Drawing Demonstration - “PJ,” Dog Fur and Face

A Drawing and Varnishing Demonstration

Welcome to my drawing demonstration of a dog portrait, and yes, you read the title correctly; I also varnished this drawing.

In this four-part video series, I share with you the beginning stages of my drawing, including my thumbnail sketch where I highlight the importance of preserving the rim lighting on the dog's fur. Briefly, I will talk about my process of first creating a contour drawing and how I transfer that drawing to my final drawing surface. Throughout the videos, I will share with you what I am trying to create currently in my drawing while also discussing the pencils I am using and the amount of pressure I am applying to the pencil. Towards the end of the drawing demo, I describe my approach to creating fur texture by focusing on the negative shapes of the fur to reveal the lighter positive shapes that we perceive to be fur.

As I mentioned, I also varnished this drawing. In the last video, I walk you through the complete process of how I sealed, mounted, and varnished my drawing so that I did not have to use glass when framing the finished piece. I include all of the materials that I used in my drawing and varnishing process and a link to the artist's blog post where I learned how to varnish my drawing.

As with all of my drawing and painting demonstrations, this is intended to be a series of videos that I record while working on my drawings or paintings. I share my thoughts on what I am doing, why I am doing it, the inspiration behind the piece, and even some fun personal stories regarding the drawing or painting on my table or easel. Although there is a lot to learn from my demonstrations, these are not intended to be true instructional videos. For instructional videos, please visit the Online Courses section of this website.

Video segments will be broken up into parts due mainly to the size limitation of the video files that I can upload to this platform. Still, I have found that breaking them up into roughly 6-12 minute segments makes the videos easily digestible and searchable for future visits to the demonstration.

I love what I do, and I hope you find this demonstration helpful, fun, and, most importantly, inspirational!

Course Curriculum

  “PJ,” Dog Portrait - A Drawing Demonstration, Video 1
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  “PJ,” Dog Portrait - A Drawing Demonstration, Video 2
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  “PJ,” Dog Portrait - A Drawing Demonstration, Video 3
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  “PJ,” Dog Portrait - A Drawing Demonstration, Varnishing the Drawing
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Your Instructor

Robert Louis Caldwell
Robert Louis Caldwell

Artist and Instructor
ARC Associate Living Master
Signature Member, The Society of Animal Artists

Robert Louis Caldwell is an award-winning artist, internationally renowned for his wildlife and architectural oil paintings. His work has appeared in numerous national and international exhibitions, including the Society of Animal Artists, Art of the Animal Kingdom and Birds in Art, and is represented in the permanent collection at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. Robert graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.F.A. and is the author of the drawing instructional book “Draw Realistic Animals, Wildlife, Pets & More.”

Read more about Robert’s instructional approach, philosophy and credentials.

Visit Robert’s website rlcaldwell.com to view examples of his drawings and paintings.

Frequently Asked Questions

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