Learning to draw dogs
The dog is a relatively popular motive, since also many hobby artists like to illustrate their own quadruped. You can often read the question “How to draw a dog” in forums. In this little tutorial I would like to show you how to draw dogs.
In another article I wrote more about drawing dog portraits. If you are interested in this in the first place you should have a look there: Draw dog portraits
Drawing a dog
However, I will not describe a standard procedure in this manual. Depending on the perspective from which you want to draw a dog and depending on your posture, the motif may look completely different. Therefore I will primarily try to give some tips and hints on how to draw a dog. As always, it is important to have a close look at and study the drawing object.
See the drawing below. In it you can see a dog in side view. Study the proportions of the dog in the drawing if you want to learn to draw a dog yourself.
Especially when it comes to a general approach to drawing dogs, you also have the problem that there are many different breeds. The different dog breeds sometimes look very different. The characteristic body shapes show a similarity, but nevertheless you have to look very closely again and again when you draw.
Drawing the proportions of a dog correctly
A possible approach for the representation of a dog is the examination of the proportions with the help of orientation lines.
In the picture below you can see how I measured a dog. I have tried to emphasize the most important proportions by equal length measurements. The orientation lines are here always in the (constant) distance A or a fraction of A (A/2 and A/4).
What you can extract from this proportional study to learn to draw a dog are the approximate dimensions of the animal. I will summarize the findings in the following – the basic dimension is the length A. So you can see:
The total height of the dog can be represented by 2.5 times the length A (H=2.5*A).
The shoulder height is 2*A.
The length without rod is about 3 times the length A (L=3*A).
The length with tail is approx. 4*A – depending on the posture of the tail.
The length from the joint of the forelegs to the hip joint is about 2*A.
The dog’s head is about 3/4*A (or 0.75*A) long.
The muzzle is about 1/4 long; the length from the eye to the ear is 1/4 and the back of the head (about the length of the ear) is 1/4 again.
The height of the head is about 1/2*A.
The midline is under the eyes; below is the muzzle, above are the eyes and forehead.
Dogs draw with the help of a skeleton representation.
Another approach to drawing dogs is the skeleton figure method – one could also speak of a stick figure drawing. The method is often used when it comes to drawing a dog or other animal in motion or simply in different postures.
In the skeleton representation, the individual limbs and the most important joints are represented. This visualizes how a dog can move. This makes it much easier to draw the dog in other postures as well.
In the drawing below you see such a skeleton representation, in which additionally the contour of a dog is deposited. The three ellipses, which are distributed over the body, are the shoulder blade, the chest and the hip. The points mark the joints.