How Do You Draw a Realistic Dog?

To draw a realistic-looking dog, procure a photograph of a dog to use as a guide. Lightly sketch a vertical line to indicate the center of the dog's face. Add shorter, horizontal lines to mark places for the eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Also note areas where the plane of the drawing changes. Lightly draw features around and over the reference lines, using broken lines to delineate the dog's fur.

To create a more realistic appearance, shading can be added to the drawing. Shading should be done beneath the dog's ears, eyes and nose. Shading should also be filled in toward lighter fur to make it appear real. White or light spaces should be reserved for the dog's eyes, on the tip of its nose and on any fur presented in a light environment to indicate highlights. During the shading process, reference lines should be erased.

The dog can be shaded in a direction that surrounds the muzzle to make it appear to jump off the page more realistically. Darker areas are shaded first, while short pieces of fur are delineated with softer shade marks to show less texture. Artists can soften the appearance of the drawing by going over it with a rubber eraser.