I’d love you iF you let me but you won’t so I’LL love your dog

Your dog has no interpersonal Maginot line, your dog has let the Wermacht in, greeted it lovingly, licked its face and peed all over the mudroom with excitement that it’s here “HELLO HELLO OH MY GOD YOU ARE AWESOME LOOK AT YOU THIS IS GREAT YOU’RE GREAT LET’S GO PLAY YOUR LEG IS SEXY I’M GONNA HUMP IT”

There is always fun commissioned work drawing dogs.   Pros and Cons of doing commissioned dog drawings:


  1. Very positive experience for you and the dog owner… unless you screw it up, which is always possible.  But for the most part it’s great, everyone is happy, peeing-all-over-the-mudroom happy.

  2. Fur is fun, mindless work to draw.  It’s all about layering. Also, the original composition is easy, drop the photo into a grid template on the computer, draw a grid on your page and watch Game of Thrones while your pencil does the work. It’s not Leonardo Da Vinci stuff, it just happens.  

  3. Dog portraits can be much less exact then people portraits

  4. Very easy to market.  Just start drawing your family and friends’ dogs, post them on facebook and watch the commissions come in. There is no end of dogs to be drawn so there is always work.


  1. A short haired trim dog takes about a third of the time a curly-haired shaggy dog takes, waat!  Black dogs take much longer to draw then light dogs. A black, curly haired dog takes what youth you’ve got left like a hot teenage vampire who for some reason has been hanging around a high school for hundreds of years.

  2. Scope creep plunges you into doggy hell: You look up and realize it’s noon, you’ve put six hours into a $50 drawing… and you can’t resist posting it to facebook because it’s so damn good and now that’s the standard you have to draw to.  So you raise your prices and suddenly you have to say no to people A LOT and get flushed in the swirling depression of their bitter disappointment, and your dreams at night become haunted by betrayed devil-dogs on that plane of hell reserved for people who are mean to dogs and the people who love them.

  3. Pencils don’t go dark enough.  To get blacks to be dark you have to switch to ink or paint, and when you do that the gradients all have to be redone… and now you’ve committed additional time and see the doggy hell problem, above.

  4. Once you’ve drawn that particular dog and sold the artwork that’s it:  You can no longer make money off of those hours. The same is true for other commissions like house drawings etc.  The money is handed over and the time is poof gone. The solution to that is to create prints of the work, for instance awesomely hand-printed, for instance screen-printed, for instance in this tiny town in New Hampshire, for instance in my studio.  But as loving and awesome as your dog is, nobody else is going to buy a print of it, much less the dozens of prints it takes for a print to be an efficient income source.

  5. Now that you draw dogs, that’s what you are, a dog artist, not to be taken seriously… although the truth is there’s four people left in the world who take fine artists seriously so ignore this one.

Here are some of the dog drawings I’ve done, just for context:

And here’s how the vectorizing on Beauty can save the world is going:

And here’s how the vectorizing on Beauty can save the world is going: