How to paint fur in watercolour

How to paint fur in watercolour


Hi, it’s Anna Mason and in this watercolour
tip video, I wanted to show you how I went about painting the furry texture to this cute
little harvest mouse, based on a photo. I first drew an outline drawing of the mouse
but didn’t draw in any of his furry texture. So I began by applying a watery wash of the
paler and darker browns in his coat – to try to match to the very lightest bits of fur
I could see in him. Next I painted the very darkest part of him
– his lovely twinkly eye which was almost black – making sure to leave the reflections
in it so that it had shape and shine. Next I flipped my paper and reference photo
around which gave me to a fresh perspective – and I used a black-brown mix but with more
water in it than I was using for the eye, to work on the very darkest areas within his
coat. Already I was using my smallest brushes and
applying with lots of little line brush strokes so that I could start to create the hairy
visual texture. Next I worked on the darker midtones and used
a milky to watery mix of some dark brown to apply to the darker areas of his coat. Crucially
this mix was not too thick. This is because I want to be able to apply
several layers of paint here before I get to the right depth of tone. By doing this I can build in the right amount
of texture . When you let each layer dry before applying the next , several layers of little
line markings will create a much furrier look that just one layer. Once I’d done this darkening up I could
see that my lightest tones were looking too pale in comparison so I mixed a paler brown
mix that was thicker than my first wash and I applied it as a wash over the top of the
markings I’d just made. Because those markings had dried off, they didn’t bleed as I applied
this mix over them, and I we can still see their defined hairiness through this wash Once that had dried – and it dries really
quickly if you’re using cotton paper, I went in and applied another layer of the watery-milky
dark brown mix – concentrating on the bigger picture of what broader areas on the mouse
needed to be darker. All the while I made sure to paint the little
lines in the same direction as I saw the fur in my reference photo. Flipping around again, I added in some more
lines using the black-brown mix – including some of his whiskers. I then went through the same process on the
rest of his body – being sure to compare his head with the rest of his body to get the
tonal balance right. I then painted the grass around him, and after
all that darkening up and because tone is relative, I could see that his eye needed
darkening some more. And that in turn led me to see that the lightest
tones in lots of parts of his head and body needed darkening – so I went in with another
wash to those areas. Then, again, when that was dry I applied another
layer of little line details with the black-brown mix to add the finishing hairy touches – always
stepping back to see the big picture in terms of what areas needed darkening, and darkening
any lighter tones with my light mix to balance the tones and and have the mouse appear hairy,
but solid. And finally, with the whiskers added, he was
finished. I hope this tip video will encourage you to
attempt painting something furry with water colour it’s a lot of fun. The full step-by-step tutorial of this harvest
mouse is available now in my online School.

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