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Pen and Ink Portrait of an Indian Tribal Woman from the Gadaba Tribe of Odisha

I completed this pen and ink portrait of a woman from the Gadaba tribe of India. The most important piece of their jewelry is the twin-neckrings they were all their lives. The neck-rings that together weigh about 1.5 kgs are called Khagla that all grownup women of the community wear. The Khagla is put around their necks by a blacksmith and it’s removed by a blacksmith after death.

Additionally, they also wear huge hoops made of thin gold/brass wires twisted together. These hoops go through the cartilage of the ear. Smaller earrings are worn along the edge of the ear and also in the lobe.

Indian Tribal Portraits in Pen and Ink - Gadaba Woman

Gadaba Woman – Tribal Portraits in Pen and Ink – done on Acid Free Strathmore sheet of 9″x12″

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Portrait of an Indian Tribal (Dhaneta Jat) Woman.

Dear Visitors,

How’ve you been? The Covid Lockdown has been hard on all of us in different measures. However, we must do the best we can with what we have – and I had these drawing pens threatening to go dry on me.

So I present to you this portrait of an Indian woman. She belongs to the Dhaneta Jat tribe from the Gujarat region of India. When the women of the tribe get married, they start wearing a heavy gold nose-ring in their left nostrils. This nose-ring is so heavy that it must be supported with black threads that’s tied to their hair. This ring identifies them as married women of the Dhaneta Jat tribe.  The choker is of silver, and this particular design with a cube in the middle, too is specific to this tribe.

Indian Tribal Woman's portrait - with nose ring - Dhaneta Jat Tribe

Title: Simmering, Size: 9″x12″, Pen and Ink on Strathmore Acid Free.

That’s all for now. If you like my work, feel free to connect with me on my email id or leave a comment here. It will keep me inspired 🙂


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COVID-19 and the Claws of Hunger – The Migrant.

Migrant Workers Crisis Covid 19 Coronavirus Lockdown in India

Migrant Workers Crisis Covid 19 Coronavirus Lockdown in India

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The Highborn Lady – A Pen and Ink Caricature-drawing.

Read the Story, “The Highborn Lady and the Golden-haired Girl” here.

A proud, high-born woman with a streak of evil - a pen and ink drawing.


Off to fetch some animal-drawings 🙂

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Pen and Ink Portraits of a Different Kind…

… and of a different era 🙂

Here are two illustrations that I did quite long ago (in 2003) and they belong to a genre called fantasy art. The one I loved best was that of a woman warrior. I had got it framed too, but some years ago, our office was robbed and the artwork too got stolen. As none of other paintings or drawings were stolen, I like to think that the thief stole it because he liked the drawing, and that he would be taking good care of it.

These drawings were also some of the first pen and ink drawings that I did, and so when they sprung up during a spring-cleaning exercise, I decided to put them on the wall behind my workstation.

Pen and ink fantasy-art - knight fighting evil and woman prisoner - artist shafali

Actual sizes: Approximately 1 ft by 1 ft.

I also received the photograph of one of the pup-portraits that I did, after the owners got it framed. In my next post I’ll share it with you 🙂


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Pet Portrait Commission: A Handsome Lhasa Apso.

Another portrait that I did for a Christmas gift was this handsome Lhasa Apso with a devil-may-care attitude. It was a challenge to get those eyes right, because they were often hidden behind his fur, but in the end I did get them right, and got an approval from Ike’s human dad, “Yep, that’s Ike!” he said.

Ike’s portrait was a gift from a daughter to her parents. Speaking of love and of a connection of hearts, pet-portraits do bind families together – because pets are loved by everyone in the family equally, and they love everyone in the family equally.

Pet Portrait - Lhasa Apso Ike from Atlanta Georgia.

I really really wanted to draw the Ike that his human family sees. If you notice, you’ll see that the reference image has a fringe of hair that covers his left-eye. I thought and thought and in my heart I knew that when the family would see Ike, they’d ignore the fringe and see both his eyes. I looked at his other pictures, and decided that I’ll pat the fringe down in the portrait.  When I heard from the client on the scan, I was glad I did 🙂

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Pet Portrait Commission: A Cute Border Terrier from Fairfax, VA.

While I am not totally healed, I am trying to return to my normal routine 🙂 For the first time in my life (I think,) I’ve not sketched nor drawn or painted for one straight month. While I’ve tried to blog, most of my blogging attempts have been feeble at best. As I’ve said in one of my earlier posts, an artist blogger has to do two different things to get a post ready – drawing and writing…and while writing is something that you can do lying on the bed, drawing requires that you are vertically-abled.

Now that I can keep myself in a chair for half-hour stretches, I opened Photoshop to bring you the portrait of Dodger, a cute Border Terrier from Fairfax, VA. His Mom commissioned me to do his portrait as a Christmas gift for her family more than a month ago.

I loved it but what’s more important is the Dodger’s mom loved it too. Thank you 🙂

Pet Portrait of Cute Border Terrier Dog of Virginia by shafali

There’s nothing more heartwarming that the loving and trusting look in the eyes of your dog…and for some of us…in the eyes of any dog 🙂 As an artist, I try to look into those eyes and capture their unconditional love for their families.

I am beginning to accept new commissions of Pen and Ink portraits starting Jan 15th, 2015. If you’d like me to create a portrait of your furry friend, drop me a line. My email id is at the bottom of the image above. You can also use this contact form here.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!


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Welcoming the New Year with some Crazy Pen and Ink Portraits.

The year was tough…and it ended on a tough note. Actually, I am rather relieved to see the back of this year and I am looking forward with hope and anticipation toward the New Year.

Here are a few pen and ink caricature-portraits that just spilled out of my pen, uncalled, unbidden. I’ll shortly share the pet-portraits that I did recently, but in this post, let me present my recent scribblings.

