For the first few steps, don’t press down too hard with your pencil. Use light, smooth strokes to begin.
Draw a circle as a guide for the bulldog’s head. The circle doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just a guide. Leave enough room on the left side for the rest of the body.
Draw two intersecting lines inside the bulldog’s head to help you place the facial features later on. Curve the lines so that they contour to the shape of the circle.
Draw two short curved lines on top of the head as guides for the bulldog’s ears.
Draw two circles to the left of the head as a guide for the bulldog’s body. The first circle should be placed with the top right portion slightly behind the head, so make sure the lines don’t overlap. Bulldogs are short and stocky, so don’t make this circle too big. It should be just a bit bigger than the circle for the head. The second circle should be about the size of the head and should be placed close to the first circle. Don’t place the two body circles too far apart, otherwise your bulldog will end up with a dachshunds body!
Draw two curved lines that connect the circles to complete the guide for the bulldog’s body.
Draw four lines under the bulldog’s body (two below each circle) as guides for the legs. Bulldogs have short legs, so don’t draw the lines too long. Bend the lines to indicate where the joints will be.
That’s it for the initial sketch! From this point on, press harder with your pencil to get a more defined sketch.
Draw the bulldog’s nose inside the head by first lightly sketching an oval on top of the intersecting lines. Darken the top of the nose and add two slits on the sides for the nostrils. Darken the lower edge of the nose and add a small line to split the bottom.
Draw the top part of the bulldog’s muzzle using a series of curved lines. Draw a short curved line on either side of the nose. Draw a longer curved line for the big fold of skin above the nose. Now add the loose, floppy upper lip under the nose. The line for the top lip starts under the nose, then splits into two and moves down to the sides of the main circle. The left side of the lip should curve up a bit to almost resemble a smile. The right side should touch the edge of the main circle.
Use the lower edge of the main circle as a guide to draw the bulldog’s tongue and chin. Draw a curved line between the droopy top lip for the big tongue sticking out. Add a couple more curved lines under the tongue for the droopy jowls and chin. Use the initial circle as a guide.
Add a few more lines around the bulldog’s muzzle for the extra detail on the loose skin. Draw a squiggly line under the top lip for the gums. Some bulldogs may be more wrinkly than others, so feel free to add more lines if you’d like.
Draw the bulldog’s eyes on either side of the big wrinkle above the nose by first lightly sketching two football-like shapes. Follow the basic path of the football shape as you darken the outer edge of the eyes. Curve the top line of the eyes more to make them droopier. Add a circle inside each eye for the iris. Inside each iris, draw another tiny circle to represent glare. Draw a big dot inside each eye for the pupils and shade in the rest of the iris. When you shade the iris, use a slightly lighter value than the pupil. Draw a curved line over each eye for the bulldog’s wrinkly brow and to emphasize the droopy eyes.
Use the curved lines on top of the head as guides to draw the ears. Follow the basic path of the guides as you darken the lines and make the ears flop down. Add a few lines to the right for the base of the floppy ear. Draw the other ear using the other curved line as a guide.
Use the original circle as a guide to draw the rest of the bulldog’s head. The line for the right side of the face should be a little closer to the eye than to the edge of the main circle. Follow the basic path of the circle to create the lower left side of the head. Add a few more short curved lines between the eyes for the wrinkly brow.
Use the lines on the right as guides to draw the front legs. Lightly sketch the shape of the leg as you follow the basic path of the guide. Darken the lines when you get the structure of the leg right. Add the toes and nails on the tip of the feet using a series of short curved lines. Use the other line to draw the front leg on the other side the same way. Follow the path of the guide as you sketch the shape lightly and only darken the lines when you get the structure right. Don’t forget to add the toes and nails at the bottom!
Now use the lines on the left as guides to draw the bulldog’s hind legs using the same technique. The joint where the hind leg bends should be a little higher than the front leg. The toes are created by two small curved lines and the nails by tiny triangle-like shapes. Now draw the hind leg on the other side by using the last line as a guide. Remember to sketch lightly as you follow the guide and only darken the lines when you get the structure right.
Use the remaining lines as guides to draw the rest of the bulldog’s body. Simply follow the path of the guides as you darken the lines to create the body. Add some long curved lines around the neck for the extra loose skin found there.
Draw the small tail on the left side using a series of short, curved lines.
Step 18 (optional):
For a cleaner look, erase as much as you can of the initial guide lines. Don’t worry about erasing all of the guides. It’s okay to leave some behind. Re-draw any final sketch lines that you may have accidentally erased.
Final Step (optional):
Add some shading to your bulldog drawing to give it more dimension and volume. Pick the direction of the light source when shading so that the shadows are consistent with it. Add the value lightly at first, then gradually build up to the level of darkness that you want. Vary the pressure on your pencil to get different degrees of tonal value. Shading can be time-consuming, so be patient and take breaks. Continue adding the value until the entire body is shaded.