View Full Version : Eye Spy II - including fur tutorial

11-28-2004, 01:21 PM
As promised,this will incorporate how I do fur.
This is from the image library, again thank you to ks1017, it is to match the other one so I am ignoring the colours in the reference and using the same as before.
I have done the eye as usual, just needs a few finishing touches after I do the socket.
I have started to define the socket using Beige, dark brown, indigo, and raw umber. The eye is outlined with polychromos Paynes Grey. As before I will work from the eye down the nose and then outwards, there will be no background.
I will try to leave some fur at each stage before I post again so as not to be boring.
The image looks a little rough because it is bigger than the actual.


11-28-2004, 01:53 PM
GREAT! :clap: :clap: :clap: This is exactly what I was waiting for. I have absolutely no idea how to handle fur - especially how to do the brighter hair. Looking really forward to following this tutorial. Please really show every single layer you're working on PLEEAASE!

Thanks for doing this! :wave:

11-28-2004, 02:00 PM
Hi Gayle!
very nice!
I will stay here to learn from this lesson . Can I use the same reference to pratice while I watch your tutorial? :)

11-28-2004, 03:06 PM
YEAH! I want to learn about fur too! :clap:

11-28-2004, 03:40 PM
a great help to most. got my coffee and chair. thanks bill

11-29-2004, 03:06 AM
I'm watching... :)


11-29-2004, 09:12 AM
THANK YOU so much for doing this!!!
Guess this helps us members :))) a lot! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


Rosa Weitzel
11-29-2004, 11:01 AM
Im so looking forward to learning more. Now does any one have a WIP for patience because I need it.


11-29-2004, 11:51 AM
Hi Rosa,

No WIP for pateince, but I have this little prayer I say everyday....It kind goes like this...

I want to thank you Lord for being close to me so far this day. With your help, I haven't been impatient, lost my temper, been grumpy, judgmental or envious of anyone. But, I will be getting out of bed in a minute and I think I'll really need your help them....... :wink2: :wave: :wave:

11-29-2004, 03:23 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing this tutorial. :clap: :clap: :clap:
I see I am not the only one wanting to know how you get your fur so realistic and touchable. I hope this will get into the Hall of Fame tutorial section.

11-29-2004, 03:50 PM
I hope I can live up to the expectations!
Lucio, if you want to use the same image I will help you where I can.
I have started working on the eye socket. I first looked for the shiny areas and put down a thick layer of white. I then used beige, raw umber, dark brown, sepia and dark umber in that order to build the depth. I added indigo and black in the darkest areas and then picked up my light spots with another layer of white. I have left areas unfinished so you can see how I work.
I have started building the fur in beige and raw umber, I follow the fur direction, using strokes that are the length of the fur in that area. When I started doing animal portraits I used arrows on my rough drawing to indicate fur direction, especially round the eyes, as it easy to start going in the wrong direction and that will spoil the effect.
I try not to be too even with my strokes, but I really have to concentrate on that or I end up with a dog that looks unrealistic as all my strokes end up the same length in the same direction.
I will post another scan tomorrow with each area moved on.
Please ask if I have not explained anything well enough.


11-29-2004, 03:58 PM
goody, goody, goody! :D Everyone be sure and rate this thread, I have a feeling we're going to want it and the eye tutorial in the hof!

11-29-2004, 04:26 PM
*sharpens pencils, digs out paper, pulls up chair, prepares for class*

11-29-2004, 06:55 PM
I've kept this ref too...would have been an idea to follow along...alas no time now. I'll rate it too, so it can go into the HOF and be done later ;)

Weezy....I like the little 'prayer' of course I NEVER need to say it! :rolleyes:


Katherine T
11-29-2004, 07:06 PM
And I've rated it to!

Gayle - can I just understand again about how you do the highlighted or white bits of hair? So do you put down the white where you know there needs to be a feathery white hair or a highlight, and then do the colours and then come back and do the white again - yes?

Do you do anything special to deal with the agouti ticking effect?


