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Learn How to Draw a Dog with This Simple Step-by-Step Sketching Guide

How Do I Draw a Dog

Stock Photos from Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
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Drawing our furry friends is a natural way to celebrate their fluffiness and beauty. Cat drawing is a popular means of depicting adorable kitties, but we can’t forget about our favorite pups. Learning how to draw a dog is both fun and will challenge your talents. And once you’ve mastered the art of sketching one canine, you can depict all kinds of breeds. Who knows—sketching other people’s pets could even turn into your side hustle!

Wondering how to draw a dog step by step? It might seem like a daunting task as there are so many different dog breeds in the world—340 to be exact. You might be worried that your skills for drawing a golden retriever won’t translate into sketching a chihuahua. Luckily, they will. The process for realistically recreating a dog on paper or canvas is the same.


Before you start to draw a dog, learn their anatomical structure.

Here’s a secret for drawing anything: learn its structure before you start sketching it. It’s helpful for animals, humans, and even flowers. You don’t need to memorize the anatomical composition, but by knowing things like where a joint is located, you’ll be better informed when you draw. You’ll make better decisions about how something moves (or doesn't move) and your forms will be believable.

The saying “you've got to know the rules before you break them” applies here. If you’re planning on stylizing your work, having knowledge of anatomy can help you know where to minimize or exaggerate an element of your drawing.


This helpful video is a slow-motion look at how a dog moves.

Notice where their joints move and their overall mobility. How does that inform the type of drawing you want to make?

We’re going to show you how to draw a dog in two ways. One way is a full-body portrait, which will be helpful if you want to show a pup in a variety of poses. Then, we’ll zoom-in on their face to demonstrate how to depict their expressions and fur patterns.

For these two tutorials, we are using a variety of pencils, a vinyl eraser, and a sketchpad. Don’t skimp on the pencils—these utensils are important! Check out our guide for best drawing pencils and our recommendations for paper types, too.


Next: How to make a full-body drawing of a dog.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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