A little tip is to make the grass on the edges of the drawing a little fainter than the rest. This makes the drawing blend into the page nicely.
Please PAUSE the “How to Draw an African Wild Dog” video after each step to draw at your own pace.
At this stage, the drawing of the Wild Dog is pretty much finished. A few details still need to be added. In this step, tidy up the tail by removing most of the strong border around the white tip and adding a few streaks to add a bit of detail. Then, shade and add small claw and pad details to the legs and feet – don’t forget the foot behind the head!
Draw the basic framework for the fur pattern. Because this requires a lengthy explanation, I have made a separate tutorial on how to draw a Wild Dog coat which you can read here. Follow the steps in the tutorial to help you draw the following steps:
Begin by drawing two oval, slightly egg-shaped ellipses – a small one for the head and a large one for the hind quarters. Connect the top of these two ovals with a straight line bent slightly at the shoulders as shown.
When drawing the ears, look for reference points to make sure you draw them in the right place. In this particular pose, the bottom of the ear lines up with the top of the nose/muzzle. The tip of the bottom edge is also slightly above the centre point of the oval.
At this stage, the carcass is pretty much finished. But the drawing isn’t – you must still add a shadow beneath the Wild Dog. It can be quite difficult to draw a shadow if there isn’t a clear shadow in your reference picture (as was the case in this instance) – so draw a rudimentary shadow as shown and then we will draw grass all over it.
Add fur details behind the ears and on the belly. Follow this texture tutorial to draw these areas, although you probably won’t need to make too many highlights, if any at all (steps 4 and 5 of that tutorial).
Step 5: Draw two arcs on top of the African wild dog’s head as guides for the ears.
Erase the unused parts of the guidelines and begin to add details as shown. In this particular drawing, the face was in shadows and that means it can just be shaded a solid black so you don’t need to worry about drawing the eyes.
There is much denser fur under the chin and on the neck which requires a 3B or 4B pencil. The technique to draw this fur is very simple – use the side of the pencil led to make short, fat strokes in a direction perpendicular to the underside of the neck and face. As usual, don’t apply too much pressure to begin with, just add more layers to build up the darkness. At the end you may need to apply a bit more pressure as you add some more defined strokes to give the fur some definition.
Drawing grass like this can be quite intimidating, especially if you lack confidence, as you will have to draw over the drawing a bit and doesn’t leave much room for error. But I would really recommend trying to do so as I think it gives the drawing a more finished look (and it hides the ugly shadow from the previous step!). Make sure you practise the grass technique on a scrap piece of paper beforehand – all it involves are simple, medium length pencil strokes with the fine point of a sharp pencil. Remember that the grass should be pretty faint, so use an HB pencil and don’t press too hard. Once you get the hang of it, it is really very easy.
Step 2: Draw a smaller circle on the upper left side as a guide for the African wild dog’s head.
You can choose to not include the feet of the rear legs if you are going to draw dense grass beneath the Wild Dog at the end. That is what I chose to do in this drawing. If not, then drawing them is pretty straightforward. Make sure you make the feet point in slightly different angles to give the drawing some more depth and give the Wild Dog a more realistic pose.
We now must start drawing the carcass that the Wild Dog is eating. In the reference photo I used, the carcass appears as a complete mess of sharp edges and shades – so that’s what I drew. I can’t really offer any guide on how to do this as it didn’t involve any real structure, but I tried to scan the carcass drawing as often as possible so you can just replicate each stage as shown. You could opt for a far less detailed carcass as well, or even a log or something else. Use your imagination.
This concludes the tutorial – I hope you found it helpful and informative. Be sure to check out some other tutorials and stay tuned for the next one sometime soon.
For the first few steps, don’t press down too hard with your pencil. Use light, smooth strokes to begin.
In this stage, I added quite a large shaded area to the carcass. This gives a bit of balance to the carcass as the lower region has all sorts of small details.
As mentioned earlier, the face is shaded entirely black and doesn’t require any details at all.
Add further details. The shoulder of the front leg should slot in just behind the oval of the head and sit on the curve of the underside. Don’t forget to add the other front paw just behind the head. Both the front legs are elevated slightly in this drawing because the Wild Dog is propped up on a carcass.
Add the shadows on the hind leg as shown. Also, begin to draw the tail as shown.
You can also choose to add some highlights to the top of the Wild Dog’s back. Although there is usually very little white in an African Wild Dog coat, they are predominantly a light tan colour. In light, this tan colour appears very light, and as this drawing is in grayscale, the tan patches on the Wild Dog’s back should appear white. I cover this aspect of the drawing in the tutorial on drawing Wild Dog coats.
Lastly, add an elongated, football shaped tail. In the reference picture I used, the tail was up as shown. This makes the drawing a bit more dynamic.
Step 4: Draw a small circle on the lower part of the African wild dog’s head as a guide for the muzzle.
African Wild Dogs (or Cape Hunting Dogs) are the African equivalents of wolves and are not found anywhere else in the World. African Wild Dogs are also often called Painted Wolves because of their unique coats. This tutorial will show the steps involved in drawing a Wild Dog and the patchwork-patterning of their fur.
Step 1: Draw two circles as guides for the African wild dog’s body. They don’t have to be perfect. They’re just guides. Pay attention to the space between the circles. If they’re too far apart, the African wild dog will be too long.
Step 3: Draw two intersecting lines inside the African wild dog’s head to help you place the facial features later on.