How to

How to Draw a Dog Face – A Step-by-Step Tutorial

How to Draw a Dog Face - A Step-by-Step Tutorial

If you’re a dog owner, a dog lover, or simply want to create an adorable portrait of a dog, you’ve come to the right place! This article will guide you through the process step by step, allowing you to draw any kind of dog with ease.

What You’ll Learn in this Tutorial

  • The structure of a dog’s head
  • How to apply the head structure to different breeds
  • Detailed dog features
  • Tips for shading and understanding dog fur

Materials Needed for this Guide

  • A piece of paper
  • A graphite pencil (HB to 4B)
  • A higher gradation graphite pencil (8B if possible)
  • A blending stump, q-tip, or piece of towel paper
  • An eraser (Tombow mono zero recommended)
  • A ruler

Video Tutorial

Here is a visual representation of all the steps in one image:

All in One How to Draw a Dog

Let’s get started!

For the following steps, we will use a piece of paper (Fabriano paper recommended), a soft graphite pencil (HB to 4B), and an eraser.

Step 1: Draw a Circle

Begin by drawing a circle in the center of your canvas. This will serve as the dog’s head (without ears). Make it as big as you want your dog’s portrait to be.

Step 2: Find the Middle of the Circle

Locate the midpoint of your circle and draw a gentle vertical line.

Now, we will establish a small grid that will assist us in accurately drawing the structure of the dog’s head. Pay close attention to the following steps.

Step 3: Draw the Vertical Guidelines

Find the midpoint of each side of the circle and draw a soft vertical line on each side. Ensure that the distance between each line and the borders of the circle is consistent.

Step 4: Split the Circle into Three Equal Parts Horizontally

In this final step of creating our grid, divide the circle horizontally into three equal parts and trace soft lines.

Step 5: Draw a Rectangle-Like Shape

Form a rectangle-like shape, which will represent the nose and mouth of our dog. Make it slightly larger than the space between our first horizontal guidelines and slightly lower than the circle, ensuring it fits between our vertical guidelines.

Step 6: Draw a Smaller Rectangular-Like Shape

Draw a smaller rectangular-like shape for the nose, ensuring it is symmetrical by using the central guideline as a reference.

Step 7: Set the Position of the Eyes

Position two small circles as indicated in the example, aligning them with the middle of the vertical guidelines.

Step 8: Draw the Nose Bridge

Connect the outer sides of the mouth with gentle curved lines to the inner sides of the eyes, leaving a small gap between them.

Step 9: Draw the Guides for the Eyebrows and Eyelids

To establish the guides for the dog’s eyeballs, eyebrows, and eyelids, draw two curved lines from the nose bridge to halfway along the central guidelines, as shown in the example.

Step 10: Draw the Face’s Structure

Represent the structure of the dog’s face by drawing two curved lines from halfway along the outer guidelines, indicating the temple and cheekbones of the dog. Additionally, create the mouth by forming an inverted “Y” shape and extending two curved lines from the endpoints.

Step 11: Draw the Neck and Define the Skull

Depict the indentation on the dog’s skull, running from the center to the bridge of the nose. Use two converging curved lines in the middle of the top of the head. The neck can be drawn by pulling down two slight curves from the cheek lines created in step 10.

Step 12: Different Kinds of Dogs

Although every dog is unique, the dog drawn in this tutorial is a cute golden retriever. However, this dog face structure can be adapted for any breed. All you need to do is modify the highlighted shapes accordingly.

Keep reading to discover how!

Step 13: Large Dogs

To draw a large dog like a Doberman, with sharp features and pointy ears, elongate the nose bridge and mouth shape. Also, reduce the size of the eyes and the space between the facial structure lines. Sketch the pointy ears, and you’re done!

Step 14: Smaller Dogs

To draw a smaller breed, adjust the shapes according to the characteristics of their faces. In this example, enlarge the eyes, shorten the face structure lines, widen the nose bridge and mouth, and sketch the basic ear shape.

Step 15: The Dog We’ll Draw – A Golden Retriever

For this tutorial, we will draw a golden retriever while keeping the face structure similar. Add the characteristic ear shape of these beautiful dogs and erase the guidelines so you can start drawing.

For these steps, we will use the 8B graphite pencil or graphite bar.

Step 16: The Dog’s Eyes

Considering the golden retriever breed, carefully create the eyes. Include some fur on top to emphasize the eye’s structure and the eyelids.

Need help drawing eyes? Check out our detailed tutorial on How to Draw Eyes.

Step 17: Start Setting the Nose Structure

Dog noses can be complex, but with these tips, you can get it right. Divide the dog’s nose shape into three equal parts and draw a “V” shape as shown.

Step 18: Complete the Nose Structure

From the sides of the “V” shape, draw two short lines to the section guidelines. Then, extend two vertical lines.

Step 19: Draw Half of the Nose

Using the short lines as a guide, draw two teardrop-like shapes and fill them in black. From the sides of the teardrops, connect them to the top of the nose with small curves. Softly shade the center line.

Step 20: Add Fur Details to the Face

Follow the instructions below to add fur details to the nose bridge, center of the face, and mouth. Use soft strokes in the directions indicated by the red arrows.

For these steps, use the 8B graphite pencil and a blending stump, q-tip, or piece of towel paper.

Step 21: Draw More Fur to Half of the Face

To learn how to place the dog’s facial fur, focus on one side first. Using the red areas as a guide, apply middle-length strokes along the borders of the face and the lines marked in red.

Step 22: Do the Other Half

Apply the same technique to the other half of the dog’s face, completing the base of the fur.

Step 23: The Dog’s Ears

Referencing our dog, sketch traces in the directions shown in the accompanying diagram. Darken the “shadow area” as indicated.

Step 24: Draw the Other Ear

Mirror the previous ear by following the same steps. If the fur details are challenging, refer to the provided guide and keep your hand loose while drawing in the indicated directions. These traces will help you draw the remaining fur on the face.

Step 25: Draw the Neck

Based on our dog’s reference, draw the fur extending from the sides of the neck. For a golden retriever, the fur should extend in the directions indicated by the red lines in the diagram.

Step 26: Focused Shading

Erase any remaining guidelines and add shadows to the eyes, nose, and upper mouth to add realism to the dog’s face. Pay extra attention to the area beneath the tongue and the chin if the dog’s tongue is visible.

Step 27: Add the Rest of the Fur

Referencing the red areas, use the same soft strokes from step 4 to fill in those areas with graphite.

Step 28: Blend, Blend, and Blend

Using the blending tool and the technique learned in step 4, go over the graphite strokes to achieve a blended effect. Your drawing should resemble the image provided.

Step 29: Define the Facial Fur

To enhance the dog’s fur, use the tip of your eraser to create soft traces that simulate fur texture. Pay particular attention to the areas that were over-blended. Additionally, add more graphite traces in the red area to give the portrait more volume.

Step 30: Final Step

After blending and making any necessary corrections, fill in the nose, leaving some unfilled areas at the top for highlights. Add some shading to the eyes for added depth. Congratulations, you’ve successfully completed the tutorial!

Thank you for following along, and I hope you enjoyed drawing this furry friend!

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

Related Articles

Back to top button