If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to draw your favourite animals such as a cat, a dog or a bird, then look no further than this step-by-step tutorial. While drawing doodles of cute creatures may be simple, drawing life-like versions can take a little more technical know-how and patience. Thankfully, art teacher and the director of Melbourne Art Class, Marco Corsini, has put together an easy step-by-step tutorial to guide you through the process and highlights the tools you’ll need from start to finish to help you discover your inner artist.

SEE ALSO: How to Draw Flowers: A Step by Step Guide

How to Draw Animals: Dog

Learning how to draw a dog can be quite complex, but this step-by-step guide will make the process much easier.

This sweet drawing is of Marco’s family's dog, Sandy, and is fairly complex, so he recommends making it a little easier by drawing the head first, and following his step-by-step guide carefully. “Before you begin, I suggest you look carefully at the images of my drawing process above so that you can see why you are establishing the initial guidelines,” he says. “While we do all we can to establish the structure, a lot of refining happens in the last stages.”

Step 1: Using a 2B pencil, draw a box inside a rectangular box that is intersected halfway through on both axes. The horizontal axis is the centre point for the eyes, and the nose runs through the vertical centre line. 

Step 2: Draw the other guides, as above. The rectangles on either side of the box assist in placing the ears, and the other guidelines help establish the basic proportions of the body. These angled lines help set the shape of the face and the placement of the mouth and chin. (Note where they intersect the box. You will be extending out of the bottom of the initial box to create a chin, and with those same lines, you have established a jaw.)

Step 3: Draw the eyes, nose and the base of the snout.

Step 4: Sketch the ears, side of head and mouth.

Step 5: Next, sketch the body and feet.

Step 6: Continuing to use the 2B, start to layer in tones and more detail of the dog.

Step 7: Continue with tone and detail across the body.

Step 8: Finesse the drawing with loose strokes, paying attention to the textures of the fur. Begin to use the eraser to soften and lighten some areas. You may need to switch between using 4B and 6B pencils. Use these softer and darker pencils with some caution as heavy darks are hard to make lighter. 

Step 9: Deepen the dark lines, refine the face, and make sure that Sandy’s sitting body takes shape through using various tones and shades.

Hot Tip: Drawing a dog requires the use of guidelines to establish an underlying structure, so try to follow the same proportions and angles that you see in the initial guidelines of this how-to.

What To Try

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How to Draw Animals: Cat

An HB or 2B graphite pencil is the perfect tool for drawing the detailed fur and soft contours of a cat.

With a soft shape, furry features and piercing eyes, learning how to draw a cat can be tricky – but fun! Take the opportunity to play around with colours and markings to make your cat truly one of a kind.

Step 1: Using an HB or 2B graphite pencil, draw a leaning cross at the angle shown in the image above. Draw an oval over the cross on the same axis, at about the proportions of 3 high to 4 across.

Step 2: Draw two circles in the base of the cross/oval. These circles help form the muzzle of the cat’s face. They are a quarter the height of the oval shape.

Step 3: Divide the horizontal axis of the cross within the oval, evenly with four marks.

Step 4: Using those five marks as a guide, make circles for the eyes.

Step 5: Draw a line from the centre of the inner edge of the eyes to the meeting point of the two muzzle circles. 

Step 6: Extend angled lines down from the oval to form the jaw shape. Note the shape that results and its proportions in relation to the other existing shapes.

Step 7: Using the guidelines shown, draw the ears and body. Note that the ears sit on the same tilt as the original cross.

Step 8: Fill in the details such as eyes and fur markings and refine forms such as the jaw.

Step 9: In preparation for the coloured pencils, use a kneadable eraser to erase most of your guidelines and to soften the graphite drawing. Then begin laying in colour with the lightest colours, such as yellow, first.

Step 10: Continue to build up colour using yellow, red, pink, brown, navy blue and black pencils. I have used some blue and green in the eyes. Use a kneadable eraser to soften areas of colour.

Step 11: Continue darkening the tones using rendered lines and layers of colour, checking for subtleties in features such as the eyes.

Hot Tip: When first starting to draw, observe simple objects from around the home.

What To Try

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How to Draw Animals: Bird

Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to draw a bird.

There are few things more majestic than a bird in flight. The details of their feathers and working with shadow and light makes the bird an ideal subject for beginners to draw, so why not follow this step-by-step guide for drawing this flying white-bellied sea eagle?

Step 1: Using an HB pencil, lay out a structural drawing of the bird, checking the shapes, angles, and proportion of each element.

Step 2: Using the oval and the circle shape as a base, develop the contour of the head and beak. Because of the detail required, I mainly used a 2B pencil around the head rather than the charcoal pencil.

Step 3: Moving down the body, develop the tones using the hard charcoal pencil and then soften and blend some of the marks with the blending stump.

Step 4: Continue down the body, also highlighting the feet which are tucked away during flight.

Step 5: Sketch in the feather pattern on the wings using an HB pencil.

Step 6: Apply tone in the wings using the hard charcoal pencil and soften a little with the blending stump.

Hot Tip: Schedule a regular time to draw so you can take some time out from the other demands of your life.

What You’ll Need

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