How many colours are in a black dog

I’m sure many of you think that when I draw a black dog, I will only use a few colours as the dog is black right? Actually, ┬áthe black coat on most animals is often made up of many different colours, and in order to make sure your dog looks right in your final portrait, I study the reference photo carefully in the first instance.


If you look carefully at this reference image, you can see many different colours, including crimsons, blues, oranges and greys, as well as black. I then make a colour swatch and add pencils to my pencil wrap for that drawing.

Coloured pencils I have chosen for black dog drawing

I always start an animal portrait with the eye. Once that is complete, I work from left to right (I’m right handed) so my hand doesn’t smudge any part of the drawing.

The start of a drawing of a black Labrador

First I add some light warm grey layers and then some darker warm grey details.

More darker layers go in next, being careful to leave highlights to show where the light is bouncing off her ears.

Black Lab drawing

Here you can see me adding crimson and sky blue layers which will sit underneath the darker greys and blacks. This will ensure that the richness of the black fur is captured.

Drawing Black Labrador's nose

More and more layers are added now, this pencil is a rich black, helping to give the drawing lots of depth.

Black Labrador drawing

The finished drawing – beautiful Tilly. A super friendly and lovable Black Labrador.


If you are looking for a bespoke drawing of your pet and you have questions or you’d like to book a slot in my diary, please do get in touch here.