dog drawing tutorial

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Draw a Dog

XPPen 2024-01-08 14:30:54 5 min read
Looking to learn how to draw a cute dog or a realistic one step by step? Look no further! In this detailed tutorial, we'll guide you through the whole drawing process of a cartoon-style dog and help you draw a more realistic version. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, you'll learn one thing or two. Follow along and let's create a memorable work of art now!

As said, in this article you'll learn:

Part 1: How to draw a cute dog easily

Part 2: How to draw a realistic dog easily

Get started with XPPen Drawing Displays or Tablets to Enjoy Drawing!

We utilized Photoshop on XPPen Artist 13 (2nd Gen) drawing display and XPPen Deco MW drawing tablet to create this drawing guide, However, feel free to use other applications you're familiar with and those with comparable features on different drawing tablets or displays. Use the tools you are already familiar with to achieve the best results.

Let's try drawing a cartoony corgi as an example. Follow our drawing instructions and let's get started!

steps to draw a cute dog

Step 1: Use simple shapes to create a general composition of your dog

draw a cute dog step 1

For starters, make a general composition of the object that we will draw. Use some geometric shapes to outline the dog so it would be easier to add more details later on. The composition does not have to be the same as the real shape, just capturing the characteristics of the dog and showing its chubby and cute body.

In the case of a cartoony corgi, we can reduce it to triangles and ovals. We roughly sketched the shape of the face and body with ovals and marked the position of the ears at the top with two triangles. So the adorable face of a dog leaps onto the paper.

Step 2: Draft your dog and add auxiliary lines

draw a cute dog step 2

Now that we've drawn a general composition of a dog on one layer, we can create another layer and reduce the opacity of the first one. We can further outline the cute dog using the shapes we made in the first step.

Add dividing lines that divide the face in half vertically, then horizontally through where the eyes roughly sit. You can add more guidelines to help you better understand different parts and achieve the right proportions.

Tip: How to Draw Different Poses of a Cute Dog

draw a cute dog different poses

Simply follow the fist two steps and you can easily draw cute dogs in various poses, whether they are sitting still, running, facing forward, or sideways. You only need a real reference and use simple shapes to create a rough outline. Then, add guidelines to mark the proportions of facial features or body parts to draw the prototype of a dog in different postures.

Step 3: Redraw outlines and add more details

draw a cute dog step 3

We've drawn a rough sketch in Step 2, so now we can lower the opacity of the second layer and create the third one. In this layer, we can redraw the outlines with more details and variety, focusing on parts of the dig like its nose, eyes, ears, dots, fur patterns, etc., to make it look cuter and livelier.

Step 4: Color your dog

draw a cute dog step 4

Before coloring, create a new layer underneath the sketch layer. And use the brush to distinguish the blocks of color. Here for this corgi, We use 4 shades - 2 shades of yellow for the coat, a light pink shade for the tongue and part of the inner ears, and a black shade for the nose and eyes. Divide these blocks and then fill in the color. Of course, if you want to use different colors for your dog drawing, feel free to switch it up. Use your creativity and imagination!

Step 5: Add shadow and light to elaborate your work

draw a cute dog step 5

Create one more layer to differentiate the light and shade. This is where you should determine the light source on your dog drawing because it will dictate the highlights and shadows of your work. For this example, we assumed that the light source is from the left. In that case, the left side of the dog is brighter, and the right rear is darker, as the picture above shows.

Step 6: Add personalized elements to your dog

draw a cute dog step 6

Finally, you can add creative elements you like tomake your drawing come to life. We added a cute astronaut helmet and a flag pole at the side of this cute "Astro-corgi" ready to explore Outer Space!

Let your ideas fly and have fun drawing!

If you loved how we drew a cute cartoony dog in the first part, but want to learn how to draw a more realistic doggo, we got you covered!

In this tutorial, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of sketching, coloring and shading a realistic dog drawing. We will still be drawing a corgi as an example. Let's get started!

steps to draw a realistic dog

Step 1: Create a general outline of your dog

draw a realistic dog step 1

First, have a general understanding of the structure and orientation in your mind. For example a corgi is known for its short stature and adorable face. So, we would need to form the whole figure with several basic shapes corresponding to the short stature and features of corgis in real life. the same as the first step in part one. Use circles to form the body, head, and nose. Add ears and legs with other shapes. Pay attention to the size and position of these forms; in this case, we want to get it right to create a lifelike look for the dog.

