How To Paint Fur Part 2 of 2

This is part 2 of How To Paint Fur. In part one we looked at how to see fur length and direction and how to prepare to paint our picture.




Starting with the ear on the right, this is very short fur without a lot of obvious strokes. Start by laying down a wash of the lightest color. I used a brush and Spectrum Noir refill GB1. (F)

(Click to enlarge the images)


G Short hair, layers and dotsAdd more colors to mix together for the ear and darker colors for the upper ear, leaving the base color in the lightest spot. (G) As long as there is not a lot of alcohol ink the ink, they dry quickly allowing you to add lots of different layers.  If you are using Adirondacks, place the ink in a welled palette an allow the alcohol to evaporate off until you see dark, concentrated color around the rim. Dip your brush into that to paint.

Dots and lines of sepia pen were added.  They can be blended in later.

I like to paint the eyes in so I can “visit” with my subject.  I was surprised to see the brown in with the black in the photograph.

A base color where the light is shining was added in the right hand forehead with a different base color above the eye.

HAdd brush strokes for the next darkest color paying attention to the length and direction. (H)






Add a bit of Le Pen (sepia that turns purple) to emphasize the length and direction and add more marker colors. (J)



Add a based color for the forehead. (M)  Sepia pen for the dark spots. (N)  More colors in the forehead (O) Copic E79 for darker in the forehead. (P)  There were lots of “V’s” in the fur.

Lay down a based color for the neck. (Q)  Start brush strokes for the right side of the face (R) Use the blending pen to tone down the sepia in the upper right forehead.  Added more browns and grays on the right side of the face.

S base of ear


I hope you get the idea.  Here is a close up of the base color for the left-hand ear.  Start light and then work your way darker.



NoseI got to paint the nose. How much fun.  As I explored the photograph I found lots of blues and purples in there.  I also used the Chameleon blending pen to soften the colors on the left side of the nose.




eyesHere’s a close up of the eyes. I was surprised to see all the brown with the black in the photograph.


Other steps were to use really long strokes on the neck.  When I was almost done I went back and compared the values (lights and darks) to the photographs.  I ended up using a lot of medium gray (SN BG6) to darken areas that were too light and light yellow (SN CT1) for areas that needed more sunshine. Final step was a very fine Marvy Uchida Le Pen for the whiskers.

Finished Painting
Finished Painting





2 responses on "How To Paint Fur Part 2 of 2"

  1. Thanks for the great tutorial. My animal paintings never turn out this good, but I love trying anyway. Your instructions have given me new ideas and techniques. Thank you!

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