Doggone it!  It has been nothing but dogs, dogs, dogs, of late around my studio.  Even this past Friday, August 26, was National Dog Day.  Founded by animal advocate Colleen Paige, it is meant to encourage rescue adoptions and acknowledge the services canines provide.  She picked that date because it was the day her family adopted her first dog when she was 10 years old.

While it is no longer officially the dog days of summer, it feels like it.  As I type this the heat index for the area is over 100 F with 57% humidity.  Step outside and your glasses fog up.  The dog days refers to the sultry part of the Northern hemisphere Summer from July 3 through August 11. The name alludes to the time when Sirius, the dog star, rises at the same time as the sun.  Definitions of the period state that it is often marked by lethargy or inactivity, but I wouldn't know about that.

I have been doggedly pursuing the look of a canine character for an upcoming children's book.  I have been drawing nothing but dogs, dogs, and more dogs. I am dog-tired.  Can you really tire of dogs?  Since someone recently coughed up something onto the carpeting, perhaps. 

It has been raining cats and dogs around here too.  I never liked the
explanation of animals sliding off a thatched roof in a rainstorm for the origin of the saying. Instead, the Library of Congress offers this explanation: "Odin, the Norse god of storms, was often pictured with dogs and wolves, which were symbols of wind. Witches, who supposedly rode their brooms during storms, were often pictured with black cats, which became signs of heavy rain for sailors.  Therefore, “raining cats and dogs” may refer to a storm with wind (dogs) and heavy rain (cats)."  Let's stick with that.

I am often asked if I use a computer to draw.  The answer is yes and no.  I use a combination but I am doing all the drawing. The illustration above may help show the different styles.  Most of my illustrations are the combination shown in the middle.

It can be a dog-eat-dog world in freelancing and sometimes I feel like I am dog paddling the distance.  Then, after a late night work session, I turn my chair around to find a pile of treats and stuffed toys left for me by a four-legged fairy.  Shakespeare used the word dog-hearted to mean cruel.   He got that so wrong.