So I was challenged by a former Guest Doodlewasher, Sarah Smalldon in the UK yesterday. After viewing the ever fabulous Jean Pierre Caniche, she liked my new poodlewash skills and challenged me to doodlewash her cockapoo, Rufus. I, in turn, challenged her to draw our basenji, Phineas. Apparently it’s also National Dog Day today so I guess it was the perfect challenge.

I think I should have quit while I was ahead because drawing fluff is super hard! I’m not a big fan of soft lines as many of you know. I had no idea how to draw Rufus and I’m not sure I did him justice with this sketch. First I couldn’t change him to pink as I’d done before so I stuck with just Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine Blue. I ended with some wisps of white gouache because he looked like some bizarre body builder with skin condition before adding a little more hair on top. Actually, I think he still might look a bit like that, but trust me, this is much better!

I was given the cutest ball of fur I’ve ever seen in the form or Rufus and I couldn’t even see any lines. Rufus was like a begging ball of cotton candy, and so damn cute it was actually distracting to sketch. So I started with just the eyes and the nose, figuring somehow the rest would manage to emerge. Though I struggled with the body, I think the face is still there at least.

Phineas by Sarah SmalldonMeanwhile over in the Plymouth, Devon, UK, Sarah had whipped out this awesome sketch of our dog before I even started, so the bar was certainly raised. I’m so impressed by her sketching. The limited lines, and slight abstractions. Her doodlewash is awesome! And I love it! Though I’m going to declare her the winner of this particular challenge,  I like to think it was simply because she was given a short-haired dog to sketch and could actually see his feet.

At any rate, it was fun to swap dogs across the pond in honor of National Dog Day and try sketching something new. Sketching other people’s dogs is like sketching other people’s baby’s though, so even if you like your sketch, odds are good it might still upset the recipient. Tread with care.

I hope Sarah enjoys my little cockapoo concoction and be sure to check out her Instagram to see the real Rufus in all his actual cuteness. We agreed this little challenge was tough, so next we’ll have to go back to architecture and sketch each other’s houses instead. Hopefully she lives in a castle. I can sketch those.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

36 replies on “The Cockapoo Challenge

  1. Both sketches are lovely, a successful challenge all around. Rufus looks soft and cuddly, (I want to give him a biscuit) and Phineas looks ready for action with those perky ears and alert eyes, (I want to give him a biscuit too).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Laura!! It was sort of stressful drawing someone else’s baby! Lol Luckily it was hit with Sarah’s household as hers was a hit with mine. Not only did Phineas love staring at his portrait, this morning he kept climbing up on a chair to look at Rufus. Probably just comparing to ensure his portrait was indeed better. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the way you solved the problem of the fur…and yes, wonderful face on Rufus. A fun bonus of the challenge is to see the different ways both of you captured dogginess. Happy Dog Day!…in the dog days of summer, I guess that’s why this date was chosen…(?) (K.)

    Liked by 1 person

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