Have you ever lain in bed at night wondering how to draw a dogs nose in coloured pencil? Of course you have (or is that just me?).
Well, here is a pic of that process in action, you can see the ugly stages (what we have talked about before) in the earlier stages here.
Now, you may well not take as long as this as I did – about 2hrs, but do bear in mind that drawing in coloured pencil is a very slow medium and if you want to aim for realism, then the only way to achieve this is with time.
When drawing something like a dogs nose, try to imagine each layer, starting with the base skin and then add additional layers in your mind as you work right through to the final layer of details, which will include any mottling, tones, marks, creases, shine etc.
As with all coloured pencil drawing, you will have to go through the ‘ugly stage’ and this is where it’s very easy to just give up, because it looks….well…ugly! But you need to embrace this stage as it is the foundation of your beautiful drawing.
So start with your basic outline and there’s no shame in tracing it. The skill comes with how you bring it to life with your pencils and shading, so getting the basic shape right is a no brainer.
Dog noses come in all different shapes and sizes, so spend some time studying all the different ones to get a good idea of structure.
Sometimes, when we draw from a reference photo, the subject isn’t always clear, so knowing how it should look will really help you during the drawing process.
So from the picture above of the stages, you can see that I have preserved my light areas for highlights, and I have gone in with a very basic pinkish/brown colour to start depicting dark areas and shadows. This particular dog has a very pink/brown/purple nose – you can see it here on this work in progress below.
The areas of the nose that are very dark, like the nostrils, you can colour in straight away. Try using a deep red or purple colour before layering a layer of black over the top as this will give you a really rich, deep black.
Black on its own can look a little flat, so it’s a good idea to use it over deep reds and blues. Avoid putting blacks over yellows though as you can end up with a greenish colour, which isn’t what you are looking for at all.
Looking at your reference photo, start to pick out other colours that you can see. Now you could look at this dog above and think it’s pink and grey, but if that was the only colours I had used, it would have appeared very flat. I can see various shades of pinks, purples, greys and reds, and by using these colours, working through from dark to lights, I can build the structure of the nose and give a good representation of what it truly looks like.
And remember, the parts that you have left light or white need to be coloured too. At first glance these areas might look like a white highlight, but if you look closely, you will see that nine times out of ten, they are a paler shade of the surrounding colours.
Have a go and let me know how you get on, or if you have any questions fell free to leave a comment.