Drawing Dogs

How To Draw Animals Step By Step

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1. Here is the hunting animal on the job—with tail cocked, nose alert for scents, muscles tensed for constant action. The artist began by completely drawing in the dog's outline and indicating its more important muscle, tendon, and bone structures in the torso and legs. At this stage, he was most concerned with getting the animal's shape, proportions, and attitude as correct as possible.

2. Here, the artist was concerned with values. Since this is a short-haired dog, the values will fiim m am be closely related to the animal's muscular forms rather than to the shapes and directions of the fur. The artist placed dark tones on the inside of its hind thigh and filled in the tail to make is stand out. To accent the darkest areas of the head and body, he used choppy strokes. The rib cage is visible, due to the dog's lean, tight physique.

3. Everything is darkened, strengthened, and defined all over The many contrasts of light and dark portray the dog's glossy short coat. A furrier breed of dog would reveal much less of the underlying anatomy. The artist used a minimum of individual strokes. Instead, he used strokes that flowed together to conform to the character of the coat. He did not draw whiskers but he did show the indentations from which they would emerge. Note the straining veins and tendons in the animal's tensed legs.

Labrador Retriever Jumping Into Water


This Labrador retriever is a husky, compactly built animal with a dense, bristly dark coat. In this drawing, the animal is about to retrieve game from the water, a task for which it is bred. The muscles in its neck and shoulders are bunched as a result of the jump, the ears are flying, and the tail is extended. As the dog propels itself forward, the contrasts of lights and darks in the shoulders and hips show the movement of the muscles. The front toes are splayed in anticipation of the landing.


Below the outstretched legs of this German shorthair, the dark tones anchor the body to the ground. The dark shadow behind the left hind stifle, or knee, brings the leg forward. Note the texture of the pad (the underside of the paw) as it faces out—it's smooth and hairless and kind of rubbery. The hair on the neck and the underbelly is rougher and bristlier than the other parts of the coat. The artist used short, dark choppy strokes to indicate it. He put the spots, or ticks, on last.

Drawing DogsEasy Pencil Drawings Fairies


This classic posture is assumed by the wellbred pointer in the field directing its master's attention to the game. Some of this breed have been known to maintain this position for over an hour. In this drawing, the dog's nervous energy and dedication to its task are evident. Because of its rather light overall coloration, the artist has kept this drawing high-key, reserving the darks for the face, tail, skin folds, and for the underlying areas of the torso and the raised leg.


There is probably nothing more cuddly or lovable than a puppy, and here the artist captured successfully this youngster's soft, ungainly quality. Its head, ears, and paws are disproportionately large and they add to the pup's vulnerable air. The artist rendered the folds of the tender skin in the chest by using highlights that terminate in a short series of strokes. Note the fold formed by the position of the sprawled hind legs.

Leg Scratch Drawing Study


This German shorthair's fur has a roughter texture. The artist indicated this characteristic with darker, thicker strokes to show the animal's rather bristly quality. Observe the happy alert expression—the eyes are bright and expressive, the mouth appears to be smiling. Note how the hair tracks seem to begin at the nose and travel up and around the skull. The artist placed highlights above the eyes and in the lower eyelids, and used a razor blade to scratch out the whiskers. Veins were placed in the ears to promote the feeling of authenticity.


This pose is more serene and relaxed than the preceding drawing. Dogs are emotional and, like people, their faces reflect their feelings. To draw animals well, one should become familiar with their moods. For this white dog. the artist reserved the dark accents basically for its eyes and nose. The texture of the dense hair on the ear was depicted with long flowing, and alternately dark strokes of the pencil.

Little Dog Drawing Sideview


This breed has a coat of rough, wiry hair with a softer, shorter undercoat, and a topknot of lighter, finer-textured hair. The artist bunched little groups of fur by using masses of curved pencil strokes for each, then proceeded to form other clumps adjoining these, but running, in another direction. He darkened the left front and hind legs to set them back in perspective. There is not a hard edge to be seen in any of the contours; they were all achieved with strokes pointing away from the body. In rendering a dog as shaggy as this, you need to be familiar with its anatomy.


This squat, husky fellow is noted for the'courage that's been bred into it, resulting from generations of ancestors trained for the sport of bullbaiting. Today's specimens of the breed make gentle, agreeable pets. Its main physical characteristics are the squashed muzzle, the wide-set front legs, and the many folds and wrinkles of its smooth coat. It's important to know where these folds fall and to understand how they relate to the form underneath. The artist shows the glossy, loose coat with light, short strokes that run toward the rear and around the body.

Lion Running Drawing


This proud, handsome breed features a long, glossy coat of reddish-golden hair. It is the ideal show dog. To depict its luxuriant coat, the artist carefully planned the placement of each plane of hair before beginning the drawing. The artist needed a variety of highlights to capture the sheen of the hair. He used the French stump freely to smooth the values on the form (note diagram). He was careful to note the directions of the fringed hair on the animal's legs and belly to make sure they conformed with the shapes of the body before laying the strokes.

