You Can’t Ignore It: How to Draw This Tricky Part of a Dog

My family makes fun of me because of how much I show my love for our dog, Cowgirl. I can’t help it and, if you’re a pet-lover, I know you’ll understand. When it comes to dogs (and cats, too), they’re somehow able to show emotions that we can relate to. My favorite thing about them? They don’t talk back (parents, relate?). But curiosity, sleepiness, excitement–all are expressed through their soulful eyes, ears, and mouths.

Shaggy-Dog-drawing-by-Sandra-Angelo

“Shaggy dog” drawing by Sandra Angelo

Cowgirl’s mouth, for example, has a softness to the edges when she’s napping and her muscles are relaxed. When we’re playing, her lips are pulled back as her pearly whites snap playfully at her toys. And when most of our household is in bed for the night and Cowgirl is resting, she’ll take the tip of her tongue and give me a sweet little kiss as I rest my hand on her shoulder.

Wow–I guess I deserve to get made fun of, a little. But the point is that each of a dog’s features come together to form the whole picture, of his personality or a rendition of it. That’s where Sandra Angelo comes in, with lessons on how to draw animals. Scroll down for her step-by-step demonstration on how to draw this curious little part of a dog’s face; and join us for a FREE online event: Peek Inside Sandra Angelo’s FIVE 101 Drawing Courses, Tuesday, July 22.

Shaggy Dog: How to Draw the Tricky Tongue by Sandra Angelo

Who doesn’t love the enthusiastic grin of a deliriously happy pooch who is thrusting his head out of the car window to soak up the wind? Dog smiles always include the very tricky tongue so I’m going to give you some pointers for pet portraits. Before we begin, here are some key secrets for getting the tongue right on your dog portraits:
• Treat a dog’s tongue as if it was draped fabric, because it generally droops in folds.
• Notice shadows because they indicate an anatomical shift.
• Shadows can be caused by the tongue draping over teeth, the chin bone, or the ditch commonly found in the center of the tongue.

How to Draw a Dog’s Tongue: Step by Step Lesson
(an excerpt from Draw Pets 101: Home Study Course)

How to draw a dog

1. Using a very sharp F pencil, shade the tongue from the top right with soft, graduated strokes. Don’t show your lines because this object is smooth. On the top left, use a very sharp 6B to place the dark shadow between the fur and the tongue. Remember to keep the shadow jagged like the fur.

How to draw a dog

2. With a sharp F pencil, shade the bottom of the tongue. Notice that there are darks at both edges and light in the middle. This is because the teeth are under the tongue so it’s causing the tongue to curl.

How to draw a dog

3. With an F pencil, continue to shade the tongue, paying very close attention to the shifting shadows. Shadows always indicate that there is something going on underneath. If you get the shadows in the wrong place your anatomy will be off.

How to draw a dog

4. The white area at the edge of the tongue won’t show up until you shade the fur that is around it. Make sure you leave that part white, as it’s the curling edge of the tongue. If you make a mistake and shade it in, use your battery eraser to lift the white edge. ~SA

Angelo has an entire online series, in which she teaches students how to draw faces, flowers, pets, wild animals, and more. In Draw Pets 101: Master Pets in Days (Instead of Decades), she shares more lessons such as the one featured here, so that you can successfully portray the animals in your life that you so love.

Full of puppy love,
Cherie

Cherie Haas, online editor**Subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and ideas, and score a free download on How to Draw a Nose and How to Draw Lips.

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