Caricature Portrait of a man laughing.

Brimming full of positivity – harmless and happy – at peace with himself!


Sinner, a glimpse of hell, angry man portrait

A Sinner’s insides burn continuously, until the devil strips him of the last shred of his humanity.


Portrait caricature of a goon with a heart, a smiling man, bearded man

Unkempt and Shabby, but with a heart of gold and a smile that remains unmarked. There’s hope for him…still!

Click on the images to read about the genesis/posts about these caricatures 🙂

I wish all my visitors a very



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Christmas Gifts of Pet Portraits – A furry pawsome reason for not blogging enough.

You can tell when an artist blogger is busy. It’s when she isn’t making any new posts. Unlike writer bloggers who don’t have to get out of their writing-mindset for making a blog post, we artists need to break the flow of our artistic endeavors to step into our awkward writing shoes, before we make a post, but then if we don’t blog, we can’t tell you what we’ve been up to – it’s a catch-22 situation.

To cut a long yarn short, I’ve been busy creating some furry pawsome pet portraits for my dog-loving clients in Georgia, Virginia, and soon now, California. I’ve also been working on a few illustrations (magazine covers/inner-illustrations) and a caricature-logo/mascot header for an entrepreneur, but right now…it’s Christmas time and pet-portraits have most of my attention.

If you want to gift a portrait or a pet to a loved-one, drop me a line using this contact form, or just email me (my email id is available on all the portrait-images.) I also do people-portraits, cat portraits, and portraits of other animals, so if you’d like to explore possibilities, I’ll be happy to help you decide.

Now I must return to sketching, drawing, and painting…so that I can mail you the smiles in time 🙂 I promise to be back with a lot of interesting stuff soon.


Terrier-ized for Life!

A simple Terrier drawing that just happened. Life has been pretty rough lately and when what started as a simple doodle changed into this drawing, even I was surprised.

Lesson Learned: Life is full of little surprises. Every little thing you do, results in something. Inaction, however, results in nothing.

This drawing began with that little terrier who’s sitting in the middle wondering if that ball is really his. Then came the cutie who wants that specific ball. Next came the guy who’s standing with his paws on the ball-seeking terrier’s back. This guy was followed by the dozer, who in turn was followed by the pup who’s interested in the squirrel. Next came the singing gal, and finally the busy digger who’s being snickered at by his quest!

Dogs, Pups, Terriers, Pen and Ink Drawing - Cartoon art for artifacts, T-shirts, mugs, etc.

“Terrier-ized” Size: 7 inches x 7 inches

If you’ve not seen my terrier portraits yet, the following links will take you there.

1. A Terrific Wire Fox Terrier
2. A Cute Cairn Terrier

If you are Terrier-ized too, write to me at my email id (please check the image above.) If you have a JRT (Jack Russell Terrier) or a Pit Bull Terrier… or any other dog or cat for that matter, I’d love to draw them. My pet-portrait fees are extremely reasonable for the obvious reason:  I love drawing the cuties…that’s why 🙂

More later…


Presenting the Portrait of Her Furry Majesty, Ms. Khyra of Pennsylvania!

Ladies and Gentlemen of both furry and non-furry kinds,

I take immense pleasure in introducing you to one of the most beautiful Siberian Huskies in the world. Please meet Ms. Khyra a.k.a. Ms. Fluffy Tail, who rules the heart of Ms. Wise. You can meet her at Khyra’s Khorner (http://khyraskhorner.blogspot.com)

I always, always, always wanted to do a Pen and Ink Portrait of a Siberian Husky…and if you know Sibes, you know that most Sibes look…well…rather formidable – and it goes without saying that all of them, without exception, look majestic too. Khyra, looks majestic and sweet. I know that I’d love to roll on the grass with her, that if I ever met Khyra in person, I’d  want to lie down with my head between her paws and look up at her face  – I’d love to be that close to her. I don’t know why but I can just look into those big beautiful eyes, and feel the connection – even though I’ve never met her – just seen her pictures.

Perhaps when you look at her picture and her portraits, and if you love dogs as much as I do, you’ll know why I feel that way.

Pet Portrait of Khyra, the Siberian Husky who is her mom's darling.

Isn’t she the prettiest Sibe you’ve every laid eyes on?

Here’s the portrait along with the picture that I used to draw her.

Khyra's Portrait - Khyra is a lovely Sibe who lives in Pennsylvania :)


And a closer up view. I must tell you (and I repeat what another Pen and Ink Artist will tell you,) Pen and Ink art loses some of its beauty when it’s presented online. The original images when scanned and printed at a high-resolution, preserve those millions of micro-lines that are lost when we have to scale the images down to present them online. And yet, when it comes to dogs – nothing can really reduce their charm.

Siberian Husky Art - Featured: Miss Khyra, the Sweetest Sibe in the world!

If you arrive on this blog, particularly on this post and you like Ms. Khyra’s portrait here, please leave a remark. It will motivate me to post more of my creations online.

And yes, do visit Khyra’s blog 🙂

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Father’s eyes fastened to the summer-skies…cross-posting from my other blog.

The most terrible and unimaginable fate that can befall a father is that his daughter is raped violently and then killed. The two cases that made me cry silent tears were the Badaun Rape case or the Delhi Rape case – just two among thousands of other such cases.  I’ve talked about the experience of writing and drawing this, on my other blog shafali.wordpress.com. I am posting it here because it’s Pen and Ink art – a mere technicality. Perhaps I am doing it because I want you to read it and cry along – because they say pain reduces when it’s shared, or because your tears, even when shed thousands of miles away, could help a father’s ravaged soul heal…if not in life, then after his own death.

