How to Draw a Dog Sitting at a Side View

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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How to Draw a Dog Sitting at a Side View
Sitting dog in profile (Dog argentin - Molosse image by philippe marie from

Drawing dogs, similar to drawing anything alive, can be challenging. This is particularly true if you are trying to create a realistic dog, perhaps a specific dog that you have known and cared about for a long time. When a pet becomes an individual, you will want your drawing of him to evoke his personality. The best way to start drawing dogs is to become familiar with what they look like.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Photograph of dog
  • Photocopies
  • Tracing paper
  • 1/4-inch graph paper
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge

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  1. 1

    Take several photographs of your dog sitting, in profile, using a digital camera. Try taking these photos in different locations with varying degrees of contrast. What you want is a photograph with minimal visual distractions in the background so that you can see the shape of the dog well.

  2. 2

    Make photocopies of your images at the size you want to draw. Having several images rather than just one will give you more information about shape as you go along. Try to make photocopies where the dog is distinct and easy to distinguish from the background.

  3. 3

    Place tracing paper over your favourite dog image, and carefully trace the dog. When possible, sketch the true line of the legs, paws, tail, head, ears, nose, chest, etc.

  4. 4

    Place your tracing paper over your 1/4-inch graph paper and lightly trace the grid pattern onto the tracing paper. Place a second piece of tracing paper over the first tracing paper and use the grid lines to draw squares and rectangles around the dog's body shape. Try to see each piece of the dog's body as a square, rectangle or circle. This will help you learn the actual shape of the dog's body.

  5. 5

    Transfer your block and circle shapes and sizes to your drawing board. Use the grid design to help you hand draw your sitting dog in profile. The first tracing paper will be helpful in showing you the locations of features. The initial photographs and photocopies will offer insight into shading, hair movement and texture, position and appearance of eyes, and more.

Tips and warnings

  • By using this type of grid system you can constrain your shapes and understand how the body shape relates. This will help you bring your favourite dogs to life on your drawing pad.

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