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Blogtour: How to draw ‘Toby’ by author / illustrator Hazel Mitchell

In 2013 author / illustrator Hazel Mitchell adopted a white poodle called Toby. Toby is the inspiration for Hazel’s newest picture book which will be published by Candlewick Press on September 13th. Hazel is visiting Story Snug today to show us how to draw Toby and she is also very generously giving away a copy of the book and a Toby Swag Bag.

Hazel Mitchell - Toby - Story Snug

The Story: When a young boy and his father move from one house to another, they decide to adopt a dog from the local rescue shelter. But their chosen dog, Toby, is having a tough time adjusting to his new life outside the shelter—howling all night, hiding fearfully from his new humans, forgetting where to go to the bathroom, and chasing a ball through the flower bed. The boy has promised to train his new companion, and he’s trying his best, but Dad is starting to get exasperated. Will Toby ever feel comfortable with his new family and settle into his forever home, or will Dad decide he’s not the right dog for them after all?

We hope that you have lots of fun drawing Toby!

How to draw Toby 1 - Story Snug

1) First draw a big teardrop with an oval on top.

How to draw Toby 2 - Story Snug

2) Then add ovals for his ears, 2 cucumber shapes for his front legs and 2 circles for his back paws.

How to draw Toby 3 - Story Snug

3) Next draw a cross on his face so you can add his nose and eyes. And then add a banana for his tail!

How to draw Toby 4 - Story Snug

4) Now we can add his face. Ovals for eyes, triangle nose and curved lines for eyebrows and mouth. You can add his collar and tag too! Easy!

How to draw Toby 5 - Story Snug

5) Now we can draw his fur… make sure your wrist is loose. Toby’s ‘fur’ is really like scribble lines. Practise on another piece of paper first.

How to draw Toby 6 - Story Snug

6) Last step… add some ‘hatching’ lines where there is shade and some pencil or paint shading. Voila!

Thank you so much for visiting us on Story Snug Hazel and for showing us how to draw Toby. You can download and print a PDF page with all the instructions here.

About Hazel Mitchell

Hazel Mitchell and Toby - Story Snug

Hazel has always loved drawing and still cannot be reliably left alone with a pencil. She has illustrated many books for children including Imani’s Moon, One Word Pearl, Animally and Where Do Fairies Go When It Snows? ‘Toby’ is her author-illustrator debut from Candlewick Press. Her work has received several awards and been recognised by Bank Street Books, Learning Magazine, Reading is Fundamental, Foreword Reviews, NYCReads365, Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Chicago and Maine State libraries among others. Originally from England, where she attended art college and served in the Royal Navy, she now lives in Maine with her poodles Toby and Lucy and a cat called Sleep. Hazel is represented by Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown, NYC.

Hazel’s Website / Twitter / Facebook

Toby on Facebook / Twitter

Congratulations to Pamela Courtney who won Toby’s book and swag bag in Hazel’s giveaway.

Toby Swag - Story Snug


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6 responses to “Blogtour: How to draw ‘Toby’ by author / illustrator Hazel Mitchell”


  1. Sue Morris avatar

    Wow, what a nice prize pack. Hope the odds are in my favor. I am a dog advocate. Rescue dogs are a special breed, so are the people who adopt them.


    1. Catherine avatar

      Good luck Sue! My parents adopted a rescue dog when I was a teenager. Mick was a springer spaniel, lovely but ever so slightly mad! We didn’t know a lot about his life before he came to us but he was always very happy and bouncy 🙂


      1. Sue Morris avatar

        It really helps to know the dog’s history, but unless you can get him to talk, often we just don’t know. I work at a dog rescue and some of the dogs are so sweet and others need obedience training a few times over. 🙂 My rescue dog is a grumpy little thing who growls at everyone and thing. It has been a while and he is finally trusting me. All I know about Jon is that he was severely physically abused (kicks, etc to a tiny dog). If you can figure out what terrifies your dog (brooms, newspapers, raised palm, etc.) you can at least get a fair idea of what he went through. Bless your family for adopting a rescue.


        1. Catherine avatar

          So good to hear that your little dog is now finally trusting you. I can’t comprehend how a human can mistreat a small defenceless dog so badly 🙁


          1. Sue avatar

            I don’t get it either. My head wants to explode thinking about it.


    2. Hazel Mitchell avatar
      Hazel Mitchell

      Thanks for rescuing dogs! Toby xx

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