Sketch of a Shetland Sheepdog called Dakota in ballpoint pen

Sketch of Dakota, the shettland sheep dog

Here’s a request I got for drawing Dakota the Shetland Sheepdog who resides over at the blog called Dakotas Den.
This one was rather quick as you can see – I wanted to focus on the face, and then try and give an impression of the fur on the body without being too precise about it. It’s hard to get right! I admire sketches done with a “shorthand” style that simplifies its lines and strokes but yet are very beautiful. Back in the day, the famous painters did their studies in this shorthand kind of way in order to prepare for a big painting. In my opinion, big, photo realistic paintings have lost much of their purpose today, because a camera and some basic photoshop skills can make the same picture that took an artist months in the baroque period – now in maybe half an hour. So if “representational art” still has a merit over photography, it might be in its sketchiness. In a sketch (or even a doodle) you can see traces of the thoughts and intentions in the artists mind, and the drawing captures a lot of different stages of the paper becomingΒ  a picture.. I think that there can be something very beautiful in that. But again – it’s really really difficult to say so much with such a few lines. It’s something I’d like to explore!
In the meantime, I you enjoy these sketches! They’re hardly like Rembrandt’s, but rather some sort of still-pictures of me getting more familiar with making drawings πŸ˜‰

I love these shepherd dogs – especially the long haired ones. My mom has a Belgian shepherd that i painted some months back (time flies)
I’ll be back later today or tomorrow with a cat-drawing !

That was number 443

51 thoughts on “Sketch of a Shetland Sheepdog called Dakota in ballpoint pen”

  1. This captures Dakota’s beautiful face and the lack of tons of detail makes the whole thing SOFT just like his coat actually is……..beautiful job! I know Caren will LOVE it!


  2. He’s very distinguished.
    In fact, I think those realistic paintings were mostly not that photographic. And photos are mostly not that realistic either. Both are interpretations, especially when you add Photoshop.
    That said, I agree that the sketches are often more appealing than the finished art…maybe because the artist was just doing it for him/her self and didn’t worry too much over it. Worrying about the result often gets in the way.
    Anyway, I like what you’re doing these days!

    • Yeah you’re right.. There’s a lot of things going on for example in baroque art other than just representation.. There are just so many parts of the craft that can be replaces in terms of illustration by technology. I’ve been looking at Vermeer’s interiors recently, and obviously what makes it great is not his skill in making it look real (and you can even argue that he twists reality in a way or another in order to create the situation he wants in terms of light and shadow and so on) But it’s still this careful “construction” of a picture, where each part gradually falls into place and where the process is removed afterwards.. I suppose what i really like about those studies and sketches is the process in them. You can easily see that it’s something that’s been made by human hands.

  3. Oh Thomas this is very Dakota and I bet Caren even gets teary over this πŸ™‚ I agree with Pam is not easy to convey such images with few lines…but you do…and really love the old masters sketches often more than the completed piece as it is like a window into their minds eye..done quickly and therefore no time to change what the image has really conveyed…and what is missing is what makes the picture.even in photos ..often what I leave put is more important ..hugs Fozziemum

    • I sure am “teary” I LOVE IT!!! I know from my father who was an editorial cartoonist, how much harder it is to convey a message (and one that has the power to evoke a response), with just a few lines. I draw also, (often, not that well lol, I used to draw well, but I never draw anymore), so I deeply appreciate what goes into each and every sketch.

      • You ought to post a few of your drawings πŸ™‚ I saw the work of your father and it’s really amazing.. No wonder that made him a career! It’s really motivating to draw all these cats and dogs, because you’re all so encouraging! It makes me want to spend all of my time drawing.. I better think about my theses also though πŸ˜‰

  4. OMG I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IN LOVE WITH THIS! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! You captured the sensitivity in Dakota’s eyes with just a few strokes! Just superb! I have tweeted it and pinned it on Pinterest in 3 or 4 different areas……..I am going to be posting a blog post on his blog soon! Stay tuned! THANK YOU!! <3

  5. What a beautiful job you did on Dakota, I first saw your drawing of one of Bev’s roo’s and thought that was amazing and now to see Dakota and Houdini. You are doing a excellent job. If your ever wanting to do a drawing of a Chesapeake you can stop on over to and pic one to do. Norman is my soulmate I lost over a year ago, Gambler is is son, Nellie is his daughter and Glory is his granddaughter. Have a great night.

  6. I just saw your beautiful sketch of Dakota, who is my dearest “BF” F and I’ve to tell you that you’ve definitely captured Dakota’s spirits and the sketch is absolutely superb! I’m a little sheltie, a boisterous princess, who loves to have her drawing if you have a little time for me. You’re simply amazing ; your few lines sounds easy but I know how hard it can be and it just proves you’re so good at drawing. Can’t wait to see your next drawing!

    ~ Eva the sheltie

  7. I follow Dakota’s Den and saw your sketch which brought me here and I’m hooked! I love your pet sketches and will be following! I’d love one of Harley and Shasta!


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