Updated date:

Drawing a Cartoon Dog


In this first in a series of hubs on drawing cartoon animals, you will be learning how to create a simple cartoon dog. The diversity, variety, and popularity of dogs makes them excellent subjects for creating unique and interesting cartoon characters. Goofy, grumpy, sad, happy, even quirky-- there's no limit to the possibilities! So go grab a pencil, an eraser, and a clean sheet of paper, and get started!

  • Note: For this tutorial, I'm going to be using an inked version of the dog I sketched. So, don't be alarmed if you can't mimic those lines! At the end of this guide, I'll show you the pencil version of the dog to give you a better idea of what yours should look like.

Circle for the head. Don't worry about getting it perfectly round. Just do your best!


1. The Head

Start by drawing a circular shape for the head. Don't worry about getting it perfectly round. Basic shapes such as circles, squares, and triangles merely make it easier for you to draw the form of your character.

Note: As you draw, try to keep your sketch lines as light as possible. Light lines are easier to erase and leave less of a mess when you need to correct mistakes. Heavy lines take more effort to erase and can leave quite the mess. You don't want that.


A. Guides

Now draw one vertical line and one horizontal line through the center of the head. The lines will serve as guides when placing the eyes and nose on the head.


B. Ears

Draw a long oval shape on each side of the head. Start from just inside the head so that your dogs ears overlap the face a little.


C. Features

Using the guides, place the eyes, nose, and mouth on the head. Draw in details such as the eyebrows, nose, and mouth to finish off the head. You may also want to draw a couple of line just above the nose to indicate the muzzle.

Now that the head is complete, it's time to tackle the body.


2. The Body

The body of your dog is going to be shaped a bit differently from the head. Instead of a circle, draw a shape similar to a bean or potato.


A. Legs

For the hind leg, draw a large oval in the bottom corner of the body. Less than an inch from the hind leg draw long thin ovals for the front legs.


B. Feet

Draw small ovals that slightly overlap the bottom of the legs. These will form the feet.


C. Tail

Draw two long curving lines starting from the lowest point on the back of the body. Join the two lines together in a point to complete the tail.


D. Neck

Attach the body to the head with two curving lines. This is your dog's neck.


3. Finishing Up

Congratulations! Now that the head and body are complete, it's time to wrap this thing up with a few other small details.


A. Spots and Tail "Dip"

Add spots to make your dog more interesting. Feel free to choose any shape or size you want. You may also choose to give your dog's tail a little "dip" of color.


B. Form: Head

Go back over the dog's head and give it more form. Leaving it round is perfectly fine; however, the idea is to make the character look interesting.


C. Clean up the sketch

Clean up your sketch, eliminating the guides and all other unnecessary lines.


Here is the actual "cleaned-up" pencil sketch I did. Your drawing should look somewhat similar to this (except the spots: draw those however you like!)

There you have it. Just a few easy steps, and you'll have your very own cartoon dog! You may even want to try sketching the dog a few times, adding your own modifications to each drawing! Remember, there's no limit to the possibilities!

If you have any questions or need anything clarified, please feel free to ask them in the comments section of this hub.

Note: Don't get frustrated or give up if your dog doesn't turn out exactly the way you want it too. Remember, any venture–especially any new venture– will take time and practice to perfect.

Drawing a Cartoon Dog Poll


Dalton Peters on March 05, 2015:


Krystal Dallis (author) on March 14, 2013:

Thank you. :)

PeterG7 from Portugal on March 13, 2013:

very nice:)