Step 15: Draw a series of short strokes within the shape of the head to emphasize the Labrador retriever's fur. Use short strokes above the eyes for the brow to make the face more expressive. Add some under the eyes and on the sides of the face for more skeletal structure. Don't overthink adding the strokes; they're just short lines arranged in different shapes. Draw some short strokes on the right side, below the ear, for the fur on the dog's neck. Add some short strokes under the muzzle to create vertical lines for the loose skin on the throat.
Step 16: 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 you may have accidentally erased.
Final Step: Add some shading to your Labrador retriever drawing for extra detail. Shade the dog's eyes using a value that's slightly lighter than the pupils. Use a medium value for the nose too. Use a lighter value at the top of the nose to create a stripe to represent shine. If you'd like, you can stop shading after the nose for a white Labrador. For a more detailed guide on how to shade, check out this tutorial: How to shade.
Shade the rest of the retriever's head using a value that's slightly lighter than the nose. Separate each individual stroke a bit so that the white of the paper comes through and emphasizes the fur-like texture. As you shade, use strokes that go in the general direction of the dog's fur. Above the eyes, the strokes should curve to the sides from the middle. This process can be very time-consuming, so be patient and take breaks. The strokes on the dog's muzzle should start at the nose and radiate outward to the sides. Use a darker value for the section on the muzzle below the nose.
You can also simply add a medium value all over instead of the strokes for a simpler Labrador retriever drawing. Use a sightly darker value to create some shadows on the head. Vary the pressure on your pencil to get different degrees of tonal value. When you add the shadows, add the value smoothly instead of using separate strokes like the fur. Pick the direction of the light source when shading so that the shadows are consistent throughout. Add the value lightly at first, and then gradually build up to the level of darkness that you want.
Add some dots on the dog's muzzle, under the nose for the base of the whiskers. You can add some long lines for whiskers, but Labs tend to have white whiskers. It's always a good idea to use reference for a more accurate drawing. If you have a pet Labrador retriever or a similar dog breed, try to duplicate its fur on your drawing. Don't forget to pause the video after each step to draw at your own pace.
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