Father's eyes - the picture in his eye that won't fade - badaun and delhi gang rapes, violence against women - must stop.


Those girls hanging from the tree…they are real. They were gang-raped and then hung from a tree, and the father of one of the girls was informed that he could now get their bodies down from the tree and bring them home.

What kind of evil lurks beneath the surface of humanity?


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Artists and Writers who don’t deserve to be seen or read!

Recently, I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that some artists and writers have been criminals of the worst kind. Last year I came to terms with the reality of Enid Blyton’s unfortunate treatment of her daughters and her husband. I sometimes wonder why a person who was smart enough to write such good stories wasn’t able to figure out that she’s not mom-material? If you are so wrapped up in yourself and your art/writing, stop yourself from creating and then ruining lives. And yet, however dark we may paint Enid Blyton’s character, it pales in comparison to what certain other writers and artists did.

One of my Facebook acquaintances happened to mention the dark past of Marion Zimmer Bradley (Mists of Avalon fame) and it made me cry. I don’t know how I and why I ended up reading about Eric Gill (the artist who is credited with the creation of Gill Sans and Perpetua fonts among others.) I almost gagged when I learned about his terrible past. A lot of artists and writers are a little unhinged, but they took their aberrations to the darkest and the deepest crevices that might exist in the floor of hell. These artists and writers, in my opinion, shouldn’t be read and their works should be destroyed totally. This isn’t likely to happen though. Why would a publishing house stop publishing Bradley, a tremendously successful author; and why would the current owners of the installations made by Eric Gill (who also did Pen and Ink Art,) raze their hundreds of thousands of Dollars worth of assets to the ground? They won’t.

Oddly enough, I care. I feel glad that I never read Blyton, or Bradley for that matter. I hope that I haven’t used Perpetua or any other font created by any other incestuous pedophile.

But then, there might be a lot of other criminals lurking behind the masks of perfectly normal, slightly cranky artists. The whole idea scares me. It drills a huge hole in my ship of trust and respect for the creators of art and literature – and I fret that if that hole isn’t filled soon, the ship may sink, leaving a hollow in my heart.

I am grateful to all the artists and writers who continue to hold on to reality – each does it in his own way; they often make sacrifices that are visible only to them – but they do, because they don’t want their short-comings to affect the lives of others.

I read that there’s a school of thought that says, “separate the writer from the writing, the artist from the art.”  I don’t think it’s possible. At least for me, they are inextricably linked – because art is made from the artist’s experiences – and regardless of how it was celebrated before we knew about the artist’s past, we must stop our adulation now.

The usual, brighter stuff coming up soon.


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A Portrait of a Terrific Terrier in Pen & Ink – A commission from the Past.

This is the portrait of Mr. Dewey Dewster. This handsome dog is a bachelor-boy who lives with his mom and his adopted brother who is a Lakeland Terrier. One of these days, I’ll be drawing his mom too. I’ve already received the photographs for reference 🙂

Pet Portraits - Wire Fox Terrier - Dewey Dewester in Pen and Ink - Commissions .

You can read the post that I made about my experience of drawing him, here.

Here’s the portrait image with the reference that I used for drawing it.

Pet Portraits in Pen and Ink using Photos as reference - Dewey Dewester Wire Fox Terrier.

Actual Dimensions: 8 inches by 10 inches.


Here’s the final image of the portrait. It’s of course a scan that has been scaled down to this size 🙂

Wire Fox Terrier Dewey Dewester's portrait - medium pen and ink - pet portrait artist: shafali

And now the final image, at Dewey’s house. Dewey’s Gram sent over the photograph 🙂 Thanks so much, Nancy.

Portrait of Dewey Dewester looks nice on the wall - A portrait of a WFT - done in Pen and Ink.

When Dewey Dewster’s Gram received the portrait, she wrote me an email. With her permission, I am sharing an excerpt from it.

“Just a few minutes ago Glenn signed for Dewey’s portrait. Shafali, it is just beautiful and you are so talented that it never ceases to amaze me. I will cherish it forever and I will look for the perfect matting and frame for it so I can enjoy it on our wall. It looks just like Dewey so there is no mistaking who it actually is.” – Nancy (Dewey’s Gram.)

Thanks Nancy. I enjoyed drawing Dewey’s Portrait and I now look forward to drawing Asta Marie’s 🙂

Visit Dewey Dewester’s blog here.

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A Nice Little Tutorial on Pen and Ink Drawing coming up shortly :)

This week is dedicated to a huge scene that I am creating (literally, and I am using the word to mean what it meant several decades ago. If you didn’t know, “Literally” now means “figuratively. Go Figure!) I’ll share more details on my caricatures blog when I can.

In the meantime, I am here to share a link to this post by Khyra, a lovely Siberian Husky. I did her portrait last week. I’ll share it here in a couple of days.

A visitor wondered how one must begin Pen and Ink Drawings, and I thought that I could add a tutorial or two to the ever-expanding art-tutorial collection on the web. In the coming week, I’ll make the first post in the series that I have planned, “Pen and Ink Art for the Absolute Beginner.”

If you’d like to see more of my work/commissions or learn how to draw Pen and Ink portraits/scenes, click the Follow link on this blog, and connect up 🙂

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A Pen and Ink Portrait from a Photograph.

First, the story. Quickly.

This portrait is of an FB friend of mine and it was inspired by her avatar image (which you see as an inset in the following picture.) I love drawing people too and though this blog has so far not displayed many of my people-portraits, I have done many in the past. Most often the portraits that I do are personal commissions, and unlike my magazine illustrations, they seldom are published. Every once in a while, I receive an email inquiring whether I’d be open to personal commissions. Of course, I am.  An artist is energized by the knowledge that her creative effort would receive the love and affection of the entire family.

