I never thought I would fall in love with coloring furry creatures but lately seemed to gravitate towards choosing coloring pages with something furry. I have done two cats and a wolf in the last month! I am still not mastering it of course but along the way I learn a few things that I can share with you.
First I look at lots of photos of the type of creature I want to draw/color. I mean really look:
- observe the direction of growth of furs on various part of the body,
- color variations of the fur, even white fur has color variations due to light reflections and black or not totally black,
- study their eyes, ears, nose and mouth
Here’s my reference photo for the cat page from Daydreams by Hanna Karlzon.
I was looking for stripped cat. I ended up making mine more golden brown than grey but this picture gave me all the inspiration. This is my version of the cat:
Stroke by stroke
Sharpen your pencils and color each strand of fur stroke by stroke. I start with the light color and gradually add in my medium color and dark/black. You need many layers of colors and strokes to create the realistic look. Keep referring to the reference photo to make sure your direction of the fur is correct. Don’t be afraid to add some fur curls – look closely at the furs on the chest. Patience is key.
In the original illustration, the outline of the cat is draw with jagged black lines which doesn’t look very natural. I used the Sakura Gelly roll white pen to mask the outline as shown in the picture below. After that, I used colored pencils to work over the white gel pen furs until I get a natural furry look. Your pencils need to be sharp for this, Color in the direction of the furs over the white gel pen. You do want the colored pencils to scratch off some of the white gel and you can lightly color over the gel pen mark to change the color. Keep doing this until you achieve the desired look.
You can use the same technique for other furry creatures. The result is actually very satisfying. Here’s another picture of a cat from Daria Song’s The Night Voyage.
I used the same technique on the wolf in Imagimorphia by Kerby Rosanes:
I also have another blog I wrote last year on coloring furs here.
You can do it too! Try it on your next coloring project.
2 comments on “Furry Creatures”
August 15, 2018 at 11:46 pm
I started following you recently, and I’m catching up on older posts. Your work is amazing and I love your gentle and encouraging “voice”. I’m positive I will be trying to follow your examples and methods. Pretty sure they will never look anything like your work but I’m incredibly grateful for all the time you are taking to help all of us become better colorists. Thank you.
August 16, 2018 at 9:11 am
Thank you Helen. I am so happy you find my “voice” 😉