How to Draw a Cartoon Dog: Practice Makes Perfect

Image showing a man drawing something on a paper
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

As dog lovers, we always want to find ways to show our love for our furry best friends. Many dog owners dedicate themselves to buying expensive toys, taking their pets on walks, or having their dog’s photos taken. However, this is not enough for some. A real dog lover should be able to express their love for their pet in the most unique way possible and with some obvious time and effort invested. This is one of the reasons why many dog owners want to learn how to draw a cartoon dog.

Aside from being a means to show your love and devotion, cartoon dogs are also very popular in comic strips and as cartoon characters. Developing your cartoon dog drawing technique can help you discover a hidden talent or make you some money in the future. There are ways to make drawing a cartoon dog easier even if you don’t have any drawing skills. All it takes is a little research and some patience.

Image showing a cartoon dog

Following simple guidelines and constant practice can help evolve your craft. If you are interested in learning to draw a cartoon dog, we have a short guide that can help you realize this dream. Following these techniques can help you become a cartoon dog artist.

How to Be a Cartoon Dog Artist

Did you know that you can draw a cartoon dog by using the letters D, O, and G? We are going to teach you how to do this, but as this is not the only available method, for now, we should explore other options first:

Step 1: Research

Many people only know how the basics when it comes to drawing. In the beginning, drawing a cartoon dog can seem like a complicated and tedious process, but inexperience can be countered with ample amount of research and preparations. Therefore, if you are a beginner, it is better to do a little research before actually trying to draw a cartoon dog. Research has 2 purposes:

  • First, it will give you knowledge on the different styles and techniques on how to draw a dog.
  • Second, it can help you anticipate possible problems that may occur while you’re trying to draw.

There are many different ways you can go about researching how to draw a dog. The first and easiest way to do that is by logging onto the internet. This platform has many different resources that can tell you about the different styles, techniques, medium, and process of drawing a cartoon dog available.

Image showing google mobile search

For visual learners, there is always YouTube. This website has a whole plethora of tutorials including drawing a cartoon dog. There are many techniques discussed and artists use a different medium. Be sure to check as many videos as you can to find the easiest methods and also to find out which method suits your style best.

Old school learners like to rely on books and magazines. There should be a stack somewhere in your local public library. You can ask guidance from your librarian on the relevant books and magazines you can borrow to learn to draw a cartoon dog.

Another good resource is an artist. If you have artist friends you can ask them how they do it. Ask them to show you how they draw a cartoon dog and ask them to explain the whole process to you. You can also interview them regarding the materials they use or where they find the inspiration to draw.

Image showing an artist working

Once you have done your research you should have an idea of what style you want to follow. It’s okay to want to follow different techniques. You can move along your choices once you get the knack for it or after you have mastered a certain technique.

If you like a one-on-one approach, you can get an artist to teach you for a fee. They usually charge by the hour, however, learning to draw with a teacher by your side is a quick way to master a skill. A teacher is also a great source of knowledge when it comes to materials or proper drawing techniques. You can check CraigsList or your local online directory for art teachers.

Step 2: Start Drawing

Now that you have an idea how to do it and what you need, it’s finally time to start drawing. Select an easy style to follow. For example, there is a technique that uses round shapes to draw a cartoon puppy:

  • Draw 2 circles with one big circle on top of a smaller one. The two circles should slightly overlap.
  • Sketch an oval intersecting the middle of your big circle. At the crest of the circle, draw 2 smaller ovals. These will be the puppy’s eyes.
  • Draw a sideways letter B for the feet at the bottom of the small circle.
  • Make 2 diagonal ovals at the side of the big oval to serve as the puppy’s ears. Draw a smaller one at the center of the big circle for its nose.
  • Erase the lines that you don’t need anymore.

This instruction is very easy to follow and you should have a basic carton puppy at the end of it.

architect working in the office

Another technique uses letters to draw a cartoon dog.

  • Draw a curvy capital letter B.
  • Add O’s on top of the first curve to make eyes. Add a letter V to the bottom stem for the tail.
  • Draw a letter V’s for the ears. Use the letter D to add the feet and the beginnings of a paw.
  • Finish your ears by joining the V’s with a letter U. Connect the paws to the body using an inverted letter J. Connect the feet to the body with letter J’s too.
  • Now it’s time to finish your cartoon dog by using J’s and U’s to make fingers and toes.
  • Erase the lines you don’t need.

These are just some examples on how to draw a basic dog. You can go to YouTube for more sophisticated techniques or to learn how to draw different dog breeds. There are also tutorials on learning to draw a dog facing the front, side or doing an activity. Although these drawings tend to be more complicated, it does not hurt to start learning to draw them.