I’d like to begin by thanking Mary for giving me the permission to share her photograph with this portrait.  This was a rather small photograph so I had requested her for some additional pictures. Those pictures helped me fill in the details of her features.

Pen and Ink portrait of a beautiful young girl - done in Pen and Ink from a Photograph.


Here’s the portrait. The size of the artwork is approximately 8 inches by 10 inches.

Pen and Ink Portrait of a young woman - done from Photograph.

I enjoyed the process of drawing the portrait immensely.

I am also grateful to Mary for her kind words.

“I love it! You did such wonderful work and I can’t wait to share it with my friends and family! Thank you again and I will enjoy the drawing for years to come!”

Thank you, Mary.

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The Bengal Tiger – Beautiful and Mighty

Portrait of a Bengal Tiger done in pen and ink. Illustrations of pets, horses and other animal-wildlife by portrait artist Shafali - Also Drawings, Sketches of Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups, and people.


“For millions of years, on average, one species became extinct every century…. We are now heaving more than a thousand different species of animals and plants off the planet every year.” – Douglas Adams  Author of “Last Chance to See.”

Portrait of Bengal Tiger

Portrait of Bengal Tiger done in pen and ink - Custom Portraits Commissions of Animals and wildlife by Shafali - Artists Drawings, Illustrations and Sketches of pets, dogs, cats, horses, people etc.

Portrait: Bengal Tiger | Drawing Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches


Bengal Tiger is the name the given to a species of tiger which is characterized by black/brown stripes over yellow or light orange coat. The species is categorized as endangered species by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) and it is found in Bengal region of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The total population of Bengal Tigers is estimated to be around 2500, and that really puts them on the brink of extinction.

Physical Characteristics of the Bengal Tiger

Height:(at shoulders) 35-45 in
Weight: 450 – 550 lb
Length (including tail): 90 – 120 in
Lifespan: 15-25 years
Top Speed: 60 mph

(Males have bigger bodies than female tigers.)

How Bengal Tigers live in the wild

Tigers are loners, quite like the cat. They live their lives alone and meet only during the mating time. Male tigers establish their areas. In these areas, they seldom allow other males. When an opportunity presents itself, they try to mate with the female tigers of their own region. A region is defined by the availability of food, shelter, and other female tigers. Baby tigers (called the cubs)are brought up exclusively by their mothers with absolutely no help from the father. When the cubs are about six months old, they start assisting their mothers in hunting. This is how they learn to fend for themselves. Around the age of two, tigers de-link from their mother and move away to establish their own territories/rear their own young.

The Tiger is a carnivore that finds its food by hunting other animals like deer, wild boar, buffalo, monkeys, hare, and fowl. As the growing human population encroaches upon the forests, tigers are forced to find their food by attacking and killing domestic animals.They hunt by stealth; they approach their prey quietly and their powerful jaws take care of the rest. Once the prey is killed, they drag it to a safer place and then feed on it at leisure.

Poaching of Tigers & Steps taken by Indian Government to Save Them

Bengal tiger has been a constant target of poachers because of huge demand of tiger skin and its bones, especially from China where tiger bones are used as an ingredient in several traditional medicines. Due to the twin reasons of illegal poaching and shrinking habitats, tiger-numbers have dwindled drastically. The Indian Government has started several initiatives to save the bengal tiger from becoming extinct. In early 2000, Indian government set up eight new tiger reserves. In order to increase focus on the Project Tiger, in 2005, the Indian government also set up  the National Tiger Conservation Authority to save the tigers from poachers.

Other International Organizations Active in Tiger Conservation

Save The Tigers Now

Save Tigers Now is a global campaign by World Wildlife Fund and Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s goal is to build political, financial and public support to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, which is the next “Year of the Tiger”.

Save the Tiger Fund (STF) and Panthera Partnership

STF and Panthera have joined hands to save the tigers in wild. According to their site
The Save the Tiger Fund-Panthera partnership unites two of the world’s most influential tiger conservation organizations, combining decades of experience and a track record of success in identifying conservation priorities, utilizing best practices, and implementing proven strategies to address the many challenges facing wild tigers today.”

Tiger Tid-bits

Bengal Tiger vs. Sumatran Tiger

It’s important to note that Bengal Tigers are different from Sumatran Tigers, in that they are double the Sumatran’s size, they aren’t as endangered as the Sumatran tiger (2500 vs. 300 in number,) and they are found mainly on the Indian sub-continent, while the Sumatran tiger is found in Sumatra and Borneo.

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Portrait of the Super-awesome Pup – The Pet Portrait Artist gets the Commission of her Dreams.

My dog had been hounding me to do her portrait. No, she hadn’t approached me directly. That definitely would’ve been beneath her station. She did what pets always do. She sent her dad for the negotiations.

Here’s the result:

Portrait Commission done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali from a photograph - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, illustrations, sketches, art.

You can see the details in the following picture.

Portrait of Oorvi – A Custom Commission

Private Commission from a Photograph by Pet, Animal and Wildlife artis Shafali done in pen and ink. Illustraions and drawings in black and white of pets, cats, dogs, horses, and other animals.

Portrait: Oorvi (private commission) | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

If you are wondering what she actually looks like, here’s the picture and artwork once again.

A Portrait From Photograph - A Private Commission by Shafali; the pet portrait artist's statement. Custom commissions of dogs, cats, horses and other animals and wildlife drawings in Pen and Ink.

In the reference photograph, she is sitting in front of the Adenium plant. As this was a facial portrait I focused on her face, especially her eyes and her ears, which I think are her most beautiful features. Oorvi is exceptionally short-haired (her coat is similar to a Yellow Lab, except that her color is more towards tan.) this of course, required that I detailed the fur a lot more to bring out the lights and the shadows.

