Today’s critique submission comes from a young artist (I believe he was 14 at the time of this submission), Mason Hall. You can check out his facebook page at He has drawn his husky using prismacolor, charcoal, and prismacolor marker, with the goals of detail and realism.


I love the shading you did in the eyes, you did a great job of getting them darker near the top and fading to light where the light escapes. The tongue also looks amazing!!

Looking at a few things we can adjust on this piece, first, while you didn’t submit your reference photo, I can say that the initial drawing was not as accurate as it could be. Before you ever start shading, make sure that that drawing is exact. There are a couple of things you can do to check your work.

First is to actually trace your reference photo. Even if you want to freehand the finished drawing, try tracing it a few times to start forcing your eyes to notice details and proportions that you might otherwise miss.

Another option is to measure. Chances are pretty high that there will be several areas on your reference photo that will be the same length as other areas on the same photo. So if you know that the distance between here and here should be the same as here and here, make sure that those distances are the same on your drawing.

My next tip is to try drawing upside down. This forces your brain to see shapes accurately instead of “I’m drawing an ear and this is how I think ears should look”. By drawing upside down, you will be more likely to just see shapes, which should help your work to be more accurate.

Next for the tools you’ve used, Prismacolor, being wax based, does not typically play well with charcoal. Mixing the two can be done, but it actually makes your job as an artist far more difficult than it needs to be. I have a feeling that you would have far more shading and detail had you just stuck with the charcoal for this piece. For areas you want white, just leave the white of the paper showing through and use the charcoal to shade around it.

The great thing about this piece is that I can see you definitely have drawing skills and have the potential to go from being good to being jaw dropping amazing! I don’t doubt that for a second. Just keep practicing!