How to Draw Poodles

Written by c.k. adams
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How to Draw Poodles
Poodle's hair is very curly and poofy, so draw an extra amount of fluff. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Whether you want to create a realistic or cartoon poodle, you need a point of reference for creating the poodle's hair and body. Dogs sometimes sit on their haunches with front paws centre and chests puffed out, or they lie in a huddled circle. Either way, poodle figures first start as simple shapes that you expand with a few artistic techniques. When drawing a dog's face and eyes, perspective drawing tutorials help determine the right angles and depth for placing each feature.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Draw a circle for the head of your poodle, starting about three inches above the centre of the paper. Draw a single line from the middle of the circle's bottom for the neck, then draw another circle for the body. This circle should be more oval shaped horizontally and wider than the head.

  2. 2

    Draw two leg lines about two inches apart. Create a circle from the end point of the leg and travel up and through the middle of the leg line, then close off the circle on the other side of the line. Repeat for the second leg. This is the foot or paw.

  3. 3

    Measure halfway up the top circle for your poodle's head and draw a line. This is where you draw the dog's eyes. Underneath this line, about an inch or so, draw a second line for the nose and mouth. Together, the nose and mouth lines create the placement of the muzzle.

  4. 4

    Sketch the poodle's muzzle based on the shape of a shoe, such as a clog. Start the shoe shape from the second, or mouth, line. Draw the line slightly upward for the nose, then down in a curved shape back to the bottom of the circle, where the neck line starts. Your poodle's head is turned slightly to the side.

    How to Draw Poodles
    The clog's curved toe forms the muzzle shape for the poodle. (Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images)
  5. 5

    Draw the first eye in the lower centre of the circle, level with the eye line that you created above the nose line. Since your dog's head is turned, this eye is bigger. To the right of this eye, draw a second smaller eye that cuts off at the edge of the circle. This creates a perspective of the dog's turned head.

  6. 6

    Add hair to the top and side of the circle by using squiggly, curly lines in a cloud formation. Draw the hair just above the eyes and a few inches above the top of the circle, rounding it out on the left side of the circle. On the left bottom of the circle, create a separate cloud of poodle hair with squiggle lines, to create the curly shapes of poodle's ear.

  7. 7

    Draw the neck of the poodle by curving a line from the middle point of the bottom of your shoe-shaped mouth to the right top of the circle. Add curly hair around the body circle that you created earlier.

  8. 8

    Draw wider legs around your line legs and add curly clouds around your circles for the paws. Erase any of your guidelines that still show, such as your leg lines, circles and head lines. Draw the tail and tail puff sticking out of the bottom right of the body. Draw the tail to stick out at a 45-degree angle. Use the squiggly cloud technique on the end for the tail.

  9. 9

    Add in a three-toe paw to the bottom of your paw puff for each leg. You can do this by drawing the number "3" sideways or horizontal below the paw puff and then extending the outer lines up to the leg. Alternatively, start at the puff and curve the toes, then finish the paw on the other side of the puff. Do the same for the other paw.

  10. 10

    Place your pencil just below the middle of your poodle's body, then sketch a curved line out to the left of your paw puff. This is the first haunch or hind leg. Finish by drawing the back foot sticking out below the haunch. Duplicate for the haunch on the other side.

  11. 11

    Enhance the other features of your poodle with coloured pencils or crayons, shading in the hair and body in any colour you like. For a realistic approach, use graphite pens or charcoal to define and shade in the face and body.

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