Colored Pencil drawing of Marley

Hello, I made this colored pencil drawing of my friend’s dog. I would appreciate your feedback including suggestions for improvement as well what i did well. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and time :blush:

1 Like

I love the eyes and the background. Very well done.

Hi Sara -
Nice job with this drawing. I love how you really captured the dogs expression, which is not always easy. Regarding suggestions for improvement, I think that all of us need to constantly think about “range of values” and “direction of light - and where the shadows are located”.

I’d suggest you work on the shadows (darker values) a little more. For instance, look at the variation with the shadows and touch of golden brown on the dogs chest in the reference photo, and how it also gets darker under the belly close to the ground. It’s a little hard to see, but I would also push the blacks, to be blacker at the side of the head where it is joined by the ears and the left side of the dog under the leg. I’d even put more of a shadow under the belly of the dog on the ground and on the ground on the left side of the dog.

Very recently in the Member’s Minute, Matt did a critique (episode 433) of a cat drawn by Brenda. If you listen to that I think you will better understand what I’m suggesting. Again, I think your drawing is very nice but offer these suggestions per your request.

I’d love to see more posts from you in the future.

Terri Robichon

Hello Sara,

You did a lovely job with the portrait of Marley, also creating a sense of depth in the background. The stones and shadows are done really well. You also created a nice composition having Marley a bit to one side, and the horizon in the top third.

You may want to move draw more of the stone under Marleys paw so it does not look unfinished since the other paw goes off of the bottom of your drawing.

I was about to say exactly what Terri just said so I won’t be repetitive. f

From the reference it looks like the light is coming from behind Marley to the left side looking at Marley. That may help you to find where you want to create shadows, mostly on the chest and belly as well as the paw, and under Marley.

I agree with Terri that the darks can be pushed in the fur.

Creating a full range of values in the fur, for instance under the chin and on the belly will give Marley even more form and cause the fur to stand out even more. I also see a touch of golden yellow, maybe a yellow ocher on the belly and paw.

Sara, you did do a really nice job. again, I like the background and the stones you did, and Marley is executed nicely. He or She looks very happy!!

Thank you for sharing your artwork with us so that we could enjoy it.



Great job of your control with the colored pencils. I agree with the contrast comments above. Have you done the “trick” when you compare the reference photo and your drawing in grey scale? I have found this does help me