My portraits are created using Graphite pencils on a 140 lb watercolor paper. I find it yields great complexity and nuance.

Even as a little kid, I loved drawing. Then, just a few years ago, I became fascinated with pencil and paper, and trying to capture that certain soothing and healing x- factor quality that dogs have.

Around 2012, I became immersed in drawing. Amazingly, people seemed to respond positively to my drawings. In 2015, doing the Washington Square Park Dog Run Calendar kind of established my arrival. In 2016, the Shelter 100 project, a great dog rescue/charity project, chose one of my drawings. They donate to 100 different dog shelters through the sale of 100 different artist-designed T-shirts. They used my drawing of Oliver, a tri-pawd German Shepherd Dog.

My first dog was a Basenji named Benji. I was eight years old. Then Champ, a beautiful, mixed breed rescue, and Ginger, a Golden Retriever who was with me for eight years. Evelyn, a German Shepherd, helped me weather a challenging divorce. After moving and later re-marrying, my new wife Dana had a dog named Becky. Becky soon passed, and we got our first puppy together, Lil’ Bit, another Shepherd. Around 2012, Evelyn passed, which seemed to intensify my passion for drawing. In fact, one of the first drawings I ever made was of Evelyn.

We decided to get another dog to play with Lil Bit. In 2013, Dana and I moved to a new house with a huge yard. After several visits to K9 Services German Shepherd Dog rescue in Green Cove Springs, we noticed an older black German Shepherd named Dudley. We met him and fell in love. We later adopted Frodo, another

More from Scott.

We now have five cute delicious egg-laying hens and the four dogs. We know some folks are able to have their dogs and chickens out together without a tragedy, but our dogs seem a bit too interested in our feathered friends. To keep the peace,

we built a very secure and spacious coop. We let the chickens out Scott Ashcraft & Loretta Swit.

for an hour or two so they can have some shepherd- free-range time each day. We often talk about letting them all outside together, but we just haven’t felt like that’s a risk we're willing to take at this point. I met Loretta Swit at

Global Pet Expo in Orlando this year and bought a copy of her

book, SwitHeart. The book features her

watercolors and sales of the book help support animal welfare programs. She signed it to me, Dana and all the dogs. I love going to Global. It gives me a

chance to help out friends, like Tom Grant who owns Molly and Friends Cat Furniture Company here in Gainesville.

Reach Scott by email: Also on Instagram with the user- name doggyloveandgraphite.


Oliver, a tri-pawd

by Scott Ashcraft.

Shepherd in rough shape rescued just days from being put down. Now Lil Bit, Dudley, and Frodo made three. We fostered Luna (another Shepherd) for a couple of weeks and ended up adopting her too. So there you have it. We have four German Shepherds and, oh my goodness, what an amazing adventure. We love them so much.

To have a space dedicated to my love of drawing, and dogs - what a glorious thing. I feel deeply fortunate, and grateful. A huge window floods the space with warmth and brightness. And everywhere I look, there’s some dog-related tchotchke that just makes me feel good.

On my desk right now is a great picture of my daughter and me after a day of zip lining in the hot Florida sun. An amazing drawing that my son did (he is way more talented than I—musically too). A copy of Loretta Swit’s “SwitHeart.” Having met her

recently, I found her to be kind and gracious. She’s a great advocate for animals and has devoted much of her life to it. Her Sweetheart Animal Alliance supports Ayla’s Acres no kill shelter in St. Augustine.

Right now I’m working on a portrait of Ragner, a Jack Russell Terrier. I work with several rescue organizations including Lovey Loaves cart dog rescue in Orlando and One Tail at a Time in Chicago, donating portraits to raise money.

I feel immensely fortunate to live the life I’m living now. My days are filled with love, music, and the pursuit of this passion to convey the special quality that dogs have. And that other people would actually pay me to lovingly “put their pooch to pencil” just blows my mind.

Today, I’m inspired to see people who are out there fighting to make things better in

artists making statements with their work to illuminate a cause, or other artists creating something that moves us.

some way. Whether it’s shelter and rescue managers, U

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