How to Draw a Chocolate Lab Step-by-Step

Originating from Newfoundland, Labrador Retrievers were bred to work as hunting and fishing companions. An easy-going temperament and highly trainable nature make labs an ideal pet for active individuals. The lab comes in three colours: black, yellow and chocolate. Labs' short hair and streamlined, stocky body make it easy to draw. Both beginner and professionals can gain valuable experience learning to draw the frame and details of a lab in any colour.

Print a photo of a lab.

Set up an easel near a strong light source. Attach a sheet of drawing paper to the easel. Tape the photo next to the easel.

Look at the photo closely. Labs have short torsos, large haunches and a heavy, angular head. Examine the position of your subject.

Use an HB pencil to create the framework of the lab. Sketch a medium-sized triangle for the head, another medium circle for the haunch and a large circle to represent the shoulder and chest area of the dog. Draw two small ovals on either side of the triangle to represent the ears. Frame out the feet and joints by sketching small circles.

Create an outline of your dog from the framework. Use your photograph as a guide to draw connecting lines from the shapes to make a contour line drawing of the lab. Erase the framework shapes with a kneaded eraser once the outline is complete.

Add details to your drawing. Still using your HB pencil, fill in details around the face, feet and tail. Draw smaller circles for the eyes, a triangular-shaped muzzles and an elongated, narrow oval for the tail.

Mark the areas where the highlights and shadows fall on your composition. Use an F pencil to lightly shade the darkest areas. Draw loose shapes to indicate where the light is the brightest.

Create fur. Switch to coloured pencils to sketch the details of the fur. Use short hatching and cross-hatching marks in a light brown colour to fill in the body and outline of your drawing. Layer dark brown pencil strokes around the shadowed areas of your composition.

Continue to fill in the fur with various shades of brown. Use light brown or yellow to indicate the highlights over the lab's fur.


Spray your drawing with a matt fixative in a well-ventilated area to protect it from deterioration. A kneaded eraser can be moulded into different shapes to remove mistakes.


Erasing coloured pencil marks can cause smearing. Instead, fill in the details with light layers.

Things You'll Need

  • Printer
  • Easel
  • Drawing paper
  • Tape
  • HB pencil
  • Kneaded eraser
  • F pencil
  • Light and dark brown coloured pencils
  • Yellow coloured pencil
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About the Author

Alyssa Ideboen has been writing professionally since 2005. She has contributed to several print and online publications, including "Lexington Woman" and "Global Business" magazines. Ideboen holds a Bachelor of Arts in business management and communication from Judson University.