Animals Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Painting Sketchbook Pages

Creepy Crawly Critters: Sketching at Petco

Small Water Dragon Lizard, ink & watercolor, 10"x7
Small Water Dragon Lizard, ink & watercolor, 10"x7"

On a previous sketch night at Petco, I chose pretty little birds as my subject. This time I went for the creepy, crawly things. This little lizard was very cute and I imagined he wanted to go home with me. I’m sure my cats would have enjoyed him very much. The baby corn snakes (bottom corner above) were really weird. They moved as one and appeared like a multi-headed scramble of strings.

Female Mice, $3.49
Female Mice, $3.49

These little mousy girls were also cute, but it’s just so odd seeing animals being sold as pets that would otherwise be considered vermin. Sketching caged animals in the pet store is always disturbing to me, but is also an interesting drawing challenge.

Rats licking water from their water bottles
Rats eating and licking water from their water bottles

The rats seemed pretty happy in their glass box, with no need to earn a living and food, shelter and entertainment available on demand. They were interesting to draw but the smell in the rodent area was quite unpleasant (to put it nicely). Fortunately it was time to meet up and share our sketches which we did in the scent-free aquarium accessory department.

10 replies on “Creepy Crawly Critters: Sketching at Petco”

Thanks for the link. They look much happier stretched out on those nice warm rocks in the real world instead of in glass boxes. Poor little guy. I felt so sorry for him in there. But then it makes me wonder if we’re just critters in a box too, just a much bigger box, and then I have to just stop thinking. Jana


I saw some of these on a video that I watched just last night. I loved the shape of their heads, being so different from the ones we have around here. I do like lizards, especially the little babies that show up periodically, but I still couldn’t own one as a pet. Love the drawings you’ve done at Petco once again!


I’m loving your blog more than ever! It went on the resource list for the last sketchbooking workshop i taught in Pleasanton. Such an inspiring example you are of showing up for art in daily life! One of these days i’d love to get together again.


Thanks Susan! It’s so great to hear from you. I loved reading about your sketchbooking workshop and seeing your sketches on your blog and newsletter. I longed to be there having fun with you too. Do you have any East Bay trips planned for the near future? Are both your boys away at school now? Jana


Yeah, it was a little creepy (and smelly!) I kept thinking of my friend Barbara who is in a battle with rats in her garden (they’re attracted by the feed she puts out for her chickens and by her neighbor’s wildly growing ivy. Seeing one in the pet store is one thing–but encountering them in your garden — UGH! Jana


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