Australian Shepherd - Step by step

In this post I will show you how to draw a dog's portrait. This is an Australian Shepherd breed :)

As far as I remember, I used these materials:

- Faber Castell Polychromos pencils: black, dark sepia, sanguine, walnut brown, cream, bistre
- Derwent Drawing Chinese White pencil
- Prismacolor pencils: 20% warm grey, sepia, dark umber, burnt ochre, mediterranean blue, 90% warm grey
- Canson Mi Teintes pastel paper, size 8 x 9.5" (flannel grey colour, but felt grey is also good)
- a piece of paper to put under your hand (to protect the drawing from smudging)

1. I started from a sketch with Polychromos dark sepia pencil. I always try to keep the sketch more or less in the centre of the sheet.

The printed reference photo had the same size as my sheet of paper. I took all the measures from the photo (the distances between eyes, ears, etc.) with a pencil and marked them on my paper.

2. I always try to start drawing portraits (of people, animals) with eyes. I colored the iris with blue Prismacolor,  added some grey. Then I did the pupil with black pencil.

When you start drawing the fur, first look at the photo and study it. The fur around the eyes is arranged in a 'circular' way; it is a bit messy on the ears.

I begin with the brightest hair (in this case - white, drawn with Derwent white pencil, and that's why they are so clear on grey paper). Then I use brown pencils for darker fur and in the end, I use black for the darkest parts.

3. If you are right-handed like me, it is advised to draw the left part first. Otherwise the drawing can be destroyed by smudging. It is good to have a piece of paper under your hand.

I draw the ear on the left using the method described above - white parts first, with fine strokes of white sharpened pencil to give them a natural, a bit messy, look. Then I do the same with brown, and finally the black.

4. I finish the left side; I draw the white parts with Derwent pencil pressed hard to the surface to cover the grey paper and to get the plain white area. On this layer I mark grey and black hair.

Now I create the second eye - I begin with this white gleam, then I draw the blue iris and finally the black pupil. I draw the fur around the eye, starting from the brightest.

5. It's time for the white fur around the nose; then I use the black color to fill the area of the nose. I use Derwent white pencil to create the light on the black nose.

6. The second ear is drawn using the method mentioned earlier.

7. I slowly come to an end - I decided to give it a circular finish.

8. I finish the drawing with a white Derwent pencil pressed hard to the paper. I add some grey and cream areas to emphasize the brightest part. On the darkest fur you can add some fine strokes with a sharpened white pencil. At this point you can also add some details with white gelpen, like the gleam in the eye or white hair :)

* It is forbidden to copy this article (and drawings included in it) without the author's permission.