There’s an itsy-bitsy shadow of the Adenium’s stem, that falls on her neck. I had to remove it, because to keep the focus entirely on her face, there’s no plant in the final artwork, and orphan shadow would’ve destroyed the sanctity of the portrait.

This is a Pen and Ink portrait and this technique requires that every pen-stroke falls in its right place. As I’ve been doing pen and ink illustrations for about two decades now, it comes quite naturally to me, but a close-up portrait where every little hair has to align in a particular direction requires some patience too 🙂

Another bit that differentiates pet-portraiture from the other black and white animal and wildlife illustrations that I do for magazines, is the need of a pet portrait to belong. This is one of the reasons why I am not a fan of abstract treatment of portraits. A portrait of your family member must look like him or her – and not like any other person, pup, or kitten. It’s important for me that my Oorvi looks like my Oorvi, and that her eyes in her portrait look at me in the exact same way that she look at me.

I also added a bit of myself there – in form of what you could call an Artist Statement. Nature’s living-breathing-moving forms have made me an artist – and this is a short tribute to all of them.

Click Dog and pup Portraits or Cat and Kitten portraits if you want to view some more pet portraits.

That’s all for now. I’ll soon return with another portrait…or animal story 🙂


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Dog and Pup Tattoos: Miley Cyrus gets Floyd tattooed on her Torso.

Miley Cyrus has found a new way to stay in news. She’s got her dog Floyd tattooed on her torso, about six inches under her left underarm. Floyd was an Alaskan Klee Kai. The newspaper says that this is Miley’s way of beating the depression that she’s been experiencing since Floyd’s death.

I think it’s a little odd. I am not talking about her need to get inked in order to get over her depression; I am talking about the spot she’s chosen to commemorate the pup. I tried looking at the said spot on my body, and all I ended up was a crick in my neck. There’s no way she’ll ever be able to look at the tattoo…so how will it help her remember Floyd?

I am not a tattoo person, but as an artist, I appreciate art of all types and that includes body art. However, the tattoo that I saw on the lady with the tongue, isn’t really all that cool. There’s a basic drawing of the dog with a call-out that goes around the dog (to make it look like a badge) and the text says “With a little help from my fwends.

I agree with those Cyrus fans who disagree that her new tattoo looks at all like Floyd. I think it doesn’t even look like an Alaskan Klee Kai who actually looks like a smaller version of Alaskan Malamute. But Miley Cyrus probably hasn’t seen it yet…you see, she’s got it done at a very unseeable location 🙂

Anyway, this sent me on an exploration trip in the web-space, and I came back with this tattoo site. They’ve got some cool dog tattoos for those who love dogs as well as tattoos.

Oh, and if you want to know more about Miley and her dogs, read this.



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My dog’s dad commissioned me to do her Portrait :)

Finally, it’s happened.

A Pet-portrait Commission;

I’ve been commissioned to do my own dog’s portrait, and believe it or not, it isn’t a-portrait-for-an-eat-out/order-in kind of art-commission; it’s a fee-based commission.  So I worked a little harder this week and now I am all set to start inking the portrait of my fur-kid. Not that she hasn’t inspired me to fill my sketchbooks with her sketches, caricatures, and cartoons all these years – but this is going to be a finished Pen and Ink portrait of my furry doll. I know it’s going to be framed and added to one of our walls, which are already groaning under the combined weight of around two dozen artworks, but I am rather looking forward to the new addition 🙂

A Personal Portrait too;

When I am done with it, I’ll post her portrait here. Along with the photograph that I used as a reference. It would give you an idea of how I create pet portraits from photographs. I am also working on a very beautiful lady’s portrait. Once the portrait is done, accepted, and delivered; I’ll present it here and talk about the process of creating it. More on this later.

And Some Good News from the K9 Quarters!

Meanwhile, there’s some good dog-news from Olympia, Washington. A war veteran Bob Mitchell whose dog Maximus was, in all probability, stolen; got him back. How? He was texted by the people who had Maximus, and so he got his pup back. The mystery behind it all is: how did the supposedly good Samaritans (who preferred to stay anonymous) came in possession of the dog. My take? The pup was stolen (along with his toys and blankets, mind you;) by a youngster known to the family, and then when they family realized what had happened, they decided to return the dog. But then, I have a fertile imagination…so I may be totally off the mark here. Nevertheless, I am happy that it all ended in smiles.

Now I must return to my desk, and hope that my art too brings smiles to people. There’s nothing more fulfilling, is there?

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Portrait of a Horse and Poetry in Motion


Portrait of a Horse done in pen and ink. And illustration by pet and other animal-wildlife portrait artist Shafali - Also Drawings, Sketches of Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and pets and people.

“The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.” – Sharon Ralls Lemon

Portrait of a Horse

Portrait of Horse done in pen and ink - Custom Portraits Commissions of Animals and wildlife by Shafali - Artists Drawings, Illustrations and Sketches of pets, dogs, cats, horses, people etc.

Portrait: Horse | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

Horses were first domesticated more than four thousand years ago. Except some in North America, almost everywhere else, the horses you find are domesticated. Contrary to what you may think, these wild horses are descendants of domesticated horses that were allowed to roam free and later, after several generations, became wild; instead of the other way round.

In the wild, horses live in groups of 5-15 with a male horse (also called stallion) in charge. Each stallion has a small group of female horses called mares with whom he mates. The Baby horses until they grow up, then the stallion throws out the colts (the male horses of around 2-years of age,) so that they don’t compete with him for the affection of the ladies.The colts then look for other horses to form their own groups.

Traditionally used for riding, pulling logs, carriages, horses were mostly employed in the military as cavalry horses. There are more than 400 breeds of horses that exist today. Some horses are bred exclusively for racing.