Step 2: Sketch your dog

draw a realistic dog step 2

After creating the general position and structure of the dog with basic forms, we can now further sketch the dog. Reduce the opacity of the first layer and then create a new layer to further outline the dog based on the basic forms we’ve created in the first step.

You can always add auxiliary lines to indicate the placement of ears, eyes, and snout to help you achieve the correct proportions later.

Step 3: Lay a base shade for your dog

draw a realistic dog step 3

Next, create a new layer to paint a layer of the base shade, and now we get a solid yellow Corgi.

Step 4: Add more shades

draw a realistic dog step 4

Except for the base shade, we need more shades to draw a realistic dog. Here we have 2 shades of orange for the coat, a light pink shade for the tongue, and a very dark brown shade for the nose and the eyes.

You may expand the color palette and add more shades to your drawing as you see fit. Just follow the color distribution of a real dog to make sure your drawing captures a realistic look of the dog.

Step 5: Add shadow and light

draw a realistic dog step 5draw a realistic dog step 5

The next step is shading, where we need to establish the highlights and the shadows of your drawing. Create a new layer and select Blend Mode > Multiply. According to the direction of the light source, we do dark shadow first and then hide the sketch layer to highlight the opposite side. This time, we need to use Blend Mode > Screen. Now, the contrast between light and dark is shown.

Step 6: Create a rough impression of fur

draw a realistic dog step 6

At this step, we mainly add more details to make the dog look more realistic. We need to draw fur flow and dots on key areas such as ears and nose.

Then, based on the light and shadow foundation from the previous step, we refine the details of the dark parts. Use a very dark brown tone to give the dog a little more depth of color and strengthen the stereoscopic effect.

Step 7: Paint a grassland background for the dog

draw a realistic dog step 7

To make the picture richer and more vivid, we paint a layer of grassland background, as if the corgi is leisurely walking on the grass. And then add shadow; there must be a shadow where there is light. We need to pay attention to distinguishing the relationship between the front and back of the layers.

Step 8: Elaborate details of the dog

draw a realistic dog step 8

Although we've added light and shadow, the dog still looks like a combination of color blocks. So now we further shape the form of the dog. We use a smudging tool to blur the edges of the color blocks, making them fit together naturally. Adjust shades and gradations according to the dog's body structure to make the dog look more realistic. Here we can refer to real-life lighting relationships. Add details such as eyes, nose, teeth, collar, and roughly sketch hairs on limbs using brushes.

Step 9: Create different textures

draw a realistic dog step 9

If you want your dog to look more perfect and more vivid, further enhance the details. Create the impression of fur all over the corgi’s body with a very light and very dark orange tone. Then, further express the different materials of each part through color gradients, and add more tones to imitate the dog in the light of the real world.

use drawing display to draw

Thank you for joining our dog drawing tutorial! Elevate your art with XPPen drawing displays and tablets. Our high-level X3 smart chip stylus, combined with industry-leading EMR technology, delivers a stable, sharp, and precise pen-on-paper experience. Create all kinds of art with our products compatible with various software. Whether you're a pro or beginner, our XPPen drawing display unleashes your creativity. Shop today to see the difference in your art!

Check out the two great products used in this tutorial:

The Artist 13 (2nd Gen)

xppen artist 13 drawing display

The Artist 13 (2nd Gen) drawing display stands out with its large yet portable screen. It offers a natural color display with vivid colors (130% sRGB). The stylus equipped with X3 Chip Technology provides a realistic drawing experience. Enjoy 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt sensitivity up to 60 degrees for shading and textures. With nine customizable express keys, you'll have quick access to frequently used functions. Compatible with various systems and software like Adobe Photoshop and more. All these great features come at an affordable price of around $300.

Deco MW - The Best Budget Drawing Tablet

xppen deco mw drawing tablet

The Deco MW is the best budget drawing tablet, offering a sharp and stable X3 chip stylus for just $70. Enjoy its super power capacity with a long-lasting lithium battery for over 10 hours of use. Benefit from 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connection. This slim and portable tablet also includes eight customizable express keys for quick access to functions. Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android systems, and works with popular software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and more. A great investment for artists on the go!

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