Book Review: Dogs Rough & Smooth 

Dogs Rough & Smooth  by Lucy Dawson, foreword by Susan Orlean

Harper Design, 2016

This is a facsimile edition of celebrated British illustrator Lucy Dawson’s 1937 classic collection of highly detailed and loveable drawings of dogs, complete with a cloth spine and ribbon marker.

Lucy Dawson was a preeminent British illustrator in the 1930s and 1940s revered for her paintings and etchings of dogs, from sporting and non-sporting breeds to hounds and herders.

Dogs Rough and Smooth is printed on an uncoated stock that simulates the look and feel of a sketchbook.  It is filled with her beautiful, endearing drawings of a range of breeds. The illustrations are accompanied by notes in Dawson’s own handwriting, as well as a brief anecdote about the personalities of her canine models and the experience of drawing each.  These little stories are short enough to be an enhancement rather than a burden to your enjoyment of the artwork.

This is a high-quality reproduction of this classic work filled with full-color and black-and-white complete drawings and sketches.  The style reminds me of my childhood experience with the Walter Foster “how to draw” books.  I never achieved results in anything like these, but my attempts to do so have made me appreciate this work so much more.

It’s a great little “coffee table book” for lovers of art and dogs.

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