My Dog

(Part 4/Style/Visual distortion/My dog)

Exercise – My Dog

For this exercise I decided to use one of my dogs, Dylan. He is a miniature Golden Doodle although he is not actually very small. He is a ‘pretty’ dog with golden fluffy fur, long floppy ears and a big bushy tail. When clipped his body fur is quite short similar to a poodle but his ears and tail are left long and attractive. These are the attributes which will be the obvious ones to distort.

I have many many photographs of Dylan as well as himself for reference.

This is my sketchbook drawing of him.


Having done that I tried the 5 line drawing which was interesting to do. It doesn’t look particularly like him but does look like a dog. I should have made more of the tail as it is his main feature.

The next step was to create a collage. I saw an advert for spaghetti which seemed to echo  the long fluid strands of his coat so decided that would suit the body fur. However, my attention was taken by the idea suggested in the handbook about using leaves/trees. As I spend a lot of time dealing with flowers that seemed like a nice idea. I went around the  house and took photos of all the flowers, both living and artificial.

My daughter is a dog groomer and we tease her because Dylan’s nose is trimmed so that the fur resembles a chrysanthemum flower. This seems a great opportunity to expand that idea.

Using the spaghetti picture for the body I used various bits of the different flower photos to create the collage.


This actually does look very much like him although it is mainly flowers and spaghetti. It is abstract yet worryingly lifelike. His personality shines through. He is often referred to as chrysanthemum nose so this is perfect. His ears do fly out like that when he is running and his tail is in that precise arc when he is happy.

With regard to bending reality, I did this next part of the exercise on the  computer.

I think the ‘Waved’ and ‘rippled’ version are most effective.

There are dozens more possibilities for distortion by computer and obviously by hand also. I have deliberately stuck to options where there is still a semblance of ‘dog’ although this could easily be changed. The guide does say ‘how far can you bend reality?’

The next stage was to hand draw the collage (left) which I did. Then to refine that into a cartoonstyle image which resulted in the version on the right.

It still looks like Dylan.

My next decision on how to use this cartoon image was to produce an amusing situation in which to place him. Because he has become extra fluffy in the procedure of creating the cartoon, that has potential.

I drew another version of him with his massive tail brought down and wrapped across his body.

This little drawing has great potential.

I decided he resembled a bush so I put him in the context of a ‘field’ of bushes.

I then coloured the image and added a person looking for him in the field but not seeing him.

I found this exercise really useful. I feel I arrived successfully at a cartoon image of my dog which I could use anytime and would probably not have drawn one as well without going through the exercise.

I introduced a human character to bring some humour to the finished content and was able to incorporate the dog into a very simple but amusing situation.