Looking to improve your dog drawing skills? This collection of 35 realistic dog drawing tutorials is perfect for artists of all abilities.
Whether you want to draw a cute puppy or a wise old hound, these dog drawing ideas will help bring your canine art to life in a realistic style. So grab some paper and your favorite drawing tools, and let these tutorials guide you to creating lifelike dog drawings.
All artwork provided is original and can be used as a reference for your own drawings.
Table of Contents
Try and look at the way each line helps to create the shapes of the dogs face. Using different grades of pencil can help you create both depth and shape within your drawings.
Jack Russell Full Body
Trying to capture the whole of the dogs body can seem daunting. However, you can keep it simple. This simple sketch shows how easy you can make it.
Jack Russell Side
capturing the expression of the dog can seem hard, but with practice it will get easier. Pay special attention to the details around the eyes. Drawing the eye’s well will make every drawing you do better.
This simple sketch was done very quickly and a quick sketch is all it takes sometimes.
Maltese Laying Down
Building up the layesrs of fur gradually can help you to get the shape of the dog right. Draw a very light line for the overall shape and then overlay the layesrs of fur. Be careful not to overdo it. You don’t want to make the drawing too dark.
Collect as many photographs as you can and study how the dogs legs appear when the dog is in different positions. Try to understand the anatomy of the dog so you understand how the limbs move better.
Whispy Chihuahua Portrait
This is another sketch that was done quickly. Most of the image is done like a scribble drawing and then the face was drawn in more detail to finish the sketch off in a different way. Combining techniques can be a great way of adding interest and variety to your drawings.
Chihuahua Laying Down
Using a light drade of pencil will help you do better shading without the whole image ending up too dark.
Jack Russell Full Body Portrait
A face can say a thousand words. Think about the nose and eyes in particular, but the ears will also tell their own story. Making the focus points much darker in this sketch means that the eyes of the viewer are immediately drawn to them.
Border Collie Portrait
This is one of those drawings i did with very few guide lines. I bult up the features around the eyes first and then worked gradually outwards. i kept the pencil very sharp for crisp lines, but then used a softer darker pencil to smudge in the darker shading at the end.
Wire Fox Terrier Portrait
Some dogs have real character, and capturing that can be difficult, but with practice you will improve. Observation is key. This scruffy little terrier was studying me as much as I was studying it while i was doing the drawing.
Shih Tzu Portrait
In this drawing you can see that sometimes, it is what you don’t draw that is just as important as what you do draw. Negative space plays an important role when you are drawing, especially with portraits. This Shih Tzu portrait is framed wwell and un-drawn, light areas of the drawing give a wonderful depth to the image.
Border Collie Laying Down Portrait
Learning to shade can be great fun, As you learn you will get better and there are some great shading techniques that will help to improve your skills.
Chow Chow Portrait
In a drawing, you can exaggerate the features of the subject to emphasise certain aspects of the drawing. Keeping the shadows consistent is something else to strive for. Think about where the light is coming from and where the shadows will be deepest.
Quick sjetches can be just as satisfying and complex detailed drawings.
Yorkshire Terrier Portrait
Learning to draw dog portraits well can be a lucrative skill. Most pet owners love a well presented drawing and it is am easy way you could monetise your art if you get good at it.
I used a pencil with a softer rounder tip to try and capture the closely packed thick coat of this Husky.
Huskey Side Portrait
You can see here how the careful use of cross-hatching for the darker areas of shadow, can work really well.
Golden Retriever Side Portrait
Portraits as detailed as this will take time and a lot of practice. Try and keep your lines smooth and consistent to capture the longer fur around the Retrievers neck.
Golden Retriever Portrait
I love the look of anticipation in the face of this retriever puppy. Capturing the mood of the situation is vital for any drawing.
Golden Retriever Portrait
Yes I love Retrievers, and this one was just a simple sketch. I dont think I got the nose quite right here, but it is all good practice.
German Shepard Side Portrait
Ears pricked and eyes focused, this German Shepherd is always alert, waiting for danger.
German Shepard Portait
Photo realistic drawings are very difficult. This one took many hours of work. Knowing when to stop is sometimes difficult too.
St. Bernard Puppy Portrait
I used a flat, chisel tipped pencil for this sketch. It mean’t i could use the corners for the more pronounced fur but just use the flat edge to shade large areas very quickly.
Pomeranian Side Portrait
This sketch was one i found very challeenging. The different lengths of fur on the Pomeranian’s coat were difficult to draw and it took several attenpts.
These two sketches are great examples of the way light and dark both play an equal part in your drawings.
Golden Retriever Side Portrait
Sometimes you will see a dog and know you need to draw it. Even if you dont have much time you can do a quick sketch. You can always add to it later if you decide you want to.
Norfolk Terrier Portrait
I love the expression on this scruffy, inquisitive little terrier’s face.
Border Collie Sitting Full Body
Getting the position of the legs right isn’t easy. You can see that here, they just aren’t quite right. The rear left leg should all be a little darker. As it looks here, it is not immediately obvious and the front left leg just looks too far back on the body. We all make mistakes.
Norfolk Terrier Full Body
This is another scruffy little terrier that was very interested in the fact i was drawing him. Using a darker B grade pencil helped me to create the darker shadows on his nose, around his mouth and on his ears.
Every dog portrait you do should teach you something new. Try to analyse your results to see what you got right and wrong.
Great Dane Portrait
Sometimes, shorter hair can be more difficult to get right than longer hair. You will see more of the underlying features.
Remember, the closest thing to you will always have the most detail. Perspective will make the nose of this Dachshund appear larger because it has a long snout.
This is another detailed sketch. Look at the expression and the detail around the eyes where I wanted the focus of the drawing to be.