I was having so much fun illustrating my dog, Maggie, that I got a little carried away with the shadows and textures. I meant to keep it simple and more cartoony, but it ended up pretty realistic. Still, I think it's fairly successful except she looks a bit like she's floating over the background (which is kind of like real life when she tears around the house so fast, her feet don't seem to touch the floor). I tried adding shadows but they just kept looking like she'd had a little accident (haha), so shadowless she is!
Here's the original photo I used for reference.
I started with a quick pencil sketch in my sketchbook to make sure I had the proportions right. Because she's a bit foreshortened in the photo, if the proportions or balance were off, she'd look wrong or like she was about to tip over.
Next I did a digital sketch in Photoshop using my Cintiq, partially tracing over my scanned-in pencil sketch and partially freehanding it, using my photo as reference.
And here she is, Maggie the Beagle, chewer of shoes, eater of quarter round trim and pencils, protector from the mail and UPS trucks!