was taking pictures, but when she got in front of the doorway, I thought the scene would make a beautiful piece of artwork, so I seized the opportunity and snapped the pic.
This drawing, like all of my drawings now, started as an outline made with a 6h pencil. I drew the background first and then drew the subject over it, instead of drawing the subject first and drawing the background around it.
I made the pattern in the door using a 4b carbon pencil to make crisscross lines and then fill in the spaces between the lines and the circles I’d drawn. I had to fight with myself to make this pattern because I thought it would be too much work, but it turned out to be worth it. Like I said, don’t be afraid of hard work.
I used a 4b, then a 6b, carbon pencil over the bars in the doorway
For the area in back of the decoration, I first used a 8b, then a 9b, and finally went over it with 6b carbon pencil to try to get it as dark as possible.
For the floor, I blocked in the tiles using a 3b pencil. which I lightened with a kneaded eraser. I used a 5b for the biggest shadows and tiny touches of a 6b for the darkest parts. For the ridges, I used a combination of a 4b carbon pencil and an 8b graphite pencil as I wanted them to be dark, but not quite as dark as the spokes in the door
I used a 2b and a 4b to shade the majority of Lady’s body. I was careful to make sure my strokes went in the direction of her fur. I used touches of 5b 6b and 8b throughout her fur. I also used my magic rub eraser to rub off some pencil to make highlights.
I used a combination 4b, 5b, 6b, 2b, and 3b pencils for the bottom most part of her stomach.
I used my magic rub eraser to rub away the carbon on top of Lady’s head and filled in part of the space with more carbon, creating tufts.
For Lady’s face, I first used a 4b pencil, careful to follow the shapes I saw in my reference photo. I drew details over that using a 5b, and smaller details using a 6b. I filled in the rest using a 2b, adding details over that with a 3b and 4b.
I blocked in Lady’s entire tail using a 2b pencil. I used a 4b over that, following the shapesa and patterns I saw in my reference photo. I used a 5b over the 4b and a 3b over the 2b to make marks in the appropriate places.
I like having odd numbered pencils because they allow me to make marks that are barely noticeably darker than the color underneath. Sometimes going from a 4b to a 6b is too stark of a contrast. I would use a 1b pencil if I knew it existed.
I used a 4b pencil on Lady’s collar and lightened it with a kneaded eraser. I drew the dark shadows with the same 4b pencil, this time, without lightening it. I used my six b pencil for the places where Lady’s collar meets her neck.
That’s all for now. I’ll talk to you again next week.
Painter of portraits and wildlife