March 18, 2014

How I Celebrate My Dog’s Birthday

In honor of my dog Petey’s 7th birthday (we adopted him three years ago today) I decided to make a commemorative drawing of him.  I drew him as a puppy and what he looks like now.

He was about four when we adopted him, so we don’t know what he looked like as a puppy.   I changed some aspects of his face to make him look younger. Puppies tend to have softer, fluffier fur and shorter snouts.  Their features tend to be more rounded and less pronounced.

If you’re thinking of adopting a dog- adopt an adult dog! They are the size and temperment that they are going to be (no surprises), they tend to be calmer and more self assured, and they’re just simply awesome. Yes- they can still be trained. I am a big advocate of adopting adult dogs- check out my soap box here.


 Petey as I envision him as a puppy:


Petey as he looks today- on his 7th birthday:


The second drawing is Petey as he looks today.  He is the sweetest, most passive dog I know! Our little hound mix Paige jumps on him, nips him and generally harasses him, and he just takes it.  He looks at me as if to say, “Are you going to stop her?”

How did we end up with him?  Unfortunately someone tied him to a fence outside the Bridgeport, CT pound in the middle of the night a few winters ago.  He was transported to the Danbury Animal Welfare Society,  a no-kill shelter in Bethel, CT where I volunteer.  My husband and I took him home for a “sleepover”- just a night out of the shelter to give the dog a break.  Well, he was so good, we applied to adopt him the very next day!

Many people ask me how I make my pictures.  When I draw, I am really representing how light hits an object.  Depending on the light and the type of surface I am creating (shiny metal, soft fabric, coarse fur, etc.) the light will react differently.

Want to understand more about light, color and drawing?

There is a fantastic explanation of how light hits an object at  David Briggs explains how light interacts with particular subjects. You will be a better artist just from reading that post, trust me.

Some of his topics are:

  • how light hits various surfaces and disperses
  • highlights
  • reflected light
  • subsurface scattering
  • terminator
  • core shadow
  • dark versus light surfaces
  • texture of the surface (fur, wood, shiny/dull) all have different qualities

I hope you enjoyed my drawings- feel free to leave your reaction in the comments section below.  Remember adopt-don’t shop!

Like dog art? See my Sleepy Puppy Sculpture here:

Sleepy Puppy Sculpture, Denise Cassano


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