Coat and Markings on a Horse

Their coat color is generally Bay (reddish-brown), Chestnut (dark red,) or Gray or a variation of these. Two horses which are of same color are distinguished by their markings – the white patches on muzzle/head and foot. These markings have white hair with mostly pink skin underneath. Color of coat of horse may change slightly with age but the markings of a horse will remain same whole of its life.

Physical Characteristics of Horse

Height:(at shoulders) 30-75 in
Weight: 120 – 2200 lb
Lifespan: 25-30 years
Coat: The most common colors are Bay, chestnut and Gray

Now some interesting facts and news about horses.

Some Horse Facts

  • Horses have the biggest eyes of all land mammals. (Even bigger and Mr. Bean’s.)
  • A horse can look in all directions(has 360 degree vision) because his eyes are located on either sides of his head. (Perfectly equipped to be the chosen on-road companion for man.)
  • Horses can stand and rum almost immediately after birth. (You can often hear a just-born baby horse exclaim, “look mom, I can run!”)
  • They don’t need to sleep more than 2-3 hours-a-day. (I wish I were a horse.)
  • Horse hoofs are made from the same protein from which our hair or nails are made. (But you never find them biting their nails.)
  • Most popular breed of horse is Arabian horse.

World’s Five Most Famous Race Horses

Read about Seabiscuit, Secretariat, John Henry, Smarty Jones and Man O’ War, the five most famous race horses.

Visit World’s five most famous race horses here

Famous Horses of Famous Historical Men

These great men and their horses belonged to the cavalry of old era. These great horses helped their masters achieve victory in their quests. The horses were the most important ally of these men in their battles. The following link has some cool information about Alexander the Great and Bucephalus, Napoleon and Marengo, The Duke of Wellington and Copenhagen, and Robert E. Lee and Traveller.

Visit the Horses of Famous Historical Men page here.

And finally to sum-up this post:

Beryl Markham a British-born Kenyan aviator, adventurer, racehorse trainer and author once wrote:

“A lovely horse is always an experience… It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words.”

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The Feline Mystique – A Young Cat with Hypnotic Eyes.

Portrait of a Adolescent Short-haired Tabby Cat done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.

“Thou art the Great Cat, the avenger of the gods, and the judge of words, and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle; thou art indeed the Great Cat.” – Inscription on the Royal Tombs at Thebes.

Portrait of an adolescent short-haired tabby Cat

Portrait of a Adolescent Short-haired Tabby Cat done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife art etc in back and white.

Portrait: Adolescent Short-haired Tabby Cat | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

Cats have always been considered mysterious by humans. They’ve always mesmerized humans by their poise and sophistication. In fact Fernand Mary, in Her Majesty the Cat,describes our perception of cats in a wonderfully apt manner:

“With their qualities of cleanliness, discretion, affection, patience, dignity, and courage, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?”

Wondering about the short-haired tabby cat? I’ve already blabbed a lot about it here.

Now to share something new. Here’s something that you probably didn’t know about cats.

Cats are great climbers but they really can’t come down with equal aplomb.

The powerful back muscles that can easily manager her body-weight, make the cat an expert climber. The claws in her front paws help her maintain a firm grip on the surface quite like the mountaineers use hooks while climbing up. The claws of her hind feet help her remain steady while going up. Thus, the responsiveness of her muscles coupled with the gripping action of her feet help helps her climb firmly with ease. However, coming down isn’t easy for a cat. The hind-leg muscles and the claws that now curve upwards don’t help at all. So the only way for a cat to come down is with climb down backwards.

Cats that are Celebrities on the Internet

Hamilton the Hipster Cat

Hamilton, the hipster cat, has become an internet celebrity because of its  curly mustaches. Hamilton is black and white in color with distinct white mustaches. Hamilton is a celeb-cat with a rags to riches saga. He was an abandoned cat in San Francisco and was up for adoption by Humane Society Silicon Valley. He was adopted by local standup comedian Jay Stowe. Here is the Facebook Page of Hamilton. According to his Facebook Page “Hamilton is a rescue kitty that was born on the 4th of July. He has a real mustache that is better than any mustache that has ever walked this planet.”

Maru The Celebrity Cat from Japan

Maru is a Scottish Fold cat  who lives in Japan with his owner. The cat is such an internet sensation that it has several videos to its credit and according to wikipedia they have been viewed more than 800 million times. The videos have both Japanese and English titles. The owner of this cat has never revealed his/her identity but on YouTube goes by the name of Mugumogu. Here is the YouTube link for Maru the cat. The first video is the introductory video itself has registered more than 20 million views.

Maru whose videos have featured in Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times, appears to have become the darling of the media. He has even done a lot of advertisements in Japan. In 2009 a book and DVD titled “I am Maru” was released in Japan with Japanese and English titles, which was followed by another book release in 2011.

 And finally a poem to sum-up this post 🙂

Gentle eyes that see so much,
paws that have the quiet touch,
Purrs to signal “all is well”
and show more love than words could tell.
Graceful movements touched with pride,
a calming presence by our side 
A friendship that takes time to grow 
Small wonder why we love them so.

(Author Unknown: Source: catquotes.com)


The Caring Protector – The Rottweiler


Portrait of Rottweiler done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.

“I have a dream that one day I will not be judged by my appearance…but by the content of my character.” –  Though based on martin Luther’s speech, this was adapted for the Rottweiler by Anonymous.

Portrait of the Rottweiler

Portrait of Rottweiler done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Illustrations, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Rottweiler | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

Rottweiler have been named after the ancient town of Rottweil in Germany.
(I sometimes wonder why so many dog-breeds can track their origins in Germany.)

