Bull mastiffs were originally bred in Germany to help track down and confront poachers. In 1925, they were officially recognised as a legitimate dog breed. They can grow large, weighing up to 63.5 Kilogram. The typical features include a black muzzle and dark shading around the eyes. An adult can be up to 27 inches tall. The size of the bull mastiff makes it formidable. Rather than attacking outright, these dogs will knock over an opponent, human or otherwise, and pin them down. They are calm dogs yet they will never back down from a fight.
Arrange your tools and references in a well-lit room. Choose an image that shows the dog facing you, for example. Double the dimensions you take from the photo. For example, indicate a height of 8 inches on your drawing paper if the dog is 4 inches high in the photo.
Mark the dimensions of the outline on your paper. Include the relative dimensions of the head and the positions of the eyes, nose and legs. Draw a large circle around the chest area. Draw a smaller circle, about half the size of the first, to indicate the torso. Draw a third circle around the area you marked to indicate the head. Draw 4 lines to indicate the legs.
Outline the main features of the head such as eyes, ears and the snout. Connect the circles by following the markings you made at the beginning. Connect all the dots until the outline is complete. Draw the exact outline of the legs around the lines, including the paws. Watch for the bone and muscular structure of the dog, and how this affects the outline. Carefully indicate the knees, tail (if visible), the shoulder and chest muscles.
Draw the eyes parallel to the ground and complete the details of the outline within the circles. Erase the circles as you have now established the proportions. Continue detailing the head, which is the centre of attention in such a drawing. Complete the nose and folds around the large mouth, ears and neck.
Examine the reference image and begin shading the dark areas on the dog. Carefully shade the areas that are in shadow, and slight shading to indicate muscle tone. Shade the snout and eyes, which are typically dark. Preserve the focused look of the eyes. Take time to make the eyes exact. Keep track of where the light is coming from to help you determine highlights and shadows.
Blend the areas you have shaded with a cloth. Test this technique on another sheet of paper to familiarise yourself. Rub in the direction of the light area. Keep the change from light to dark subtle to create the illusion of depth. Re-draw any important lines you may have obscured in the process.
Take a small break to readjust your eyes and come back to examine your work. Finish your drawing by making any last corrections. Use the eraser to clean any blurring of lines or smudges.
Things you need
- Drawing paper
- Graphite pencil
- Reference images