View Full Version : a newbie with a question of fur

06-17-2008, 06:29 AM
Hi everyone! I'm a newbie to pastel (in fact i'm a newbie to the world of art :)) I've tried drawing pastel but found many problems especially about drawing fur. When I draw fur more than two layers, the new layer always smudges the layer underneath. How should I solve this problem without destroy the paper surface? Please help me. Thank you :)
ps. this web is marvellous. I'm overwhelmed with many inspirations and fantastic pictures :)

06-17-2008, 07:33 AM
Hi and Welcome:wave: , First, a couple of questions; what kind of paper are you using, and type of pastels? Sticks or pencils? This can affect the application and layering of fur.

06-17-2008, 08:43 AM
Hi Tressa! I use Derwent's pastel pencil on canson paper. sorry I don't have any scanner or camera to photo my drawing. I tried to draw kitty but troubled with smudging when I layered the fine furs (and the rough furs I drawn underneath tend to move off). Thanks for joining the topic :)

06-17-2008, 08:56 AM
If you can get yourself some sanded paper, Wallis, La Carte, or Colourfix, this will help your problem. The Canson has very little tooth, and will not take a lot of layering, or abuse. The Derwent pencils are a bit on the hard side, so when you try to layer, they are probably just moving your original pastel off or around. Another good surface to use for animals is suede or velour matboard. Most framers have scrap you can get very cheaply.
Here are a couple of examples.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jun-2008/76189-PICT0016.JPG This is on velour paper mounted on matboard.using sticks
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jun-2008/76189-PICT0015.JPG This is on La Carte
with Stabillo pencils
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jun-2008/76189-PICT0074.JPG This is on Wallis using sticks.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jun-2008/76189-PICT0007-1.JPG This is on suede matboard...sticks

06-17-2008, 10:07 AM
Thank you for helpful information. Maybe a silly question, what is suede or velour matboard? The only media I'm familiar with is paper (I'm just a beginner).The local supplier near my home only have canson (maybe I really didn't look around). What should I do if I cannot find matboard or other rougher sanded-paper?
ps. Your dogs are so cute. :)

06-17-2008, 02:23 PM
Framers use suede or velour matboard to frame paintings, pictures, prints. It is a soft velvety feel, and catches the pastel very well, for a smooth soft look. If you can find a frame shop, ask about scrap for sale. They will know what is. Not sure wha tyou have available in Thailand, you may need to order online. do a search for local art suppliers. I do know one person in your area, I can ask her where she gets her supplies.

06-17-2008, 02:47 PM
Thanks very much Tressa. You help me a lot. I'll look around for a frame shop here. :) I visited your blog. very fantastic landscape painting. I like "Evening Storm on the Bay" , the clouds are stunning.

06-17-2008, 02:58 PM
Quite welcome:)

Deborah Secor
06-17-2008, 04:31 PM
Or you might get some 600-grit sandpaper and try that! It's used to finish furniture, so surely in Bangkok you have lots of it. I remember getting some beautiful teak furniture there years ago... The sandpaper would allow you to build up your layers and slowly get to where you can make the hairs with smaller strokes, but you might want some softer pastels to use underneath the pencils....


06-17-2008, 11:05 PM
Thank you Debora,very informative. I'll try that. I never try sand paper before (except wood work). :)

06-18-2008, 07:00 AM
I love painting fur and the way I always do it is by first applying an undercoat of colour and then rub it in. My undercoat can consist of many colours. Then I apply the fur over the top without rubbing it in. I generally leave the last coat of pastel unrubbed. The pastel does smudge together on it's own but it is important to use sharp tips for fine hairs whether it be a sharp pencil or the sharp edge of a stick. I use pastel pencils for a large majority of my work but when using sticks for larger work I work in the same manner just on a larger scale.

06-18-2008, 07:12 AM
my friend suggested you try the stationary section at Paragon Shopping Center or B2S...
And I would think ordering online your best bet would be the UK??
Try the sandpaper also!!!

06-18-2008, 10:06 AM
Holley - thank you very much, your suggestion's very helpful. Do you spray fixative over undercoat before applying final touch or just layering fine hairs over it?
Tres - Thanks a lot. Paragon is near my home, I'll look around there. :)

06-18-2008, 12:15 PM
Hi Pui, sorry to jump in, but you remind me of myself a year and a half ago, trying to get that fur done with little knowledge of all the different papers and pastels. Its hard but its a lot of " trial and error" as I was told in the Pastel forum some time ago. And here in Spain everyone uses Canson and I hate it. Tried velour and its very difficult. Fianally I settled for Colourfix which comes from Australia ( much nearer you, than us) and always use rembrants for underpainting and slowly go towards pencils for the last layer, all sorts of them, you kind of get the grip of it with trial and error. I personally use first rembrants, then smudge quite a bit with my finger or with pastel and pastel shapers and end up with pitt pencils.
You will get sooooo many replies its going to drive you crazy :lol: but the best people in the WORLD are here in wetcanvas to solve your problems.
Good luck
By the way, on my signature, the second from left is a wolf done on velour and the last one ( horse) was done on colourfix, notice the difference in colors.

06-18-2008, 12:28 PM
I'm glad you joining the thread, Ceci. I use rambrant too, but found the sticks are harder to control. It breaks all the times (maybe becoz of my heavy touch). I agreed with you, this web is full of marvellous artists and inspirations. Thanks for the paper informations. :)

06-18-2008, 02:24 PM
Pui, if rembrants break, then you really need a very sanded paper, to me they are very hard but great for underpainting. Maybe you should try a bit with sandpaper used for furniture like Debby said, she is a great to learn from. Try and try and you will get the touch.

06-19-2008, 03:56 AM
Pui, I never use fixative as I find it dulls the pastels. Even my finished artwork is left unsprayed. I work on canson and it has minimal tooth so I am careful to not apply my layers too thick that way I can work more layers. My thickest layers are probably the last layer, that way they have texture and the impact I strive for.

06-30-2008, 06:40 AM
Thanks for answering my question Holley. I thought fixative would solve my problems before but now I think my problem is paper.
Ceci - thanks, I'm experimenting with sanded paper and the next experiment is with matboard as Tress suggested. Thank you all. :)