11-29-2004, 07:34 PM
Thanks for doing this.. :clap: :clap: :clap:

I'm keeping a very close eye. I seem to be in a 'cat' mood lately. :)

11-30-2004, 01:52 AM
Thanks for watching along.
Katherine, the white I was working on was the white in the eye socket, that is to give more of a shine than a highlight, you can see right in the corner of the eye. Because I have gone in with a thick layer it will not cover up, so when I reapply the white it will give a shine to that area. For highlights in fur I leave the paper white initially, I can show this on the cats eyebrow.

Katherine, for agouti, I would work in my base colour, either a local or complimentary, depending how you wanted to work, then start adding a couple more darker layers all using short strokes, or introduce more 'colourful' colours. When I was happy I had the depth (might be 6 or 7 light layers) I would choose the colours to do the ticking, where I would use harder short strokes randomly. I will try to do a small example for you.


11-30-2004, 02:00 AM
Hi Gayle.
I started to work on that reference. Please what is the size of your piece?
I am working in a small size ( A4) to practice. :)

Katherine T
11-30-2004, 03:40 AM
Gayle - many thanks, I thought I may have misunderstood. And I'll be watching out for the agouti demo!

BTW, your reference puddy cat looks extremely like my Polly, who's an Abyssinian. She's got the most amazing soft peach downy under fur. Don't know if this helps any.


11-30-2004, 05:21 AM
This scan is an attempt to show how I approach different types of fur.
There are three diffenent areas here :-
1. The close fur on the side of the nose
2.The longer eyebrow fur
3.The denser dark stripe.
I have added indigo blue to the right of the eye socket and then Black Grape throughout the socket, I am not really following the reference for colours, I know how I want it to end up and work to that end.
!. For the nose I do short strokes which overlap, I have used beige, light and dark peach (thanks Katherine), raw umber and dark brown, I am using them together rather than one layer of each, I will keep going until I achieve the depth.
2. Eyebrow, I have used a beige base and then I have drawn in some hairs with dark brown, I will continue to build on this but this first layer defines where I'm going.
3. For the dense stripe I need it broken up by lighter fur so, after the beige basecoat I have done longer looser strokes of raw umber and dark brown which don't overlap.
My next scan will show the next stage of these areas plus the start of the nose.

I have also worked a couple more layers in cream and jasmine on the eye.


11-30-2004, 06:29 AM
This scan shows how I start to develop the nose.
I've darkened the dark stripe using raw umber, dark brown, sepia and dark umber, leaving the area's I want to have lighter fur.
I have layered black grape in the nostrils and round the edge of the nose, layered cream and peach over the fleshy areas.
I have not started looking for the bone structure yet which is why the whole thing looks flat.


Karen Cardinal
11-30-2004, 08:05 AM
Good gosh Gayle... this is looking beautiful already!

Why do the really good animal artist make it look all so easy? You're going to lul me into a false sense of "hey, I could do that" and I know it's not at all as easy as you are making it look. Fur is a lot tougher than hair for me.

I'll be watching closely and taking notes. Hopefully I'll be able to abosorb something here. :D

Katherine T
11-30-2004, 08:42 AM
Gayle - although you're not commenting on it, I'm particularly struck by your super meticulous attention to putting down strokes exactly in the same way that the hair grows. The combination of this with the different stroke lengths as required is for me what really makes the difference in quality of approach and outcome.

I've got my foot up, my cup of tea to hand and and am watching with rapt attention!

11-30-2004, 08:45 AM
Why do the really good animal artist make it look all so easy? You're going to lul me into a false sense of "hey, I could do that" and I know it's not at all as easy as you are making it look. Fur is a lot tougher than hair for me.

