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2019 December Art Dare


Do gesture drawings in any art media,  of any animal either 1) from life or 2) from watching an animal video!
Watch out cat drawing tutorial for tips on drawing moving animals

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Prize Winner

Helen McCusker
Drawings from the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
marker, graphite, crayon


“I am an artist (mostly figurative and paper engineering/sculpture) and I also work as an adult drawing instructor at local Art centres. I like to get out and draw from life as much as possible.

I’ve been going to the Royal Agricultural Fair for several years – it’s a great place to draw all kinds of farm animals. It’s important to me to really look and try to capture the essence/personality of what I’m drawing. It’s a challenge to get something down when the animals are always moving.

It’s also a challenge to block out what’s going on around you (it’s a BUSY place) and focus on the drawing. I’ve learned to keep my media for these outings simple and portable.

I have a folding seat for comfort, a good quality sketchbook, and big pockets for my pencils. I sat quite close to the goats for these drawings – they were very curious and liked to chew my knees.”

Mixed Media Drawing, Ross Hines

Honorable Mention

Ross Hines
pen & watercolor
9″ x 12″


“I chose to use magpies as they are somewhat iconic to me when I travel in the western United States. They bring back memories of Colorado vacations and I enjoy seeing them when I return. Their intelligence and attitude make them fun to watch and their colors make them fun to photograph and work with artistically.

I love gesture drawing as it’s one of the rare times I allow myself to be ‘free’ with my mark-making. Micron pens and watercolor are a good combination and allowed me to spice up an other wise standard gesture sketching session. I used the pens to preserve my initial finding marks and skipped graphite all together.

Once I’d drawn several birds from video (we don’t have any magpies in Texas!) I tried to match their colors the best I could with a limited watercolor set from my classroom as well as adding a background.”

Joan Savitt
My Cat Jack Bauer
pencil on paper
8.5″ x 5.5″


“I love to draw my cat, and am trying to really capture him. He is featured in my 2019 holiday cards, because he is very handsome and inspiring – in a humorous way.”

Gesture Drawing, Joan Savitt
Acrylic Painting with Colored Pencil, Robert Diez

Robert Diez
acrylic & colored pencil
9″ x 12″

“I began by examining my cat’s various poses throughout the day. He is quite stationary, so in that regard I was pretty fortunate. I narrowed down three main positions he shifted between and painted my favorite.

The background is mystical colors to express the calming nature his relaxation emits, with broad brush strokes. I used a frayed brush to display the tasseled fur.”

Angela Lawson
December Art Dare: Animal Gestures
11.69″ x 16.53″


“I had never attempted to draw from life before and was I was curious as to whether there really is a difference between drawing from life and drawing from a picture reference.

I decided to draw my old dog Blacky as he doesn’t move around too much and decided that I would make this an organic process and let Blacky do what he does and just draw the pose and not to look at my work until I was finished.

Soon he was too tired, so I changed model’s to my mother’s dog Cookie who is full of energy. I had to draw really fast to keep up with him and it was so much fun with him bounding around and such a contrast from my usual process.

On completion of the session I reviewed my work and although there were some questionable sketches, some looked more voluminous, less stiff and seemed to capture the essence of the models. It is definitely a process I will incorporate going forward.”

Gesture Drawing, Angela Lawson
Gesture Drawing, Angela Lawson

Hannah Kelly
The Sloths
pencil , green Chinese ink stick , walnut drawing ink
8.2″ x 5.7″


“After researching different animals for inspiration for the Art Dare I settled upon studying sloths. Which I looked at on YouTube in different documentaries and videos in their natural environment.

I created the studies using a Chinese ink stick in green and walnut drawing ink as I had never used the materials before so I wanted to be able to experiment loosely with the , I also used these materials as they created a simplistic colour scheme that drew attention to the shapes and lines used in the piece.”

Gesture Drawing, Hannah Kelly

Haley Gibbs
Gesture Drawings of My Cat Sophia!
colored pencil
9″ x 12″


“This was a part of the December Art Dare for cat gestures.”

Gesture Drawing, Haley Gibbs
Gesture Drawing, Haley Gibbs
Gesture Drawing, Haley Gibbs

Mónica Gómez
A Study in Green
mixed media with watercolor
8.27″ x 11.69″


“I’ve watched the Art Prof YouTube live streams for a while now, and they’ve really sparked my interest into getting back into art. These art dares always seemed like a really fun way to start drawing/painting seriously again. And the format is not as stressful for me as other online contests, so I gave it a try. I’m glad I did.”

Cat Gesture Drawings, Mónica Gómez

Teo Ica
Figure Drawings of Resident Cats at the My Local Cat Cafe
watercolour pencils, white pen, ballpoint pen
8.27″ × 11.69″


“I am a big animal lover, so your December Art dare to create animal figure drawings from life was something I absolutely wanted to try, especially after watching Prof Lieu’s fun YouTube tutorial.

“I already am a regular visitor at my local cat cafe (unfortunately, my busy professional life as a development engineer does not allow me enough time to have pets), so I brought the necessary materials with me during a visit and gave it a try.

I was beyond happy with how well it worked, and Prof. Lieu’s pieces of advice, especially not to focus too much on the eye and not to sharpen the pencils, helped me a lot in sketching cats in motion, (I think Stan was contorting while cleaning himself just to spite me!) resting cats and sleeping cats at various detail levels.

For me, it was a first sketching in ballpoint pen, as I had some fear of a non-erasable medium, and I was surprised how good these pieces turned out,too. Most importantly, I had a great time while completing this art dare, interacting pleasantly with the cats, the guests and the staff there. I am thoroughly motivated to draw more animals, to step away from my very detailed and rather precise style more often, and to continue to challenge myself! Many thanks to the Art Prof Team for this great opportunity and experience!”

Marina Marinopoulos
Animal Gesture Drawings
pen & pencil

Marina’s website

“I’ve always done quick sketches of animals around me. I still have a pencil sketch of our Labrador, Brett, which I must have done when I was about 14.

It’s fun, good practice, and, although it’s difficult to be accurate because animals (even sleeping dogs, although a little easier) tend to move around. However, I find this method captures the character of the animal, which helps if I later want to do a portrait using photos.”

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