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How to Draw a Simple Dog With Oil Pastels
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)
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
- oil pastels
- glue stick
- paper towel
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:
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!
The book I drew my inspiration from
My more "realistic" dog - mixed media
The Sun Gallery in Hayward
- Sun Gallery, Hayward Area Forum of the Arts
Sun Gallery, a community based visual arts center, with exhibitions and educational programs that focus on the work of contemporary Northern California artists.