Today, Peggy Osborne is back with another tutorial. This time she’s showing us how to draw white fur.
This is the reference photo Peggy used for her tutorial. It comes from Pixabay.
Drawing such a happy fellow is certain to make any artist smile!
Now here’s Peggy!
How to Draw White Fur
by Peggy Osborne
White fur was always the hardest thing for me to draw. Then I discovered two things: It’s a whole lot easier to draw on tone colored paper and white is not just white.
I used French greys, cool greys, lavenders, blues, beiges, and of course white. I followed the reference picture very closely and picked the colors I saw in the reference before starting.
Of course as I work, I may see a color that I can add to the collection.
Here I used a grey Canson Mi-Teintes Pastel Paper (smooth side) and Prismacolor pencils. Towards the end of the drawing I also used Brush and Pencil Titanium White mixture for the flyway hairs and brightest highlights.
Now on to the tutorial!
I start with a detailed sketch which is basically my road map. It shows me where to apply the right colors.
I always like to do the eyes first, and begin with White in the highlight, and Black and Dark Brown for the eye. The hair around the eye was drawn with 70% French Grey and Light Umber.
Then I move on to the white fur. The shadowed fur below the eyes is done with layers of Beige Sienna and 50% French Grey blended with White.
The hair above the eyes is drawn with hair-like strokes following the direction of the hair growth with 20% Cool Grey, Cloud Blue, and touches of Greyed Lavender and Beige Sienna. I then add White to blend these all together.
I repeat this a few more times to fill the tooth of the paper.
Onto the ears. I’ll show a bit more detail of how I do the white fur.
If you zoom in and look close you can see that I laid in the darker colors first to arrange the direction of the fur and draw the shadows. I used 20% Cool Grey, Greyed Lavender, Putty Beige, and 50% Cool Grey.
I blend those colors with White, then add more layers of shadow colors where needed to give it depth.
Once again I keep adding layers of color until the tooth of the paper is filled.
The other ear is done the same way. Just remember layer, layer, layer.
Moving on to the muzzle, I once again use the same colors and method as with the ears. I add hair-like strokes of 50% Cool Grey, Greyed Lavender, and Beige Sienna.
As always, I use a sharp pencil with a light touch and follow the reference photo closely.
In the chin area, I layer Beige Sienna, 50% French Grey, Putty Beige, and White.
I continue layering and burnishing with White to fill the tooth of the paper. You’ll notice that the colors are warmer in this area than the rest of the dog.
I will do a tutorial on drawing a nose, mouth and teeth one day. For now I have completed the mouth and teeth using shades of Black Grape, Peach, Pink, Greyed Lavender, White, and Black.
The fur on the shoulder is drawn as shown before on the ears.
I finished the shoulder by layering the same colors and burnishing with White to fill the tooth of the paper.
I used Titanium White mixture to add hairs over the pencil to create a 3D effect and added depth to the fur.
Titanium White was designed for colored pencil and is archival.
I completed the little jacket with much the same technique; layering the colors to get the effect I want. I will do a tutorial eventually on drawing fabric or something similar to show the method.
Here I used Mulberry and Violet with White to lighten the areas in light, then deepened the color with Violet in the shadow areas.
I finished the dots and trim with Black.
Once again I show the comparison photos as this is something I do with every portrait I draw to compare values, contrast and likeness. This helps me see the differences and what I need to adjust. First in color then black and white.
Finally, I used the Titanium White mixture to pull some hairs over the clothing and a few strings of fur here and there to complete the portrait.
Here is the finished piece.
That’s how Peggy draws white fur.
I hope this tutorial has helped you draw white fur more realistically.
If you have questions about this tutorial, leave a comment below. Peggy will stop by and answer your questions.
And if you have a suggestion for a future tutorial from Peggy, leave that in the comments as well.
Peggy is an accomplished self-taught artist living in Canada specializing in creating beautiful realistic portraits of pets and family members. She’s had an on going love affair with colored pencils, loving their simplicity, for as long as she can remember.
She started out using graphite pencil so it was an easy transition to carry on with colored pencils. Love of animals and art go hand in hand. Peggy is in awe of what can be accomplished with colored pencils.
See more of Peggy’s work at Pet Portraits by Peggy.