View Full Version : Black Lab

05-10-2011, 07:08 PM
I'm doing a portrait of my parent's black lab. I'm going to give it to them this weekend if it's finished and if I don't chicken out. I need some extra eyes and advice. It's 8x10 in charcoal. I'm not real happy with the face. The value seems off to me, or maybe not enough details? I haven't finished the background either (it's in pencil) because the deck isn't looking like a deck. Any advice would be appreciated!


OH my Gosh! Now that I look at it on the post, it looks pretty bad.

05-10-2011, 09:08 PM
The deck and riser are a bit of an optical illusion...maybe needs a little darker shadow on the first riser down so it is more distinct. I like the face and think you have done well with it so far. Maybe a bit more shadowing to contour the it? Over all...well done!

05-11-2011, 01:00 AM
Hi Debbie Sue:wave: I think you are doing a great job! A little more detail and they are going to love it:wave: :clap: Nicki

05-11-2011, 05:28 PM
I really like it. Some more contrast around the head will set it off nicely

05-11-2011, 08:24 PM
Thanks so much for the compliments and advice! I'm having a big attack of low self confidence about my drawings.


05-11-2011, 08:50 PM
Hi Debbie Sue:wave:

I really like the gentle look in this labs features. I think you have done a great job on rendering a likeness and I am sure your folks will love it.

If you wish to advance it any further ( and not necessary to do so by any means) you could push your darks a little further and perhaps try doing so with more focus on the direction of the hair in his glossy coat. Right now, the overall "texture" of his fur is soft and non-directional but a few strokes to show the direction of the hairs might be just the "tweak" you are looking for. It's kind of like drawing a brick wall - you don't want every brick but a choice few give the viewer a more distinct feel.

We all have those insecure feelings - don't forget to breathe and just keep on goin':thumbsup:


05-12-2011, 04:15 PM
I love it! Beautiful job.

05-13-2011, 05:31 PM
YOu have a great start! i would darken up the riser under the deck and don't neglect the faint shadows his legs and paws are making there and on the top step.

Make the darkest parts of the dog darker. Model the face some more, there are several shades on his head from very black to very light; look at each area carefully and draw the shape you see. Make your marks go 'with the lay of the land" that is on the wood follow the wood grain. On the dog follow the way the hair grows. YOu could even use a bit of white chalk when you are done to add in the lightest highlights.

Just a bit more study and work and you will have an outstanding piece.

OH yeah, I have those moments too; I'm always really nervous when I'm showing a peice to a client; it's never happened but I have the thought, what if they hate it! in the back of my mind.

05-13-2011, 07:20 PM
All great advice, and will only add my encouragement! i think we all experience "those times' of wondering if our art is any good, or if we are making progress, I know I am currently as well. But, just keep after it, and this is a wonderful drawing!