Drawing the Big Cats

Drawing Big CatsTiger Action Drawing

1. (Above left) This tiger is pacing and showing its fangs in a snarl. The artist began by drawing in the tiger's basic outline, taking care to capture the determined attitude the animal has assumed by extending its left foreleg as it moves ominously forward. He lightly noted the indentations, marking the muscular stresses this gesture has produced in the shoulder, hip, and rib cage areas. He also showed the open jaw and exposed teeth to effect the tiger's fierceness.

2. (Left) Here the artist indicated the texture of the fur with strokes that follow the muscle patterns. He darkened those areas that emphasize the action and attitude of the pose, such as the mouth, eyes, ears, and toes. These pencil strokes must also represent the variety of coloring on the animal—where it is orange, they are darker; where it is white, they are lighter. At this stage, the tiger resembles a female lion.

3. (Above) The color and tonal values and textures of fur were darkened and strengthened all over. Note the back of the ear where the artist fashioned little islands of fur to indicate their soft, bunchy quality. To get the feeling of fur, he roughed the edges of the coat. The whiskers here are negative shapes— light areas set against darker tones behind them. In areas where separate forms come together, he contrasted lights and darks. The final step was putting in the stripes; he used short, dark strokes broken up to show the fur growing beneath and between them.

Tiger Movement Drawing


This tiger is springing oft a ledge. In anticipation of the landing, the right foreleg is fully extended and the toes are spread. The tail is well extended to maintain balance. The artist centered his • attention on the hip and left shoulder muscles which are deeply involved in the action. Note the variety of thin pencil strokes that he used to depict the different areas of the coat.

Simple Texture Drawings Dogs


In this radically foreshortened drawing, the tiger seems uncomfortably close. Its head is cocked slightly in repose. Due to the close view, the paws have a lot of detail. The artist separated the head from the torso by darkening under the chin area to make the head seem to come forward. He cut with dark stripes into the white of the ruff in the chin area, and then penciled them in lightly. Again the whiskers are negative forms. Note the distinct slant of the eyes—a characteristic feline feature, especially among the big cats.

Black White Cartoon Tiger Cubs


A tiger matures sexually between the ages of three and four. Cubs stay under their mother's protection until they are two or three, even though they are able to kill their own prey as early as seven months old. In drawing these cubs the artist attempted to portray their youthful and still somewhat ungainly appearance—for instance, note how large their legs seem in relation to the body. Because cubs' whiskers are relatively light, the artist scratched them out with a razor from a dark background (note diagram).


Just like your house cat, tigers spend lots of time playing games that simulate their everyday activities. In this instance, a game of submission and domination is being acted out. The tiger assuming the aggressive role draws its ears back, fakes a snarl, and unsheathes its right foreleg claws while its playmate paws its head but with the claws well sheathed. On the head of the supine tiger, note how the stripes radiate from the center of the skull.

Tiger Anatomy DrawingTiger Head Drawings


A tiger has long upper canines that have six smaller incisors set between them. Its lower canines are set closer together and fit between, and in front of, the upper canines when the jaw is closed. The rims of the lips are quite dark. The wrinkles created by the yawn run from the nose toward the eyes, which are narrowed from the wide stretch of the jaw. Note that the eyebrows and whiskers are a texture different from the animal's fur.

Dog Playing Front View Drawing


Excluding the obvious stripes, the chiet differences between the tiger and the mountain lion (also known as the puma, cougar, panther, catamount, etc.) are: the tiger has a longer chin ruff, longer whiskers, and a flatter nose; the puma is somewhat slighter in structure and has distinctive black markings above the eyes. It's great fun to draw the lengthy coarse whiskers of cats by pulling them out with long definite pencil strokes. Note the differences in the textures of both animals' fur— coarser here, smoother there; lighter here, darker there; straighter here, scragglier there. The pencil is the ideal tool to capture this variety.

Drawing Male Lion Running


This male's luxuriant mane represents the most striking feature of the drawing. The artist included a number of V-shaped accents in the lower part of the mane to emphasize the overlapping character of the hair, which lies in thick layers in that area. The toes are drawn somewhat unevenly to demonstrate their flexibility—cats' feet must not be drawn as solid static shapes such as shoes. You can see the slits in the toes into which the claws retract. Note the difference between the male lion's ear and that of the tiger—the lion's ear seems more human-like. The dark tuft on the tip of the tail covers a pointy, hornlike spear.

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Anime Human Leopard


The snow leopard is a native of Asia and enjoys life at very high altitudes where it has been occasionally mistaken for the mysterious Abominable Snowman. In viewing this animal, the first thing that strikes the eye is the magnificent tail and dense furry coat. Most of this drawing entails long and flowing strokes of the pencil to capture the quality of the heavy fur, especially in the animal's underparts. The rosettes follow a rather scattered pattern and are partly diffused by the thick fur. The legs appear very stout because of their heavy burr while the head is relatively short-haired.

Pencil Drawings Cowboys Their Horses

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