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Dogs have always been a great subject for art as famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Norman Rockwell have included their beloved pets in some of their masterpieces. And who can forget Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s iconic Dogs Playing Poker series? Though all 18 paintings in the series were created between 1902 to 1903, the dog-centric artworks continue to be relevant in modern pop culture as rapper Snoop Dogg featured several dogs playing poker in his music video for the song titled “What Is My Name.” Even “

The Simpsons” has paid homage to the artworks and has spoofed them in one of their episodes. But you don’t have to be a Picasso or a Coolidge to make a special art piece that features your pet. If you’re feeling creative and you want to do an activity with your pooch, here’s a guide to draw your dog.

Use a photo as a guide

One of the easiest ways to sketch your furry friend is to take a photo of your pet and use that as a guide for your artwork. Pick a photo that shows off your doggo’s form, or go with a close up shot that highlights your pet’s best expression. If you have yet to take a good picture of your pet, try getting down to your dog’s eye level, then have a friend capture your pooch’s attention while you take the photo. If you’re a beginner, you can draw your dog cartoon-style, or take a leaf out of Picasso’s book and sketch your pooch’s form without drawing his features, taking care to stay true to your pet’s head and body shape. As you get more skilled, you can draw realistic pet portraits or come up with an art style that’s entirely your own.

Make sure that your pet is relaxed and comfortable

Getting your dog to stay still for an art session can be a challenge. However, if you want to draw your dog while he’s lazing in the sun or cuddling with a favorite plaything, make sure that your pet is relaxed and at ease prior to your art session. You can calm down an excitable dog by giving it lots of exercise, so play fetch with your pet for about 30 minutes, or go for a run or a walk in the park. Once you’re ready to sketch, prepare to draw quickly, making sure to sketch the basic shapes such as the shape of your pooch’s face and body first before adding more detail. You can also try sketching your pet while he’s sleeping—that may be the easiest way to work with a doggy model as you’ll have enough time to capture the pose.

Have fun with it

Go beyond the standard doggy portrait and have fun with your artwork. Consider recreating famous artworks with your pet, which is all the rage these days. Perhaps you’d like to work on your own version of Dogs Playing Poker with your pooch, featuring his other furry pals. Or maybe you’d want to try recreating Girl With A Pearl Earring, starring your very own dog. Or try inserting your furbaby in your own rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Whatever it is, have fun with it so you’ll be encouraged to work on your craft more.

Drawing your pet can be a highly rewarding activity for you and your pooch. Try these tips and start sketching, and see how much fun it can be to add a little doggy art into your life.  If you are into water color or other mediums of art stay tuned for ways to take better pics of your dog using your phone, an SLR or go ahead and look up paint your pet classes (and drink wine) on eventbrite, your local dog blog or facebook/yahoo group that is breed specific or specific to your neighborhood/city. Don’t see one in your area- be an alpha dog pioneer and create a facebook group for your pets breed or local area- trust me your neighbors and dog will thank you!

This post will submitted by Jane Wood. If you would like to submit a guest post or have a great idea you’d like to bring to our top rated pet blog, please email

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