How to Draw a Simple Dog With Oil Pastels

A simple dog that even a child can draw - finished with oil pastels on drawing paper and glued to a piece of construction paper
A simple dog that even a child can draw - finished with oil pastels on drawing paper and glued to a piece of construction paper | Source

I was recently hired to give field trips to children at our local art gallery, and was in charge of developing an art lesson based on one of the art pieces at the gallery - a show about illustrations used in childrens books.

I decided to go with a very simple drawing of a dog, and because one of the mediums that we were encouraged to use was oil pastels, I based my lesson around the use of drawing with oil pastels and also using newspaper as a mixed medium.

The childrens book that I drew inspiration from was called "Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match", and is a book about an adorable little girl that wears striped leggings and polka dot shirts. Besides being an artist, Marisol is also on a quest to find a dog at the pound. Because I was captivated by the idea of not matching, and I love dogs (and so do my kids and grand-kids), I thought drawing a "designer dog" would be a fun art lesson to incorporate into the tour (after the tour we go into the art studio and work on an art project for approximately an hour)


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Steps to drawing a simple dog

To the right are the steps I used to teach this basic dog drawing lesson, a plan I found on the Internet. I liked the simple design and shape of the dog so I used this as the focal point for our composition. The steps are laid out numbers 1-4 and were done on an 8.5" by 11" piece of drawing paper. I drew a vertical and horizontal guideline on the paper to start the lesson (lightly in pencil) to start the dog out with correct proportions.

To draw your dog, use pencil in case you need to erase, and it's OK if your dog does not look just like mine. Like I told the kids, be prepared to see skinny dogs, dogs with fat tails, overweight dogs and dogs with big eyes.

That's all part of the fun of drawing your own designer dog!

Materials needed to make your dog:

  • 1 piece of 8.5" x 11" drawing or computer paper
  • 1 piece of any color 8.5" x 11" construction paper
  • scissors
  • oil pastels
  • newspaper
  • glue stick
  • paper towel
  • pencil

Making your dog drawing a mixed media project

After the kids drew their dog in pencil on the paper, they got to choose which oil pastel colors they wanted to use and what colors they were going to "design" their dog with.

With the oil pastels, we used several techniques:

  • stippling
  • blending
  • smudging
  • shading
  • texturing
  • pattern

After they finished designing their dog, they cut it out and used a glue stick to place their dog on a colored piece of construction paper.

I then gave them "choices" of how to decorate their dogs surroundings. They could add a doghouse, bone, bowl, grass, clouds, a ball, collar, leash or anything else they felt their dog needed.

Now you will notice that I also used newspaper which made our dog project a "mixed media" art project. If you would like to add these elements to your dog drawing, you simply draw your shape on a piece of newspaper, color it with the oil pastel, then cut it out and glue it to the construction paper. Kids can choose what elements they want to draw with the oil pastels, or what elements they wanted to cut out of the newspaper. Most kids were thrilled to use the newspaper, and about 85% of them chose to do the mixed media method.

Different techniques for drawing a dog

As you will notice, my "top" dog is quite colorful (first photo at the top) I also included another dog at the bottom here which I call my more "realistic dog". But drawing from the theme of the book, I thought it was wise to give the kids a chance to use their imagination and draw whatever kind of dog they wanted. It was a wise choice because about 90% of the dogs looked liked they had just jumped out of a dog pound from a Dr. Seuss book.

The kids had an absolute blast "designing" their dog and many of the dogs left even wearing "party hats", which one artistic child dreamed up, and many of the kids decided their designer dog needed a party hat too!

The inventive child had excitedly asked me, "Can my dog wear a party hat?," to which I enthusiastically replied, "of course!".

After all, I'm never one to spoil a good party!


My more "realistic" dog - mixed media

A simple dog that even a child can draw - finished with oil pastels on drawing paper and glued to a piece of construction paper Mixed media (newspaper) was added for bowls, suns, clouds. bones, doghouses, etc.
A simple dog that even a child can draw - finished with oil pastels on drawing paper and glued to a piece of construction paper Mixed media (newspaper) was added for bowls, suns, clouds. bones, doghouses, etc. | Source

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Comments 13 comments

waynet profile image

waynet 3 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

Oh Wow. This is fun!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 3 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@waynet) Thanks! It really is a fun project!


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 3 years ago from Virginia, USA

This is so CUTE! It is a great project for all ages.


Wonder wool profile image

Wonder wool 3 years ago from United States

This is so cute and easy! Fun project for kids and even adults! Thanks for sharing! :)


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 3 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Tracy and Wonder) Thanks and glad you enjoyed!


macteacher profile image

macteacher 3 years ago from New York

Some of us cannot draw, so a Hub like this is really helpful. Thanks for the step by step visuals - this really does make drawing less scary. :-)


bizna profile image

bizna 3 years ago from NAIROBI - KENYA

Quite interesting.


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

dorsi, really cool hub about drawing a dog. i absolutely love dogs. i currently have a german shepherd mixed with child. thanks. voted up.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 3 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@macteacher) You are welcome Mac. Glad you enjoyed it.

@bizna) Thank you bizna.

@torrilynn) Thanks torri, say hi to your pup from me lol. I love dogs too.


suzzycue profile image

suzzycue 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

A very interesting way to use newspaper. Both these art lessons, the dog and turtle, have very easy, great illustrated lessons. Well done Dorsi.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 3 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Suzzy) Hi Suzzy, the newspaper part was a lot of fun. I am definitely going to use newspaper more, it was a great addition. Thanks for coming by my friend.


Maggie.L profile image

Maggie.L 2 years ago from UK

This is great! My 7 year old has just spent the last hour working on your project and loved every minute of it. Thanks for a really useful hub.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 2 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Oh that's wonderful to hear Maggie! I have some other art lessons she would like, just browse through my profile.

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