Dogs in Art
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How to Draw a Dog: Pug Edition!

Learning to draw a dog is fun and relaxing. Let's try drawing a couple of Pugs!

Melvin Peña  |  Aug 20th 2015


Have you ever wanted to learn how to draw a dog? Some of you may have abandoned artistic pursuits, assuming them to be a pastime of childhood, while others may protest that you lack the ability or talent. This is all errant nonsense. Today on Dogster, we’re going to learn what kids all over the world have known time out of mind, which is that drawing is fun. The only real question is what kind of dog we should draw.

how to draw a dog

Left Pug photo by Kinjeng Submiter on Flickr; right Pug photo by Shutterstock.

Since there is such a vast array of breeds and mixes, let’s start with ones that always make me smile: Pugs! I started with these two stock photos for reference. I boiled them down to their most basic components and devised simple step-by-step approaches. Learning to draw a dog is fun, and I’ve concocted two different Pug sketches for you to try, so grab a pencil (or pen or crayon), find a scrap of paper, and let’s learn how to draw a dog!

Step 1: Start your dog drawing with simple shapes

The hardest part of any drawing exercise is putting pencil to paper. Our step-by-step approach to drawing a Pug starts with very simple figures. Try one dog or the other and see which method you like the best!

How this guide works: Above each picture, you’ll find instructions for drawing the Pug on the left. Look below each image for the instructions for the right-hand Pug.

Our first dog drawing (the Pug on the left) begins with a square and a rectangle.

how to draw a dog

Step 1: Drawing starts with simple shapes. Drawing by Melvin Peña.

Did you select the dog on the right? Start by sketching a fig, tear drop, or foil-wrapped chocolate treat. Don’t worry about getting it “right.” You’re in the privacy of your home, at your desk, or on lunch break, and no one’s watching! If someone is, ask them to join you! Draw a triangle at the bottom for the jaw line and mouth, and a letter “T” just above the triangle’s point for a nose.

Step 2: Add and subtract lines from your art

The next steps in our quest to draw a Pug are easy as well.

With the first Pug, we’re giving shape to the body. Lucky for us, a Pug is a nice and blocky breed of dog. We’re going to turn that rectangle we’ve sketched into a rough hexagon. All you have to do is add three diagonal lines. You can erase the corners or leave them. It’s okay to make a mess!

how to draw a dog

Step 2: Eventually, our drawings will look like Pugs. Drawing by Melvin Peña.

The next step is just as easy for the second Pug drawing. Outside of the fig shape, and on either side of the “T,” draw two ovals or lemons. These are the Pug’s eyes. For a bit of detail, let’s go ahead and draw in a pair of eyelids.

Step 3: Puppy legs for one Pug, a crown for the other dog

Our left-hand Pug needs some little legs. The legs closest to us extend right out of body, and the others come out of the chest and stomach. The legs and feet are just modified triangles. The feet can be little rectangles if that’s easier for you! You will notice that I’ve also drawn the tuck of the Pug’s stomach as a diagonal line from the front leg.

how to draw a dog

Step 3: Drawing the dogs’ head and legs. Drawing by Melvin Peña.

When it’s finished, the second Pug drawing will be the head only, which now needs a top. This is accomplished by drawing three lines. No matter how you think of it — the top of an octagon, hexagon, or a trapezoid without a base — you’ll draw two diagonal lines starting on either side of the eyes with a straight line to connect them.

Step 4: Drawing a pug’s head and facial features

In both of our dog drawings, we’re moving on to the head and facial features.

This is the most complicated step for our first Pug. Start with the eyes and eyebrow ridges. Draw two lemon shapes on the same level as the spine. One is above the front leg, the other split by the outside of the square. Next is the nose, which is a little oval or rectangle just below and between the eyes. Now for the tongue, an arch leaning right underneath the nose. Draw a under the tongue for a mouth, and the chin is below that. The muzzle is like a little tent wrapped around the nose.

how to draw a dog

Step 4: Drawing the Pug faces. Drawing by Melvin Peña.

Our other Pug drawing needs cheekbones and jowls. These are nothing more than two sets of curved lines connecting the top of the head with the muzzle. I started next to the eyes on either side of the face. The more squiggly your lines, the more character your Pug drawing will have.

Step 5: Adding your dog’s ears

Our first Pug needs a proper head. I needed to condense both Pug drawing lessons into six steps, so this one ended up being the most complex. I broke it down further for your convenience!

  1. For the right cheek, draw a line connecting the eye and muzzle.
  2. The right ear is a little triangular shape between the eyebrow ridge and the tongue.
  3. A curved line from the top of the right ear to the top of the left eye forms the top of the Pug’s head.
  4. Draw the left ear triangle.
  5. Finish with the jaw line.
how to draw a dog

Step 5: Drawing the dogs’ head and ears. Drawing by Melvin Peña.

We’re only adding ears to the second Pug drawing, which is much less involved. I tried to draw triangles for the ears on this Pug sketch. The left ear worked out fairly well, but as you can see, the right ear is more of an awkward quadrilateral. Art is inexact at the best of times, and that’s more than okay for our purposes. Your ear-triangle quality may vary!

Step 6: Finish with a tail and coloring your dog’s fur

Last steps! All we’ve really got left is detailing our Pug drawings. For our first Pug sketch, it’s time to add a tail!

  1. Draw a curly line, or the best part of a number six, from the base of the spine to the top of the rear leg.
  2. Two tiny circles for irises complete the eyes!
  3. If you desire a fawn-coated Pug, color in the muzzle and the ears. Color in the whole thing if you prefer a black-coated Pug!
how to draw a dog

Step 6: Adding the final details to our dog drawings. Drawing by Melvin Peña.

It’s all in the details for the second Pug drawing.

  1. Little circles in the eyes for the irises. Put them wherever you like!
  2. Draw half an oval into the top of the mouth triangle for a tongue!
  3. Sketch squiggly lines at the top of the head and at the base of the eyes for a nice wrinkly Pug.
  4. Color in the ears and muzzle for a fawn-coated Pug, or the whole thing for a black-coated Pug.

See, anyone can draw a dog!

Whether you’re a full-fledged artist, a sketchbook aficionado, or just someone who doodles when you’re bored, you can draw a dog. There are tons of step-by-step lessons to be found online, and plenty of books to buy or checkout at your local library. When I was a child, I couldn’t get enough of Lee J. Ames’s Draw 50 book series, and I heartily recommend Draw 50 Dogs (1981). These books are marvelous guides for people of all ages and skill levels.

Rather than try to explain someone else’s work, I chose to create drawing lessons of my own for Dogster, just to see if I could do it. I hope you found these to be fun distractions from your normal routine. Let us know if you enjoyed drawing one or both dogs; if you clamor for it, maybe we can try another dog breed in the near future! Which Pug did you try to draw? How did it come out? Share pictures of your dog drawings in the comments.

About the author: Melvin Peña trained as a scholar and teacher of 18th-century British literature before turning his research and writing skills to puppies and kittens. He enjoys making art, hiking, and concert-going, as well as dazzling crowds with operatic karaoke performances. He has a one-year-old female Bluetick Coonhound mix named Idris, and his online life is conveniently encapsulated here.