Last week I heard about a sweet dog that passed away. Or rather than passed away, she was…deliberately killed. 🙁 She was bred to be a hunting dog, but when she was a bit too rambunctious and disturbed her mama’s hunting day, Cricket was taken to a gravel pit and shot. My heart just breaks typing this.


If any dog deserves a memorial portrait, it’s Cricket. The family’s kids will remember her, and hopefully the mama will live with regret for what she did and bragged about. But please, if your dog isn’t living up to what you expect, please just take it to a shelter. It may not be adopted from there, either, since we don’t have enough people willing to adopt dogs — but at least give the doggo a chance.

Enough about that. Let’s get to some of the cutest parts of Cricket – her fur!

Then we’ll talk about my shelter FUNDRAISER!


Tutorial: How to draw black fur in colored pencil | Remembering Cricket

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Underpainting with color

When creating black fur, or really anything black, I like to mix in some color – so it won’t look like just a blob of value but will have some “life” in the black.

I added a light grey, blue, and purple in the highlights of a smooth black fur area – then added the blacks. Mixing with blending solution helps to break down the pigment and get it to move with a blending stump.

 Even if you don’t draw animals – you can use this technique on anything that you color!

Dramatic background

I had one heck of a time getting her body to look right in the layout I had begun – so I opted to just get rid of it and make it black. Which turned out to be a good test with this new-to-me Strathmore Colored Pencil paper. It didn’t do an amazing job, but it wasn’t awful either. Definitely using blending solutions on this paper is the way to go.

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter, Creativity In Your Inbox

* indicates required

Fundraiser for shelter

I’ll be raising money for a shelter near the place where Cricket once lived – in hopes of saving other doggos who need help now! You can purchase Cricket swag and all the money I get from those will be donated. I’ll also be donating a % from pet commissions through the end of May. So if you’re interested in the swag:

  1. On my site 
  2. On FineArtamerica 

If you’d like a commission, drop me an email – we can discuss medium, size, etc, and I’ll quote you a price!


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art


  1. Karen L.

    I love your tips for using color under the black; it looks so good! Thanks for the info, Sandy!

  2. June from Minnesota

    The details of this drawing are amazing. I would have never thought of using blue and purple as the under colors.
    Such a beautiful doggie! She looks like a sweet soul. I gasped when I heard of her fate.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.