How to Paint Fur – DescribeTexture When Painting Animal Fur

by Neadeen Masters on November 6, 2012

There are so many different concepts to learn when we are wanting to know how to paint fur. Texture is one of these concepts. So what is meant by fur texture anyway? Think about the feel of the fur if you passed your hand across the animal. How would it feel to the touch? Texture in this case is about the fur or hair of the animal. Some animals have long soft fur; some have short bristly fur while others may have a mix of both long and short, soft and stiff. How we describe the different types of texture depends on the length of the brush stroke and how we apply it.

How To Paint Fur -  Online Art Classes - Neadeen Masters

How to Paint Fur – Cougar Study – Short Fur

In the case of the cougar above, this animal has short fur on the face. I first use a tonal underpainting to illustrate the shadow and pigmentation of the animal’s skin. This helps to create a foundation for the fur textures to come.  When this tonal shadow color is fully established, only then will I begin the often painstaking job of placing the fine, short hairs on top of that first layer.

How To Paint Fur -  Cougar Underpainting

How to Paint Fur – Establishing Fur Texture

When we are learning how to paint fur, one of the most important things about painting fur texture is to pay close attention to the growth pattern and direction of the fur. Knowing the direction of the fur on the animal’s body and face is the key to your success. Ask yourself how  it conforms to the natural contours of the animals face and bone structure. Work with good reference materials, using enlarged photographs of your subjects.  You don’t want to guess at how fur will grow.  The growth patterns will reflect the species and the natural contours of the body, however the viewer’s eye will be forced to follow along with the growth direction… so be sure to get this right.

You can learn  how to paint the technical basics of  animal fur.  For more details about this  online art class  visit this link to learn more about painting four different kinds of animals, each with their own distinct types of fur.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Anne Black October 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Your fur is so beautiful and looks so real.I am so excited to learn how to make it your way.I would greatly appreciate the newsletter. Thanks Anne Black


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