|Calvin 18x24 inches, acrylic on canvas, work in progress|
A lot of people have asked me how to paint animals and I do intend to do some tutorials about how to paint fur and how to get the shadows and such.
I would also love to get a video camera and do some video tutorials too, but that will have to wait just a bit.
In the meantime I will give you some help full hints. I usually draw or trace my design onto the canvas with pencil. Then I use diluted black paint and a #2 liner to go over the lines and to add in the darkest shadows, expect on the back ground.
Then I paint in the back ground. With these yellow labs, since they are pretty light I like to have a darker background to make them pop. With the first one I did of Luke & Gus together I used Sap green, adding in some black towards the edges. With Sachmo I used mostly Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna for the back ground. With Calvin I've been using a dark blue, about the color of new denim except not so bright, a little purple dioxizin and white, with a touch of black and burnt umber in the very darkest places.
When the background is dry I mix up my animal shadow color. With Calvin I used burn umber, van dyke brown and a little burnt sienna, varying the mix according to how dark the area was. The lighter areas are raw sienna + white and yellow ochre + white.
From there I go back and forth with the lighter and darker colors adjusting the light and dark areas and also adjusting the colors. I always have them all darker than they will be in the end, so I can add layers and layers of lighter colored fur strokes, giving depth and life to the fur.
I have a large collection of brushes for the different types of painting I do. All of my fur work is done with rake and comb brushes of different types. Then the very last layers and fine detail is usually done with a #2 liner brush, though I may use a smaller one if working on a very small piece.
I have several of these Simply Simmons brushes. I LOVE! The filbert comb brush! I also have an angle comb brush in this series. These two brushes are my work horses for fur painting. With the angle brush I can turn it and just use the very tip to get fine lines in a tight spot or turn it to use the whole brush. Also they last really well. I am a brush abuser bar none! And my SS brushes have really stood the test of time; soaking in water for days on end, occasional drying paint in the bristles and they are still good as ever. the paint is beginning to flake off the handles from sitting in water too much but the bristles are still really tight and good to go.