Step 3: Practice

You’ve probably heard the saying «practice makes perfect»; the same is true for learning to draw cartoon dogs. The more you practice, the easier it becomes to draw a dog. Practice also helps you spot mistakes and correct them as you refine your techniques.

Draw-a-Dog-Head- with the Triangle-Method

For practice, you want to start with something simple. An easy technique to follow will let you get used to the motions needed when drawing. Simple styles also help prevent frustration especially if you’re a beginner. Remember you’re just starting to learn so you can’t expect to draw like Leonardo da Vinci the first time around.

It is also best to practice using the best materials you can afford since it will keep frustrations at bay. Don’t expect to be able to replicate the drawing you’re following during the first few times. You can also opt to practice new techniques once you’ve mastered the others. Constant practice will refine your technique so your drawings will improve and your confidence level will grow.

Step 4: Experiment

It can be boring to use the same style over and over again. Sooner or later you will also get bored of using pencil and paper to draw your cartoon dog. Before you lose interest and give up, it’s better to experiment using different techniques and drawing on different media.

Instead of abandoning your pencil and paper when you’re done, you can experiment with colors by using colored markers or crayons. Colors are trickier to get right compared to drawings. Once you get the hang of it, you can continue to challenge and improve yourself by using a permanent marker or by using watercolor, pastels, ballpoint, and other materials.

Image showing Color Pencils

For example, you can learn to draw a dog using oil on canvass. It sounds fancy and expensive but it can also be a great challenge especially if you’ve mastered the basics. Oil, watercolor, or paint is also harder to master compared to pen and paper.

Just like drawing with a pencil and paper, oil paintings of cartoon dogs start out with line drawings. You can use a pencil to sketch your design on the canvass or you can use paint. The sketching part differs from artist to artist and it is best to use a technique you are most comfortable with. Once you have the line drawing, you can continue your painting by adding more details and by coloring it.

Aside from coloring your cartoon dog, you can go further by adding a background. Just like drawing the dog, your background might not look the best during the initial stages. However, by researching how to draw the scenery, people, and other backgrounds, you can practice and continue to experiment so that your dog cartoons look more concrete and life-like.

Image showing a dog draw on a paper

You can also experiment by making your cartoon dog a character in your own comic strip. You can name your dog and give him a personality. Making comic strips is a good way to express your creativity and explore new ways of drawing your dog. You can give your strips to family and friends during special occasions so they will have something truly personalized from you.

Experimentation is fun because it lets you explore many possibilities. Artists don’t like to be stuck doing the same thing over and over again because it destroys their credibility. The same is true with novice artists drawing cartoon dogs. The same technique can get repetitive so it is important to explore other mediums, other styles, or other techniques as a means to improve, challenge yourself and to explore your creativity.

Step 5: Get Criticism

If you’re really serious about improving your craft or if you really want to become a good cartoon dog artist, it is important to get your work criticized. Contrary to popular belief, critics don’t put other people down. Criticism is actually a good way to find out what is wrong with your drawing.

Image showing two womans looking at a laptop

First of all, a critic can give you feedback on how to make your cartoon dog look better. If you’re just relying on your judgment, it could be biased. Getting other people to critique your work will give you an honest view on what could be done to make it better. Constructive criticism is also a great way to avoid bad practices and set you towards good ones.

Step 6: Apply and Improve

Now that you know the basics of drawing a cartoon dog, you can apply the constructive criticism and improve some more. If you’re really serious about what you’re doing, drawing cartoon dogs might become more than just a hobby. There are many artists that draw different things and perhaps you can try branching out to other animals.

Image showing a man drawing a dog on a paper

It can be easy to get frustrated especially if you can’t draw to save your life. However, motivation can be a powerful force. When frustrated, find ways to be inspired again. Play with your dog; give him some attention so that you can feel invigorated.

Wrap Up

Dogs and puppies are popular in comic strips and cartoon shows. With proper discipline and practice, you can learn to draw cartoon dogs and puppies easily. Drawing dogs is also a great hobby to take up and can even help you earn some money.

Don’t expect to be able to breeze through the learning process, though. Some people lack the discipline to improve their craft so they are left with mediocre skills. It may take some time and effort, but learning to draw a dog is a great endeavor.

Image showing a dog drawn on a peace of paper

Once you’ve learned a skill, it cannot be un-learned so it stays with you your whole life. You can use this skill to make other people happy, to impress the girl you like or maybe just to make you smile.

What technique are you using to draw cartoon dogs? Do you think you can learn to draw a dog from our article? Do you have any suggestions on how we can make the learning process easier for you? Tell us by leaving your comments below.

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.