Color Portrait of Black Lab “Jake”

And yet another lab! Because this was a black dog and black dogs are more time consuming to draw, with the okay from my client I was able to try something new here: draw the highlights of the black dog in colored pencil on black paper. The white hairs of this older dog and back lighting on the photo could not have made it.more perfect. It definitely saved time and the end result was satisfying. Here is the reference photo with the completed drawing on bottom.

If you would like me to draw a pet portrait for you just email 

Portrait of Black Lab “Butch”

8×10 pencil drawing of black lab mix commissioned by a friend I met in a moms hiking group. This was for her husband’s birthday (he loved it!). Black dogs are a lot more work than the lighter dogs I had been doing lately but I just love the end result how much it pops off the page. I love drawing labs because I have one myself so I am most familiar with them and I have drawn quite a few. My next drawong to be done is actually another lab so keep an eye out for him later.

My drawing next to reference photo below provided by owner. 

If you would like to commission me to draw a pet portrait for you just email Thanks!

Portrait of Yellow Lab “Augie”

8×10 pencil drawing of yellow lab dog who passed away last year. Commissioned for a client in Virginia. I have a new photo editing app that allowed me to make it look like my scan of the drawing was in a frame! I always include matting with my actual drawings though.

Below is the reference photo I received.

If you would like to commission me to draw a pet portrait for you just email 


Pencil drawing of Dash (Dog Portrait)

Doing custom drawings of pets it is rare that I get a repeat customer. Most people only have 1 or 2 pets… Yet I was asked by a previous customer (and acquaintance) for another drawing. I had drawn her dog Maverick and now she wanted to get one as a birthday gift for a friend. I was pleased to work with her again on this secret project. I was sent 3 photos to chose from and this one was a great outdoor shot of the dog Dash on a fishing boat. I got a lot of positive feedback via email during the process…

“I wish I had more pets for you to sketch—I love watching the progression. It’s like Christmas every time I open an email from you…This is truly amazing! It’s looking more and more like Dash every time. Love it!…  that looks exactly like him! It’s so real! I’m super excited and can’t wait to see it in person. Thanks again!!! …I look forward to being a returning customer. :-)…I think it looks fantastic!…My friend is going to love it! Thank you so much for working so hard and getting it completed before their birthday… Wonderful job as always!”
-Jenn R., Oklahoma




Calico kitten Soozie

My dad in Virginia makes a beautifully designed newsletter with ads that go out to certain neighborhoods in my hometown. When he has an extra ad space he will put my pet portrait ad in it. He has been doing this on and off for a while but this was actually the first commission I got from his newsletter and it just so happened to be when I myself redesigned my business card which my dad cropped to fit the space. Before, it was his ad he designed for me and he is the graphic designer not me so I feel very proud of myself!

Anyway this is a kitten drawing of Soozie named after the black eyed Susan flower. Soozie is now 17 years old! It was a joy to work on this portrait. It always helps to have cooperative, grateful clients.

“Rita, It arrived!  I love it…I am mailing your business card to several of my friends. I am, indeed, a satisfied customer. Thanks.” 

-Susan T., Virginia




Colored pencil drawing of calico cat Whiskers


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I decided to get some more practice drawing in color since it has been a while…about 2.5 years! I offered to do this portrait for our neighbor to pay her back for babysitting and pet sitting for us. She was pleased to accept the free drawing!

I used toned paper from a sketchbook and prismacolor pencils. I wanted to keep it small since colored pencil can be time consuming and uses up pencils very quickly. The drawing is 5″x7″ and it actually only took about 4 hours. The small scale may have actually been a challenge because the pencils need to be sharpened a lot. Even when sharp the lines still look a little thick to me as you can see in the whiskers. I matted and framed it and our neighbors love it! Here is the progress and final scan.