Today we’re taking a look at this graphite drawing by artist Kerstin Schröder. She is working towards improving her realism. Kerstin’s reference photo for this graphite was from Tambako Photography.  You can check out more of Kerstin’s work at and

The thing that stood out most to me on this piece was the accuracy of the drawing. As usual I imported the drawing into photoshop and lined up the reference photo with the drawing then outlined the reference photo so that we could easily see how accurate she is. This is almost exact! That is a very important step in making a realistic drawing. If you’re drawing isn’t just right, when you start shading, it’s not going to improve.

Graphite critique

Taking a look at things we can adjust to improve on this drawing even more, first, the contrast. Some of the whites are light enough, but for the most part, the fur around the forehead and neck aren’t light enough. If you pull out more light colored hairs it will give you a lot more texture and depth in the fur. The main thing that stands out to me here is that the fur feels a bit flat. Your drawing is extremely accurate, but if the highlights and dark areas are off, like on the side of the face (right side of piece), it creates an illusion that it is drawn wrong even when it’s not.


The next thing that we can adjust is on the fur texture itself. Especially on the chest and neck. You’ve drawn all of the fur marks angled straight down. Looking at your reference photo, you can see that the fur comes straight at you, so when you draw that in, those marks are REALLY short to create that look. Again hyping up the contrast of the light areas will help with this a lot 😀
This is a great piece that you should be seriously proud of. I can’t wait to see what your work looks like in another couple of years given how great you are right now!