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Submitted on
July 8, 2007
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Watercolour Fur Tutorial by Wolfdog Watercolour Fur Tutorial by Wolfdog
Several people have asked me how I do the fur textures in my watercolour paintings, so I thought it would be quite interesting to show the stages of how I paint something. I hope this is useful.
The subject is a little kangaroo rat ACEO.

Materials used – Cold pressed watercolour paper, 300gsm. Winsor and Newton Artist Watercolours: Winsor Red Deep; Winsor Yellow Deep; Antwerp blue. Winsor & Newton Designer's Gouache Permanent White.
Time – Approx 1hr.

1. The sketch. For ACEOs, I usually just sketch directly on to the paper. For larger works and especially pet portraits I often transfer the sketch onto the paper with tracing paper. For this I used a HB lead in a mechanical pencil and my trusty eraser.
2. Using a size 8 round brush, I apply a loose wash for the background.
3. After the background colour has dried enough, I put a base wash on the subject. This will be the light colours showing through on the fur. I have also put a small dot of masking fluid on the eye where I want the highlight to remain.
4. I add in a few details with a size 1 or 2 brush
5. This is how I apply most of the fur texture. The base coat must be dry before attempting to do this. I use a size 4 brush, apply paint and spread the bristles out by squashing the bristles near the base. I generally use quite dilute pigment for this and often build up a few layers of the fur texture. It is quite difficult to say how much water you need for this, you probably will need too practise this on some plain paper just to get a feel for it. It won't work with too much or too little water.
6. I add in a few more details with a 4/0 brush
7. I darken some shadows and paint the eye. I also decided to lighten up some areas with gouache a bit more (the paws, on the ear and some fur)
8. For the final step, I paint the whiskers with my 4/0 brush in white gouache then add more in darker watercolour. I use an eraser to remove the masking fluid from the eye highlight then sign it with the 4/0 brush.
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G-SJ Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Ani-mato Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've been looking for a good fur tutorial for watercolor! I'll be sure to use this :love:
henriandra Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012
COla013 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2012
Very useful :) thank you a lot <fav>
dvdweng Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Student General Artist
I've been mentally toying with watercolours for a while... and I've finally just gotten crazy about it now that I'm in college... it's hard stuff. XD THis looks like a good tutorial, I hope it'll be useful in the future. =:3
music-art-friends Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011
thank you so much..i was wondering how to do fur, i just started painting a grizzly bear...and i couldnt find out how to do this anywhere..if i could find something it would be some stuck up artist charging an arm, a leg, and your first born son to learn the "secret" of how to do it! you made my day!
gee231205 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
This is a really nicely done tutorial, with nice pixctures to show the stages and the written text is easy to follow as well. the finished picture is also amazing.
HewieAlbino Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Excellent tutorial! I usually use my watercolors for rough sketching but I've always wanted to try painting more finished pictures.

Thanks! Will be adding this to favorites
like-textas Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008
lol i am so gonna try this.. so called.. fur
Wolfdog Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009   Traditional Artist
so called fur? Lol XD
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