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Tutorial of How to Draw a Dog

How to draw a realistic dog in just a few steps?

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How to Draw a Dog

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Drawing by Heli Laneman is sharing a simple tutorial of how to draw a dog, realistic dog. This tutorial doesn’t expect you to be a skilled artist, on the contrary, it’s for everyone who just wants to draw a dog. All you need is some basic drawing supplies and an idea.

How to draw a realistic dog in just a few steps?


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First of all, you need to gather your drawing materials. Begin by an idea of what kind of dog do you want to draw whether it’s a picture of a dogs face or the whole body. The easiest way is to find a suitable reference photo to work from but if you feel like drawing from scratch on your own you probably should invest your time observing in quick sketches. When choosing a picture it’s important that the part you want to draw is clearly visible so you can start drawing without difficulty.

Finally, you will also need drawing pencils, an eraser, some sketch paper, a pencil sharpener and of course a well-lit and comfortable place. Don’t forget coloured pencils, crayons, or pens if you decide to make a colourful drawing.

Sketch Guidelines


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Photo from Creative Bloq

In case of drawing a dog’s face, begin by sketching a reference line to indicate the centre of a face. Block in the features as a first step. The line should run between the ears, eyes and through the middle of a nose. There should be a slight outward curve in the line through the eyes not completely forward on the head. The curve at the tip of the nose, the mouth and chin should be sketched next. Move on to sketching the head in more detail. Add a few loose lines as hints of fur. Sketch the eyes with lined up pupils, the nose and the ears.


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Photo from Creative Bloq

If you want to draw a whole dog focus on the skeleton to bring out the dogs anatomy. Choose a pose and draw the skull, ribcage, pelvis bone and indicate the spine, tail and limbs with using single lines. This is important for establishing the anatomy beneath all the fur. The point of this step is to understand how the muscles sit under the skin. Outline the full head and body.

All guidelines should be drawn with a light touch so they can be erased later in the process.


Detail Drawing


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Drawing by Heli Laneman

This is the stage where you fill in some details to the basic structure and the outline you’ve already drawn. Begin with gestural marks by adding some faint lines near the eyes, forehead and neck to suggest skin folds and fur ruffles. Indicate shadows by adding a bit of rough shading.

As for the body, use smaller strokes to indicate fur where necessary. Dogs usually have thicker fur around its neck, under the belly and tail, the hair is shorter on the head, legs and the rest of the body. Try to be versatile with strokes creating texture with layers and work from dark to light as you shade.

Final Tips

Now that you’ve finished detail drawing gently erase the underlying lines you created. Add more subtle details with a sharp pencil to make small, fine movements for a smoother texture. It’s especially helpful for drawing bright and shiny eyes. Don’t go too dark because it’s easier to add more shadow than to erase it.

Work through the entire surface of the drawing with soft strokes where fur is short and harder where it’s long. Consider using different pencils to make sure that the coat pattern doesn’t look plain. Soften darker areas if needed with an eraser to create a finer look.

The more time you devote to small parts the more realistic the drawing will look

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Drawing by Heli Laneman

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