Oh yes... that's what I thought too. She's got a way of making pencil strokes that automatically give the impression of real fur. How on earth is she doing this??? I am really impressed. I will try this out soon - but believe me, I am really scared of doing it :wink2:

11-30-2004, 09:20 AM
Thanks for commenting, Karen, Katherine and BJ.
It might look easy but even though I know how the fur works I find every piece a real challenge, you just can't see me pulling my hair out. It's like everything the more fur you do the more you see the detail and the more realistic it becomes.
Katherine, leading on from your comment it made me think of something else I haven't mentioned, the greatest amount of time I spend, is looking where my next stroke goes, I spend more time with my hand away from the paper than actually making marks.
This is the nose, dark umber, indigo, paynes grey and black in the nostril, light peach, blush pink, dark peach, a little golden rod, henna and then more of the same on the fleshy part.


Katherine T
11-30-2004, 10:30 AM
Katherine, leading on from your comment it made me think of something else I haven't mentioned, the greatest amount of time I spend, is looking where my next stroke goes, I spend more time with my hand away from the paper than actually making marks.

Oh, I'm so glad you said that - I shall feel so much less silly, when I finally get round to doing my current cats, if I end up with a frown on my face, my mouth open and my pencil poised trying to work out how the next bit goes - with nothing actually happening! :confused: :D They've kept me at the 'intimidated stage' for the last three years but I really should do them so they can join their predecessors on the wall.

11-30-2004, 12:27 PM
This is just to show that I will now carry on exactly as before.


11-30-2004, 02:09 PM
Wow, I had to take a break from the birds to look at this. I must say that I never really liked realism until I saw your animal drawings. I always want my work to look painterly and hand done but now I want my pet portraits like this!!!
I guess the worst part for me will be getting ref. photos that are great close ups so that I can actually see all the gorgeous details.
Also I'm glad to see that you mainly work from light to dark. Going from dark to light in CP is so tough for me.
This is so beautiful :clap: Thanks a million for sharing! :D

11-30-2004, 03:54 PM
I am just lurking around looking at the pencil forum and I saw this cat. This is pencil ...wow! It is so detailed. It must take days to complete a picture like this. This is lovely.

Oh by the way there is book on Pencil at the swap shop for sale. Here is the link.


I'll have to check this forum more often. You have some great stuff going on here.

11-30-2004, 03:56 PM
I am just lurking around looking at the pencil forum and I saw this cat. This is pencil ...wow! It is so detailed. It must take days to complete a picture like this. This is lovely.

Oh by the way I saw there is some colored pencil books at the swap shop for sale. Here is the link.


11-30-2004, 04:01 PM
Thanks Carol and Loretta.
Last one for today.


11-30-2004, 05:33 PM
Fabulous execution and a wonderful demo, Gayle.


12-01-2004, 02:35 AM
Cant say often enough THANK YOU for doing this tutorial, Gayle.
What amazes me most is, that painting the darker colors over the lighter ones, it still looks, you would paint the lighter colors separatly later. Hard to explain - but you may understand?
I admire you for those beautiful work!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
THANK you again!


12-01-2004, 06:50 AM
This is truly amazing............I need to start over and re read...all I could do was look and go, WOW...


bearded bob
12-02-2004, 05:36 AM
Absolutely wonderful Gayle! Thank you so much for showing this and explaining so well. :clap: :clap: :clap:

12-02-2004, 06:57 AM
Oh! Gayle this is already so stunning!!

How long do you think just getting this far takes? How long do you work on it for each section we have seen? I would think with the time taken observing the fur direction then actually putting pencil to paper it must be pretty consuming of your time?

Thank you so very much for doing this, I want to do a portrait of my eldest dog and your fur demonstration will be invaluable. Oh and the eye one you did previously, my dog has gorgeous eyes and I want to do them justice.
Can I ask -have you done anything more to that stunning eye or am I seeing the effects of the fur colour surrounding it.

I am enthralled by every pencil stroke, thank you so much :) .

I can't wait for the next step.

Big Hugs,


12-02-2004, 12:37 PM
Thanks folks, glad it's continuing to be useful.
Ali, I have probably worked on this for about 20 hours now. I have put another couple of layers on the eye, one of cream, one of deco aqua, only working in certain areas. I will continue working on the eye as I build the fur up, but it is really just tinkering.
In this scan I have just done more of the same. In the next one I will show how I do the chest fur . The ear is not complete and I might crop it out altogether, but I can do that at the end.


