100 Face Challenge: Noah (#5)!

A friend sent me a photo of her dog, Noah, and I had to draw him right away.   The eyes of a dog are impossible to resist.   You just melt into them!   And as you know, I’m a sucker for eyes!

010416 noah

I’ve tried drawing this dog at least ten times with all different mediums:  graphite, pen and colored pencil.   This was done in either 2B or 4B graphite.  The 3/4 view isn’t the easiest, but it’s the one I’m drawn to most, of all the photos she sent. This is the best attempt I’ve made so far with Noah, but I’m determined to keep trying until all of us (including Noah) are happy with it!

I’ve never used a blending stump before, but on this toothy mixed media paper, it made a huge difference.   Something to remember for the future.   This is also the first time I’ve spent over three hours on one drawing.   It was so much fun, though, even so.   Of all the animals I’ve tried, I enjoy drawing dogs the most.   You can read so much from their eyes.   It’s such a joy to draw them.

Happy Monday, and I hope your ears perk up when the paint and colored pencils start calling you later! Peace.

68 thoughts on “100 Face Challenge: Noah (#5)!

  1. Oh Laura, this one turned out so beautiful…it’s now my favorite! 😉 You captured him so well! Thank you for choosing him as one of your subjects. Now I just need to get a copy of this one!

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    1. Watercolor is sooo much harder though. I really don’t know how people get so realistic with it. It’s beautiful and I love it, but I think maybe abstract is the way to go (for me at least). I’m not happy unless something really looks like the photo. This one doesn’t even, really, but it’s the closest I’ve come so far.

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  2. Your dog portraits are wonderful today, Laura. You have captured Noah’s soulful and loving eyes. I’m happy to hear you let yourself get immersed in you drawing with no time limit. 😍 carry on and draw!!

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    1. Thank you, Sharon! I’m so glad you enjoyed them. At some point in my life, if I could draw dogs (and other animals) full-time, and it wouldn’t put me in the poor house, I would love to do it. I can’t imagine anything nicer, or anything better to reach toward, than that. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! I thought your drawing WAS A PHOTO! So much detail with such a delicate touch! It really reminded me of my brother’s dog. Thanks for sharing. 🐕

    Sent from my iPhone

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  4. Laura this is GREAT! the time you took, was well worth and really paid off! the lights, mids, darks are Wonderfully done and not having to worry about colour, really helped make the tonal values superb. I also see that there is lots of quiet space around the dog’s face…. Perfect!!!! yip py 🙂

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    1. Debi, you made my day with this one, lady! I really appreciate your visit and comment. I would love to do this full-time, honestly. Is this a pipe dream, or something to realistically shoot for? Tell me, great art guru! hehe. I’m so glad you enjoyed this! It was a joy to create. Maybe the key is spending longer, and posting less often?

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    1. Thank you, Mary! I’m hoping that 2016 may be the year to take this to the next level. Really enjoying drawing at this point more than painting. Just seems easier right now. And there’s nothing like the smell and feel of pencil against paper. I’m really glad you like this, as a fellow graphite lover!

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    1. Denis, I really wish! I have the hardest time with black fur. We lost both our cats in just over a year, and the one who passed in ’14 was all black. I have tried to draw him so many times and failed. Your Charlie’s features are all within the black fur, and so I hesitate to even try. At some point, I’ll get past this, but I don’t feel I’m there yet. I’d hate to disappoint you. I am definitely keeping Charlie in mind, though! I really appreciate your encouragement.

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    1. Thank you, Myriam, for your kind words. This animal was a joy to draw, he really was. I could have continued forever. I think it was close to 1am before I put the pencil down. (And it was only supposed to be an eye study!) It’s so nice when an image draws you in that way. I got lost in his gaze completely.

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      1. Glad you got drawn into the drawing ;-). I like that experience. Plus it is nice to make some more detailed and refined drawings sometimes. I like that you try a variety of approaches and styles. The dog you drew with just a few lines is beautiful too.

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        1. Thanks, Myriam! I am trying to decide – I really may blog less often and only post work like this. When I’m trying to get stuff up every day, well, how good is each piece going to be? I usually never spend more than an hour, and often much less, on the work I post here. Not enough hours in the day. This one just drew me in and I had tried this view of this dog so many times…….I was so happy with how the one eye looked, I tried the other and put it approximately in the right spot and was so happy I just kept going. I think it takes the right photo and the right look in the eye of the subject to draw me the way this dog does. I’m really glad you enjoyed it. You mentioned my two favorites of the year by including that dog with the very spare lines. That one only took 3-4 minutes but I tried soooo many afterward that I didn’t like nearly as much. You can’t overthink anything. A big problem I have lol. Anyway, I hardly ever have the time or energy to spend hours on one piece, but I am thinking that should maybe be my next challenge, or piece of this one. Because I have the feeling it might take my work to the next level. I’d like to become a pet portraitist, and really would like to include people as well. It may be a dream, but I feel the need to at least try, since this thing doesn’t seem to let me alone. A day isn’t satisfying without a drawing in it anymore! Thanks for your comment.

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          1. Hmm… Well I find it interesting that you post quick sketches, experiments and more time-consuming pieces. I don’t have time to comment every day but I usually have time to browse and it is always a pleasure to see what you are working on. I greatly appreciate your enthusiasm for trying new things and putting time into drawing every day. And it is really neat to see your progress. And when you find a big chunk of time to draw and something amazing happens on your paper, I feel excitement! But I couldn’t post every day. I find it too stressful and time consuming. So, I totally support not posting every day (days off are awesome!!!). But maybe you like your blog to be a creative daily journal with which you like to connect every day… I’m sure you’ll do what feels right for you :-). Oh, and you can work on long pieces over multiple days. Little chunks of time here and there.

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            1. Thanks, Myriam! Social media is kind of addictive and fun. I see reasons to post daily and reasons not to, but I’ve never sat down to make a pro and con list and see which side wins. So at this point, I just keep doing whatever feels good at the time. hehe. I’m really glad you’re enjoying what you see! I always enjoy your work too.

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            2. Forgot to say… You are already a good portraitist. Your lines and shading are beautiful, your eyes always have soul and you often capture the essence of the animal or person. And your portraits keep getting better! Love your finch by the way! I’ll give it a sweet comment some time soon :-).

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  5. Laura I think you are doing wonderful. 3/4 view is very difficult, and you’ve sketched it very well. I’ve taught classes on drawing pets, using graphite and using waxed based colored pencils, burnishing (blending) in strokes. The eyes definitely brings a drawing to life. Keep up the good work.

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  6. I realize I’m a bit late on commenting on this post! 😜 But I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy this drawing! Although I’m more of a cat person, this dog really tugs at my heart! 💖 Thanks for sharing your talent here! 🐶🌟👍🎨

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    1. Thanks, Jill! I’m more of a cat person too, honestly, but I’m finding dogs much easier to draw at this point. Still don’t understand that, as I’ve owned a cat pretty much all of my life and haven’t had a dog since I was a little kid! But this one is probably my favorite face so far. It took several hours and lots of sketches prior to this one, but I actually like it too. I’m glad you saw this one! 💛

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