How to Draw a Realistic Dog

how to draw a realistic dog

In this drawing lesson, the team of will show you how to draw a realistic dog. This tutorial is a slightly more sophisticated version of our previous guide on drawing a dog.

The main difference between this lesson and previous tutorials on drawing a dog is that here we will add volume using shadows in the last step. In addition, this drawing of the dog will be more detailed and the outlines of body parts will be more realistic.

This realistic dog drawing tutorial will not seem so difficult if you read our articles about shadows and hatching. There we talk in great detail about the structure of shadows and lights and how to create volume in a drawing using hatching.

So let’s get down to the tutorial on how to draw a realistic dog.


Step 1

Let’s start drawing a dog from its skeleton. Use simple and almost invisible lines to sketch the head, chest, and pelvis. Use the same simple lines to sketch the spine, tail, and legs. Note that this tutorial on how to draw a realistic dog starts the same way as our simpler dog drawing tutorials.

how to draw a realistic dog full body

Step 2

Now, using a few light lines, sketch out the outlines of the muzzle and hanging ears. As always, we remind you that we are showing the most typical and canonical example. You can modify your drawing of a dog by changing certain details on your sketch.

how to draw a realistic dog body

Step 3

Now sketch out the outlines of the front limbs of the dog with rough and loose lines. In the future, we will give them a more detailed and complete look. In this step, we need to position the front legs of the dog in the most correct way, giving them the correct volume.

how to draw a realistic dog step by step for beginners

Step 4

Now use a couple of smooth lines to sketch out the top and bottom edges of the torso. Note that the dog’s torso should taper slightly at the abdomen. Next, using light lines sketch out the tail. If you want to check the correctness and proportionality of your dog drawing, then look at it through a mirror.

how to draw a realistic dog step by step easy

Step 5

Now let’s move on to the hind legs of the realistic dog, sketching them using light lines in the same way as it was done a little earlier with the front legs. The hind legs should be noticeably thicker at the top, and taper smoothly towards the middle.

how to draw a realistic dog easy

Step 6

It’s time to get down to the details and make the realistic dog drawing truly convincing. Start with the eyes, sketching them in two almond-shaped geometric figures. The dog’s eyes should be slightly above the center of the head ball. Draw a nose just below the eyes. In one of the previous drawing lessons, we told how to draw a dog nose in detail.

how to draw a realistic dog face for beginners

Step 7

Draw the mouth just below the nose. First, draw the upper jaw, then draw the lower. By adding folds around the muzzle, as in our example, you will make your dog drawing more realistic and convincing. If you want to learn more about the process of drawing a dog’s head, then visit our article on how to draw a dog face.

how to draw a realistic dog head

Step 8

Now it’s time to add some detail to the front legs of the dog. Using darker lines, carefully draw the outlines of the front legs. When drawing the details of the front legs, keep in mind the outlines of the muscles and bones under the skin. Draw toes and short claws. To make the dog look more realistic, add folds on the neck like in our example.

how to draw a realistic dog easy step by step

Step 9

Now do the same with the hind legs, that is, carefully draw them with sharper and darker lines. Draw the toes and claws. As a reminder, you can add some more volume to your dog drawing by making the closer lines darker than the more distant ones. We talked about this in our article on aerial perspective.

how to draw a dog realistic and easy

Step 10

Add some finishing touches to your drawing of a realistic dog. For example, we made the tail more detailed and the ears darker. In addition, you can add even more folds or draw some interesting patterns on the body.

how to draw a realistic dog with a pencil

Step 11

Erase all unnecessary guidelines from your dog drawing. Give the necessary lines a little more tone. Compare your drawing with our example, look at it in the mirror and move away from it to find mistakes, and if they were made, then it’s time to fix them.

how to draw a realistic dog step by step

Step 13

Now it’s time to make the realistic dog drawing truly three-dimensional and convincing.. To do this, you need to use hatching, and draw shadows, as shown in our example. Start from the darkest areas, gradually moving towards lighter ones. Darken the eyes, leaving small highlights in them.

how to draw a realistic dog

To make your realistic dog drawing more voluminous, try drawing a background. This usually helps to achieve an even greater 3D effect. You can also try making the shadows denser. Add additional layers of hatching, making shadows darker and contrasts even more noticeable.

Of course, this realistic dog drawing is not detailed and vivid enough to be confused with a black and white photograph of a real dog. Here we have given the most important knowledge for drawing a realistic dog.

By adding shadows and highlights, you can give your dog as much volume as you want. It depends on perseverance and how well you are familiar with the theory of light and shadow, as well as on how often you practice drawing.

Don’t forget that the main thing every artist should do is practice. The more you practice, the more voluminous your drawings will be. If for several months you draw at least half an hour a day, you can achieve truly significant heights in drawing.

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