Rottweilers were bred in the middle ages. Their job was to protect the meat merchants from the thieves. They have descended from the drover dogs of Ancient Rome. Rottweilers have powerful jaws and strong bodies which help them in their work as guard dogs. Quite like the Belgian and the German Shepherds Rottweilers too have been employed by the police and the military the world over.

Rotties, as they are affectionately called, have often suffered from bad press. When these strong dogs end up with irresponsible owners, they often get blamed for being ferocious. Ironically, if trained properly, Rottweilers would probably top the charts for the most adorable family dog breed. They are intelligent and they have an athletic build. They need to be trained for aggression towards strangers as they are genetically geared to protect their families.

Like other big dogs, Rottweilers require exercise and they don’t suit apartment-dwelling families. Like the Collies, they too don’t like long periods of isolation.

According to The American Kennel Club, a Rottweiler is:

“a calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in its environment. It has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making them especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog”

The Rottweiler’s Physical Attributes:

  • Height: 23-27 in
  • Weight: 95-115 lb
  • Coat: They are black with shades of tan on their forelegs, muzzle, over eyes and neck. They have a short-haired, minimum maintenance coat.
  • Life Span:  11-13 years

Some Famous Rottweilers

Carl: Children’s Favorite!

The famous children book series titled “Good Dog Carl” features a dog called Carl who is loved by children and is very popular. In these picture-books, Carl the Rottweiler takes care of a girl named Madeleine. The first book in the series was published in 1985. (The artist within wants me to tell you that the illustrations for the Carl were drawn by Alexandra Day

Max – The Punisher’s Dog from Marvel Comic Books

Max is a Rottweiler who becomes the Punisher’s pet. The Punisher (Frank Castle) becomes friends with Max when he realizes that Max too has an agenda similar to his – to rid New York of crime! In the story, a badly injured Max is nursed back to health by the Punisher after which they become friends. The Punisher begins calling the dog Max, because he puts in his “Max” to put the criminals behind bars.

And now a Real Rottweiler Celeb trying to do what Rotties were bred to do 🙂 Meet Missy Elliot.

Missy Elliot – The protective dog of Joss Stone (the famous singer)

Jocelyn Eve Stoker aka Joss Stone is famous English song-writer, singer and actress. She has a pack of ferocious dogs and Missy is one of them. Joss says that her ferocious looking dogs are there to protect her. Missy the rottweiler is entrusted with the job of attacking anyone who may come to rob to Joss at night.

Some Amazing Rottweiler Heroes


Judge praises Jake the Rottweiler, who stopped an illegal immigrant from raping a woman in a park.


Frankee, the friendly family Rottweiler, saves boy, 4, from a Pit bull.


A Rottweiler named Happy saves a tiny Chihuahua-wiener dog Trixxie from a marauding coyote.

AKC Page for Rottweilers:

Visit this link to seek more information on Rottweilers on American Kennel Club Website.


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The Cute and Fun-loving Chihuahua


Portrait of Chihuahua dog done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.

A Chihuahua is the littlest dog you can find anywhere. I am sure that Edith Wharton was talking about us the Chihuahuas, when she wrote this:
“My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet.” 

But why at her feet, when we could easily snuggle into her lap and she wouldn’t even feel the weight?

Anyway, my only gripe is that the smallest working dog in the world isn’t a Chihuahua, it’s a Yorkshire terrier named Lucy.

Portrait of the Chihuahua

Portrait of chihuahua done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Illustrations, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Chihuahua | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

Gripes aside…
Here are some general properties that define the Chihuahuas.

We are the smallest dogs in world, but you already know that. But did you know that some of us even weight 2 lb! The Chihuahua originated in South America in Mexico. Considered sacred by the Aztecs the Chihuahuas were introduced to the US only in 18th century.

Physically we look a little different from other dogs. For instance, our eyes and ears are huge in comparison to our face.

Actually, there’s some confusion about our origins. Some say that we descended from the Fennec Fox family and not from the wolves (all other dogs can trace their ancestry back to the wolves.

The Chihuahua is an ideal dog for a companion dog. Not only because it’s tiny, but also because it showers a lot of love and affection on its family. They try to ignore the strangers, but if the strangers take up too much of their family’s time, they don’t like it. The intelligent Chihuahua is a toy dog ideal for families that live in apartments. They also don’t need a lot of exercise.

They aren’t all that easy to train and that’s a little unfortunate because their small size demands early training, so that they become comfortable with their surroundings. If training begins early, they can be trained well, but it would be unrealistic to expect a Chihuahua to learn a lot of tricks. They like to play with other dogs, regardless of the difference in size. The Mastiff-Chihuahua video shared in the post the artist did about the Mastiff, is a case in point.

The Chihuahua’s Physical Attributes:

  • Height: 6-10 in
  • Weight: 2-6 lb
  • Coat: colors viz. white, tan,  merle, bicolor, tricolor and fawn. The coats could be long-haired or short-haired. The short-hair Chihuahua is obviously low-maintenance 🙂
  • Life Span:  13-16 years

Some Famous Chihuahuas:

Gidget, the Taco Bell Chihuahua

In 1997, Taco Bell the restaurant chain decided to make Gidget the Chihuahua their mascot. Gidget worked in many advertisements for the chain and the fame of the catch phrase “Yo quiero Taco Bell!” (I want Taco Bell) must be attributed to her. Gidget died at the age of 15.

You can read about her in the book A Famous Dog’s Life: The Story of Gidget, America’s Most Beloved Chihuahua written by her trainer Sue Chipperton.

Moonie or the Legally Blonde Chihuahua called Bruiser

Moonie a rescue Chihuahua is credited with playing the role of Bruiser (who was the character Elle Woods’s dog) in both Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde films. Moonie has acted in many other Hollywood films fame came to him with the Legally Blonde movies. (Reese Witherspoon played Elle Woods in the film.)

