Cindy Wider

In this step-by-step drawing tutorial, I’ll show you how to draw a dog. You’ll create a quick and easy drawing of a cute puppy dog using just circles, ovals, and triangle shapes. Your friends will admire your clever drawing skills. They’ll probably say something like “Wow!” and “How did you draw that?”

The steps of drawing a dog, from stacked shapes, to outlining, to adding fur details. 

Overview: What will we be doing in this step-by-step tutorial? 

The tutorial will be broken down into three parts. In Part A, we’ll draw all our shapes onto vertical and horizontal guidelines. Then, in Part B, we’ll add the outline as we travel around the shapes. Finally, in Part C, we’ll add some soft fluffy fur. You’ll see your little dog come together with such cuteness that you’ll barely believe your eyes! 

The best part is if you practice for just a short time, you’ll be able to draw a cute dog over and over again from memory in no time. 

Let’s get started! 

Colored Pencil Character Drawing Secrets with Cindy Wider

Last Updated January 2019

  • 60 lectures
  • All Levels
4.8 (143)

Learn Professional Colored Pencil Drawing Techniques Suitable for Children’s Characters, Coloring Books and Illustration | By Cindy Wider

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Part A – Stacking the Shapes

Step 1: Draw two circles, one on top of the other. These will form your dog’s face and tummy later. 

Step 1: Two Stacked Circles Step, how to draw a dog

Step 2: Draw an oval shape over halfway below the top circle. It should just barely cross over the top of the bottom circle.

Step 2: Adding Oval Shape Step, how to draw a dog

Step 3: Add two circles to create the outer part of your dog’s eyes, just above the oval and slightly overlapping. Then add another circle within those two circles for the inner part of the eyes. Finally, add one more tiny circle in the same place on both eyes to draw the glint in the eyes. 

Step 3: Adding Circles to Create Eyes

Step 4: For your cute dog’s nose, add a tiny triangle just above the bottom of the large upper circle. Then draw in two half-circles, one on each side of the triangle. These will become the hollows of your dog nose later. 

Step 4: Add Triangle Nose, how to draw a dog

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Step 5: Now you need to draw in two angled straight lines to position your dog’s ears. 

Step 5: Add Angled Lines, how to draw a dog

Step 6: Using the angles you’ve just drawn, add two triangles below the line — one for each side of your dog’s head for the ears.

Step 6: Add Two Triangle Ears, how to draw a dog

Step 7: Draw two horizontal lines for your dog’s paws to rest on. One horizontal line must be drawn on the ground at the base of the lower circle. The other horizontal line should be just a bit higher up and parallel to the line below. 

Step 7:  Adding Two Horizontal Guidelines, how to draw a dog

Step 8: For the front paws: Draw two ovals at the base of the lower circle, one on either side of the vertical line without touching each other. 

Step 8: Adding Ovals for Front Paws, how to draw a dog

Step 9: For the back paws: Add two more oval shapes resting on the higher horizontal line, one on each side of the large circle.

Step 9: Adding Ovals for Back Paws, how to draw a dog

Step 10: For this step, you’ll need to draw a pair of diagonal guidelines to position the dog’s two front legs. Start by increasing the length of the center vertical line just below the circle, and then draw the diagonal guidelines from that point, creating a “V” shape.  The “V” travels up through the bottom circle and ends above it at the same height on both sides, just a little bit higher than the large circle.

Step 10: Drawing the “V” Shape, how to draw a dog

Step 11: Next, draw a vertical line straight down to the center of the little oval-shaped feet from the top of the “V” on both sides.

Step 11: Adding Vertical Lines to the “V” Shape, how to draw a dog

Step 12: Then, draw oval shapes on both of the vertical lines and diagonal lines that you created in previous steps to create the dog’s legs.

Step 12: Draw in the Oval Shapes for Legs, how to draw a dog

You’ve completed Part A — well done to you! Now it’s time to move on to Part B, where you’ll draw the outline to make your drawing look more like a cute cartoon dog. 

Part B: Steps to Outline the Dog

Your drawing of a cute cartoon dog isn’t quite finished yet, but you have done all the hard work! In this next section, we will draw around the shapes to create the outline and add the finer details. 

  1. First, erase all the guidelines so that you only see your shapes. Look at the image below to see the correct guidelines to erase.  
  2. Next, take a look at the sample drawing to see all the curves you need to add to complete your dog. 
  3. Create the softness of his cute little ears by adding curved lines around the outside of the triangle shapes. 
  4. Add the roundness on his nose then two upwards curves for his smiling mouth with a third curve in the middle. 
  5. Join the head to the body with an inward curve on each side of the neck area.
  6. Add the cute little toes by thinking of a pair of brackets. Curving to the left or right where needed.
  7. Finally draw the curved triangle for his cute tail and then two curves either side to make it look like it’s wagging. These are called motion lines. 
Step 1: Erasing the guidelines and leaving only shapes, how to draw a dog
Step 2:  Adding Curved Lines, how to draw a dog

Part C: Erase all the shapes and add the fur

Now it’s time to make your cute cartoon dog more cuddly. We’ll be adding some soft, short fur around the dog’s body. 

  1. Creating the fur: See the example on the left below, as you may want to practice on a circle first. Start at the top of the head and make your way down and around your dog’s body. Use quick, short, and curved strokes at different lengths as you flick outwards and downwards from the dog’s body. It’s also important to travel towards the left with your strokes on the left side and towards the right on the right side.
  2. Once you’ve added the fur, your cute cartoon dog is complete! Congratulations! 

I hope you had a fun time drawing your cute cartoon dog. If you practice this step-by-step drawing a couple of times, you could be drawing it from memory before you know it. And, if you’re interested in drawing more animals, please check out our tutorials on how to draw a cat, and how to draw a unicorn.   

Have fun and “happy drawing times” to you! 

Page Last Updated: December 2021