12-03-2004, 01:53 AM
WOW!! I can't get over the tiny pencil strokes making up the short fur round the muzzle and nose, it is so intricate but the whole is stunning!

I am in awe of the fabulous colours in the eye, thank you so much for the explanation and telling me how many hours you have on it already, I really appreciate it. :)

Big Hugs,


12-03-2004, 08:12 AM
Thanks Ali
I have started working the chest fur in, I need to do it at the same time as the jaw to see how the colours interact.
I don't want the chest to compete with the head so my strokes are all light and much longer as the fur is longer. I am working with white to lighten some areas then, cloud blue, clay rose and celedon green, in no particular order just keeping on layering.


12-03-2004, 09:54 AM
Gayle this is great! I have been painting a mural this week and haven't had a chance to read this thread. But sunday I am going to study the whole thing!! Thanks again for taking the time. :wave: :D wanda

12-03-2004, 10:33 AM
Thanks Wanda
I'm now looking for the underlying bone structure to give it some form. I am darkening some areas and lightening others. I have used my eraser to lift one or two highlights.
IRL the colour is not so orange on the jaw, but it does need toning down a little.
I do have a problem with the mouth, he looks like its stitched together at present, so please ignore I will correct for the next scan.


12-03-2004, 11:01 AM
I just can NOT believe this! Inredible! I can hear that kitty purring for Heaven's sake! I am all eyes on this one. Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to do this and explain everything! Excellent lesson!

Katherine T
12-03-2004, 03:48 PM
Cosmo came to have a look at this and he growled (I'm afraid he doesn't know he's a cat! He just thinks he's the man about the house! :D )

Great work Gayle - I'm really enjoying watching this and will be printing the whole thread off when you've finished to go in my reference file. Thanks for the effort you're putting into the explanations - it's much appreciated.


12-03-2004, 06:53 PM
Awesome :clap:

With work like this the art world must surely be starting to take CP seriously now.


12-04-2004, 03:00 AM
It looks so fascinating, how you draw the negativ space!
Just awsome! Love it!
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


12-04-2004, 08:44 AM

This thread is so helpful. Thank you for taking the time to share your way of working. I really appreciate it.

12-04-2004, 03:16 PM
Thanks for commenting.
I have done more of the same, but I've added some white water colour pencil to the area of the face under the nose and the cheekbone, I added it wet with a brush and then worked into it with pencil.
The next scan will be the finished piece.
I have altered the crop to move the eye intoi a slightly better position.


12-05-2004, 05:48 AM
Oh, this is really so BEAUTIFUL!!! :music: :music: :music:

An excellent tutorial - however, I think I can't do this. You are so talented.

Thanks again for doing this.

Happy Sunday,
Bridget :wave:

12-07-2004, 12:59 PM
Thanks Bridget.
Unfortunately with having to rush to finish I did not show the final stages but it was only more of the same.
This is the print, thankyou to everyone who has followed along.


12-07-2004, 01:53 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap:


12-07-2004, 02:06 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


12-07-2004, 02:35 PM
SIMPLY FANTASTIC TUTORIAL :cat: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

12-07-2004, 03:11 PM
Oh goody finished now I can print this off!! THANK YOU! :D :clap: wanda

Flame Lily
12-07-2004, 04:07 PM
Thank you so much for all the work you put into sharing this marvelous tutorial with us, I don't know how you could have possibly improved on your first rendition of this cat, but it looks to me like this one is even more fantastic than your first one, just brilliant! Thank you :clap:

12-08-2004, 10:53 PM
WOW!! Gayle you do stunning work! :eek: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank you so very, very much for taking the time to do this, the cat looks phenomenal, I have to say although the fur is amazing it is the eye that does it for me -it is simply jaw-dropping!!

I am one impressed bunny :D .

So, what's next huh? :evil: :D

Huge hugs and thank you again,