Tinkerbell – The famous Chihuahua of Paris Hilton

Tinkerbell Hilton was born in 2002 and adopted by Paris Hilton after she saw the movie Legally blonde. Paris would carry Tinkerbell wherever she went. What really caught everyone’s eye (I think) was that Tinker wore a diamond crested neck collar and Paris Hilton tagged along with Tinker, as Tinker attended parties and movie premiers. (Or was it the other way round?)

Tinkerbell was went missing in August 2004 but a reward of $5000 was offered to anyone who found her. Tinkerbell returned to Paris in a week amidst controversies.

Tinkerbell has also written a book “The Tinkerbell Hilton Diaries: My Life Tailing Paris Hilton” According to Goodreads in this book gives “Paris Hilton’s dog, Tinkerbell, gives the inside scoop about her owner, and gets downright catty–in this outrageous and hilarious parody.”

Tinkerbell has also starred in the reality television series “The Simple Life

Wow! That’s a lot of tinkering for a tiny Chihuahua. Don’t you think?

Amazing Chihuahua Heroes:


Paco, the hero Chihuahua Scares Off Two Armed Robbers from South California cigar store


Bell, a 3-year old Chihuahua Finds Missing Girls in the Woods


Honey, the pint-sized Hone Chihuahua saves girl, 8, from terrible pit bull mauling

AKC Page for Chihuahuas:

Visit this link to seek more information on Chihuahuas on American Kennel Club Website.


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The Gentle Giant – The Mastiff

Portrait of a mastiff done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.


Sydenham Edwards, wrote in 1800 in the Cynographia Britannica:
“What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race…”

A Mastiff‘s heart is bigger than his body and saying this for a Mastiff means something!

Portrait of the English Mastiff

Portrait of the English Mastiff done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Illustrations, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in back and white.

Portrait: English Mastiff | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

The Mastiff’s Breed History:
The Mastiff breed is one of the oldest on the planet – they boast of a 2000-year old history. They descended from the Molosser breed of dogs that are now extinct but they lent their name to a whole family of big dogs (Newfoundland included.) The mastiff’s ancestors were characterized by a heavy jaw, a strong body and a broad skull, and the mastiff of today, which is called the English Mastiff as it was bred in England, has inherited these traits. Mastiff’s have been constantly cross-bred to create other dogs with striking personalities – one such dog is the Bull Mastiff.

The Mastiff’s Temperament:
Mastiffs are exceedingly sensitive and gentle. They have a calm disposition and they are totally devoted to their families. Oddly, they were bred for fighting and guarding. Those first breeders would turn in their graves if they knew that the Mastiff hates to be a guard dog and likes to stay inside with the family.

Should you get a Mastiff?
If you live in an apartment, you obviously don’t want to get a Mastiff for a pet. They must have a big house with a lot of space. Mastiffs are family dogs and do not like to be left alone for longer periods. A 200-pound mastiff would also require a lot more food and water than a Chihuahua, so if you get a Mastiff, be prepared to foot large bills, and yet, you must control their food as they can gain weight rather quickly.

If you are the prim-and-propah kind, the Mastiff may not be your type; Everything that this gentle giant does is gigantic – be it drool, snore, or break wind. (You get my wind?)

Mastiffs usually have a sedentary lifestyle and are loath to exercise, so it isn’t surprising that they look like CEOs of big corporations. However, they must be persuaded to exercise regularly. Short walks in morning and evenings are enough for them to remain ship-shape.

So, it’s all very simple. Get a big house, a big salary, and, more importantly, a big heart. Then get a Mastiff.

Training a Mastiff:
A Mastiff’s stubbornness is exceeded only by his gentleness. It’s a good idea to start training them when they are pups and when you can still tower over them. It’s important to be careful while training them or their bones may be impacted. It’s also important not to let a full-grown mastiff give you pat on the back for training him well. Shorter and more frequent training sessions will be better for both the trainee and the trainer.

The Mastiff’s Physical Attributes:

  • Height: 25-30 in (that’s about two-feet-and-a-half!)
  • Weight: 170-200 lb
  • Coat: Color can be Apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn, dark fawn-brindle. They have short coat which needs to be brushed on weekly basis. Their coat is very low maintenance.
  • Life Span:  9-10 years
  • Alternate Names: English Mastiff

Now some interesting Mastiff facts, stories and videos 🙂

Zorba, the world’s heaviest Dog – Guiness Book Record Holder

Zorba has been the heaviest dog ever. He became a Guinness Record holder in 1989 with titles of World’s Heaviest Dog and World’s Longest Dog. When he was measured in 1989 he weighed 343 pounds and at shoulder his height was 37 inches. When he stood up he was 8 feet and 3 inches tall! Read more about Zorba and another Guinness Record holder English Mastiff called Cloe here..

Tank breaks into the trash can: The video goes viral!

Here is the story of Tank, the English mastiff who broke into the garbage can.

Do not forget to view the YouTube video where Tank seems to be apologizing for what he did. With 3.5 million views, poor Tank has apologized to his human that many number of times! That’s a lot of apologizing.

Maggie the English Mastiff plays with Dude the Chihuahua

You know who’s a Mastiff’s best friend? A Chihuahua, of course. What did you think?

This video shows the love between a mastiff and a chihuahua. This K9 duo have won the hearts of millions. Watch Maggie and Dude in this YouTube video. Believe it or not, Dude is the Chihuahua.

What happens when a burglar decides to break into a home with a mastiff?

What happens?
Does the thief escape or is does Cromwell the Mastiff invite him in?
Read about it here.

AKC Page for Mastiffs:

Visit this link to seek more information on Mastiffs on American Kennel Club Website.


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