Learning how to draw a puppy convincingly is a satisfying feeling because everyone loves puppies. The tips and techniques featured here will rely on just a few drawing tools to create a cute little puppy drawing for you to display.
In terms of drawing techniques, there will be nothing fancy as you will be basing the entire drawing on your first few gesture sketches to determine the type of puppy that you want to draw. After that, most of the time would be working out the fur.
You should already have a good understanding of gesture and contour drawings an effective way to get the ball rolling. That is, while you do not need to go into super amounts of details, you should at least have a general sense of your subject’s shape.
To start things off, set up a new drawing canvas area and create a new transparent layer for your puppy's outline. Decide on what breed that you want to draw and start drawing defining characteristics of that breed.
From the skeletal system to the muscles mass, every stage of a puppy's growth will have a different form. Some forms are more easier to draw than others. Study it carefully and see how each individual part of the anatomy develops.
For example, a breed may have pointy ears rather than droopy ears. At each stage of development, the ears become bigger. However, if we are only going for the cuteness factor, aim to draw a very young puppy.
In this example, we have a Maltese puppy that is in its early stages of growth. The ears are very small while the entire body is covered with long fur. The gesture lines still try to draw as much of the anatomy as possible.
There should be two layers: the first layer is the gesture sketch while the second layer is a manual fill of the entire puppy and contains all the simple shading information for you to draw fur details at a later stage.
Here is where the magic comes in for learning how to draw a puppy. We are going to use the smudge brush to draw in the fur. The type of texture you should use is a chalk brush tip (other variations such as the sponge texture will work just as well).
This will give you a varied hard edge to smudge your lines with. Using your pressure sensitive drawing stylus, begin smudging the contour lines. In addition to remembering to smudge in the same direction as the fur, smudge it back and forth in a zigzag like pattern.
Switching brush sizes will have different effects on smudging. Smaller brush sizes will create fine lines while a larger brush will create a larger blur as objects not in immediate focus will tend to be slightly blurry.
You can use this method for the tail as it is farthest away from the viewer in this angle. Also, you may want to block in additional patches of fur to give more color variety as well as blocking areas to separate the limbs from the rest of the body.
The brush tips that you will use here is identical to the previous step: a chalk brush tip and a sponge brush tip. Both will create coarse or fine hair when paired with the drawing brush tool. Dabbing it will create short fur while gentle strokes will create longer fur.
Do not neglect to swap back to the smudge tool every now and then to smudge the fur out a bit to create new bands. This step will take up most of the time as your goal is to not only define the fur, but to make sure limbs are still present through smart usage of hue differences in color.
For instance, swap to a smaller brush size to brush in black lines that separate the fingers or use a larger brush to dab in the forearms. Smudging drawing in an irregular way can also yield uneven fur. This makes it more realistic as not all fur is uniform.
Finally, finish off some of the facial features. The eyes, nose, and mouth can be dabbed in using a darker value than the rest of the puppy. Dab in additional fur around these facial features to blend it in with the rest of the drawing.
Once you are satisfied with how your fur looks in the previous stage, the final steps will require you to add in realism with a light source. There will be two sections here. In the first, you need to add necessary global shadows and lighting.
Think about where the light will hit and where the light will not hit. Then, switch to a large brush and lightly paint in shadows and light. Cast shadows and rim light outlining the puppy can be done this way.
The second part will be targeted areas. Switch to a smaller brush. Here, you will concentrate on refining the fur around the outlines. While still following the direction of the fur, gently draw in the remaining fur. After that, dab in reflections in the eyes.
You can even draw right on the puppy object if you're confident that you don't need to correct it anymore. If not, consider doing these lighting effects on a different layer. There are plenty of options available.
Double check your work as often as possible to make sure the light is hitting the right areas. You may also choose to use the sharpen tool to sharpen some of the fur in specific areas to give it some more detailed weight.
I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial on how to draw a puppy. As you can see, It is quite easy and fun just using the most basic tools available to you. The rest is just up to practice as you continue to refine your own techniques.
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