Techniques for Painting Animal Fur

See techniques for how to paint fur with marker, acrylic inks, and acrylic paints. Explained is ways to layer the 3 media to create a foundation for details.

10 min. video

Find out specific ways to handle your brushes and ways to mix and apply the paints to capture the textures of fur. Demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu.

banner painting color palette

Video Walkthrough

  • Marker is a great way to put down a drawing foundation that is easier to control than paint.
  • Acrylic inks are basically drawing inks, but are lot more potent in colors, and also a touch thicker and less running.
  • Jumping around the page is really important when developing a composition.
  • Staying in one area of your composition for too long can lead to the composition feeling fragmented.
  • Look at the fur in terms of clumps, and how those clumps interact with each other.
  • The challenge of fur is it’s a texture on the surface of a form; the form has to be visible for the fur to be convincing.
  • The key to painting fur is to not try to paint one hair at a time, it’s impossible and can look very uptight.
  • Consider the physical pressure of your brush when painting fur, sometimes you want the fur to be very bold, other times you just want a light pass of strokes.
  • Look at the direction of the fur, even at the very beginning in the marker sketch!
banner, acrylic painting: animal fur
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