You may laugh. Oh, yes you may. But I have just spent about 45 minutes working on a tongue for this dog.
The eyes may be crucial for a book character’s expression, but with a dog, the tongue is almost as important. I have just been deciding on which tongue of six options is the best for this tender lick.
Tongue down (start of lick… looks a bit like a raspberry), tongue forwards (mid lick… too flat), tongue up (reaching for kiss… chose the best of 4 of these!) I am reminded of my school art teacher showing us slides of classical statues and paintings and explaining how the artist chose a moment for the pose that suggested both what came before and what came after, to give a sense of the full movement and life of the subject… I’ll bet Myron in the 5th Century BC never thought his Discus Thrower would influence the state of Lucy the Whippet’s tongue for Thunderstorm Dancing in the year 2014.