HOW to DRAW a DOG step by step

Posted by donna@pethangout 04/19/2017 1 Comment(s)

Lead picture for blog post 20 - How to draw a dog step by step


Have you ever wished you were talented enough to draw a dog?

It's your lucky day because I am going to help you get in touch with your inner Picasso with this post!

Pet Hangout has broken down drawing the dog pictured above into simple steps.   I promise you DO NOT have to be a seasoned artist or gifted to do this.    Yes, there are some artists that can create amazing beauty as their hand moves across the page.  They have my total respect.   But I submit to you that anyone can draw a pretty picture if they learn a few simple techniques that I am about to show you.


A few things to remember before we get started:

  • Grab a sharp pencil with an eraser
  • Get a piece of paper - printer paper, notebook paper (but preferably without lines), etc.
  • Use some type of firm surface like a book, desk, etc.
  • Get comfy with the picture above clearly displayed for you.  Make sure it is easy to glance back and forth between your drawing and this picture.
  • Think refine as you go.   Your first marks on the paper should look rough and not even close to the final picture.  
  • You CANNOT mess up.   You have an eraser.   Nothing is final during this process.   You can change any part of your picture at any time.  Yah!!!
  • Relax and have fun with this.
  • This is a beginner's guide for drawing a dog.  To learn more about drawing instruments to use, you should check out the 10 Essential Drawing Materials and Tools for Beginners.


Are you ready to get going?


1.   Divide into 3rds - Visually divide the picture into thirds.   This helps you draw proportionally as you go.   I have placed 3 horizontal lines across the picture.  Note:  the sections do not have to be exactly the same size (and they aren't).   It's okay - we will use the lines in a moment to create some "anchors" for your drawing.   I will explain next.

Divide the picture into 3 sections



2.  Draw your lines and anchors -  Draw 3 rough horizontal lines on your paper.    Then, using the picture's lines as a guide, pick out a couple of dog parts and "ruff" them in.  :-)    I haven't worried at all about getting parts exactly right.   My only concern with this step is to draw some main pieces of the dog in relation to the lines.    You will want to look back and forth between the picture and your drawing to keep up with where the dog part is in relation to the line.   Also notice, I drew 2 short slanted lines that will later become the dog's eyes.

When you are happy with the sections drawn, go ahead and erase the horizontal lines.   You will not need them anymore.     

If you are starting to stress that your drawing doesn't look like the pic, it's okay.   Does mine?  Not really.   Some parts look a bit different than the picture which is fine.   Remember, we will adjust and refine later.

create lines and anchors for your drawing



3.  Outline all main features of the dog.   So at this stage, I have removed my horizontal lines, and am beginning to work a bit more on the dog's head.    I roughed in his ears, eyes, and nose.

Outline the main features of the dog

Have you noticed that I haven't been drawing just one line but several short lines close together?    This is called "feathering".   It allows you to easily adjust a section of your drawing without erasing and starting all over!   Feathering is very forgiving and your friend.   It helps you mold on paper what you want to create.

Watch this short video for an example of how I lengthen the dog's ear by using this technique.   I want you to "feather" your whole drawing.   At this point, you can go over your entire sketch and add feathering for any adjustments you would like to make.



4.  Define the dog's face a bit more.  Using soft "feathery" strokes, work on the snout, nose, mouth, eyes, and ears.   Keep feathering and/or erasing small sections until you are happy.   It's interesting to note that the first time I drew the nose, it was positioned too far down making his face look way too long.   I simply brought it up closer to his eyes.

This is the point where you will want to really study a feature.   When I was working on the eyes, I really studied the angles of the eyes on the picture.   I tried to duplicate the slants and turns on my drawing.  Again, you are not looking for exactness but similar.

Also, notice the different intensities of the pencil mark.   There are really dark strokes, medium dark, and light strokes.  This creates depth into the drawing.   Wherever you see dark in the picture should translate to a dark stroke.   Subtle angles are accomplished by using very light colored strokes.

Add definition to the dogs face



5.  Sketch the bowl and continue to refine the body.    Using the feathering technique, sketch in the bowl.    You will also want to refine the whole body.   Since our subject is furry, feathering is the perfect solution for creating a fur-like texture on the dog's body.

Okay, let me say the bowl is a bit more challenging because it turns.    I had to redo mine for sure.   It's okay - keep trying!  You will get it I promise!   

Don't forget to use the dog's legs and backside as anchors when you are adding the bowl in.   See where the bowl is in relation to them in the picture and do the same in your sketch.  :-)

Sketch the food bowl and refine the body



6.  Compare your drawing to the picture.  When I compared my sketch to the picture, I decided that my bowl was slanting too much, so I cleaned it up by changing some lines.   I re-feathered and erased in small areas.  I also worked on his back end and made it more like the pic.     Keep studying and comparing the picture with your sketch and make adjustments.    

Sometimes, it's good to take a break and then come back to compare.  You will see areas that need work when your eyes are fresh.

compare your sketch to the picture and make adjustments



7.   Final side by side compare.    I'm pretty happy with my drawing after the final compare.   Is it exactly like the pic?  No.    Was it ever suppose to be?   Well, no.   Could I keep working to make it more exact?   Yes, but I'm happy at this point.    If I were going to continue to refine, I would still work on shortening the snout a bit more and the angle of the bowl with the dog's back end.    

An artist always has their rendition of a picture and your sketch is uniquely yours!   Something to be proud of and something no one else has!

side by side compare of the pic and my drawing


We hope you enjoyed this step by step tutorial!   We started out by dividing our picture into 3 sections and "anchoring" features of the dog to these lines.   Remember, a sketch evolves into the picture when you study each feature and incorporate "feathering" to accomplish the right angles and turns.    Also, the intensity of your pencil can have great effects on creating depth perception in your drawing.   Light strokes create subtle looks and dark strokes create high definition.


How did this post help you?

       Did you draw the dog?

Share with us below.    We would also love to see your pic - email it to us:

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1 Comment(s)

Lori Wendom:
06/06/2017, 08:34:19 AM

I didn't think I could draw this dog. I followed your steps and mine looks okay I think. thanks for yelping me..

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