Friday, May 30, 2008

Drawing Tip #12: Fur, Part II - Pencil Strokes

calico domestic cat drawingThere are so many kinds of fur: short, long, rough, smooth, fluffy, coarse, thick, fine, etc. I'd like to take each in turn, but I'll start with a general description. In part one I wrote about the direction of fur flow. While this is important on a macroscopic scale, when you get down to the nitty-gritty of it, fur doesn't run parallel. Make sure your strokes have some randomness to them. I tend to scribble.

The length of your strokes also makes a huge difference. Be sure to use long strokes for long fur and short ones for short fur. But don't forget to take perspective into account - long fur foreshortened looks short. (See the chest fur on my cat to the right, for example.) For the very short fur on the bridge of the nose, I use a small, circular motion. Usually the tooth of the paper will show just enough to make it look like very tiny lines of fur. (See the in-progress tiger drawing.)

I was thinking of putting together a little sketch for each of these fur drawing tips, but then I figured, what better way than to use an actual drawing? So I'm going to start a lion I've been thinking about for several weeks now, and I'll post detailed photos and descriptions along the way.

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