Obsessed With: Valerie Davide’s Vibrant, Playful Dog Portraits

The artist draws dogs with as few lines as possible, but we still get the picture.

Liz Acosta  |  Feb 15th 2013


Drawing can be like poetry, using the fewest lines possible to express larger ideas. It’s a practice in elegant restraint. Scarce lines leave room for the imagination to fill in the colors, textures, and shapes.

Artist Valerie Davide does all her life drawings in real time, embracing our human imperfections with a swift and skillful sweep of her tools. Her life drawings are vibrant, as if they might suddenly dance off the pages. While we love Davide’s renderings of people (yours truly spent two years studying life drawing), it’s her drawings of dogs that we’d like to talk about here.

Crafted with quick energy, Davide’s sparse, erratic lines speak to a dog’s vibrant inner and outer life, capturing a sense of movement and playfulness. The artist also embraces the imperfection and humor of dogs.

Her drawing of a dog lifting his leg makes a comment on a dog’s lack of inhibition — and also questions the elevation of art. Note how Davide places her signature below the dog’s readied leg. 

We also love the floppiness of her reclining dogs. We can almost hear them sighing with contentment.

Images via Davidson Fine Art

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