How to Draw a Dog

A dog is man’s best friend. If that man happens to be an artist, though, they might be facing their worst enemy. Drawing realistic dogs can become a hardship without a little instruction, so we’ve put those instructions down for you to help you know how to draw a dog. Our how-to guide is based on the Dalmatian breed, but you can modify our guide to create your favorite type of dog with any type of media. We recommend using a graphics editor (i.e. Adobe Photoshop or GIMP) to draw your dog.


Steps to Draw a Dog

  1. Start drawing the dog by using circles as building blocks. Include circles for the head, muzzle, chest, hind-end, leg joints, and paws.
  2. More ellipses will be added. One needs to be put in place for the neck, and 4 others can be drawn in as a guide to the legs. Create dark (in color) circles to represent the legs on the side of the dog that we can’t see to let you know that they will need to be shaded darker.
  3. Using the circles as our guideline, the outline of our Dalmatian has been drawn. This is just a rough outline, so if you are drawing with pencils, keep it light so you can go back and rework it later.
  4. One of the reasons drawing using software is so great is because you can use layers to further enhance images. You can simply retrace the previous outlines, adding in finer details where needed. It is now time for you to open the dog’s mouth, tightened its legs, and to add an eye socket.
  5. Finalize the outline of your dog by drawing in the eyes, a nose, tongue, finishing the paws, legs and other small details. You can then go back and erase other layers and guidelines to have a clean piece of dog line-art.
  6. Using the line-art from the last step, you can now move onto coloring the image. Use your favorite coloring materials, whether that is crayon, marker, pencil, or coloring your dog art digitally.
  7. No Dalmatian is complete without its spots. Using medium-sized specks will work just fine here. If you add to many spots, the image might look messy and cluttered, but too few and your dog image won’t look like a Dalmatian. Also, note that on the inside legs you can add some shading so that not as much light would be hitting these parts of the dogs body.

From this point on you can practice drawing other types of dogs, add accessories like colors, leashes, or silly dog clothes, or create a full image with foreground and background.

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