View Full Version : acrylics in wildlife art

08-03-2000, 10:13 AM
I am trying to paint wildlife in acrylics with great detail but I don`t know how to paint fur(only a little bit of texture in the fur), and eyes or anything. I would really like to take off with my art and sell it. have been drawing for many years.

09-27-2000, 01:59 PM
There's a book by Terry Isaac that describes in detail how to paint fur with acrylics. He also covers everything else. He paints with extreme detail. I think this could be what your looking for. You can check it out at "http://www.artistsnetwork.com/nlbooks/search.asp?cat=Nature" it's call "Painting the Drama of Wildlife Step by Step". You can also do a search on the Web for Terry Isaac and see a lot of the work hes produced to see if this is the direction you want to go.

09-30-2000, 10:23 PM
I have heard of this book, but have not checked it out.Thanks for the great suggestion

10-01-2000, 09:41 PM

there are numerous approaches with acrylics to do this, and yes..acrylics is the medium of choice for the vast majority of artists. Detail in oils is usually accomplished by working the originals very large, and then the image for the sake of prints reduced to increase the sense of detail. But, with acrylics, you can paint the detail quite literally.

One approach which is a fail proof method really that you can easily practice, (and I see you come from a drawing background) is approach the paint as a drawing. Paint the animal/fur in black and white acrylic paint, paying great attention to detail, lights and darks. I often would paint light on top of dark....that is, starting with the darkest dark of the fur, and do one transparent layering upon another of lighter and lighter values until the very last touches of the brush were the brightest highlights.

Then...in the same manner that you can lay a colored glass over a black and white photograph thereby tinting the whole picture a color...you can wash transparent washes of color over the black and white detail which then tints that area with color. The black and white detailing of beneath shows thru the color, but appears as colored. Hope that makes sense.

Now...the trick however, Animal..is not to paint realistic detailed fur and feathers, but to do so such that it does not look like wood when finished. Too many artists stop at detail, but "softness" is also a realistic element and if the detailed fur or feathers does not also appear soft...it will come off as a failure.

To achieve this, you have to carefully apply more and more washes until the detail in some areas becomes more sensed than seen. A soft blurring of sorts. Natural shadows from lighting must be rendered in skillfully. You can wash in some dark washes to create great shadows and rendering/roundness.

Sometime I'll photograph a close up detail of the foot of my snowy owl grasping a hungarian partridge, where I used this approach quite effectively, and post it here in this forum for you to see.

Larry Seiler http://lseiler.artistnation.com

[This message has been edited by lseiler (edited October 01, 2000).]

10-04-2000, 04:05 PM
Talk to bear claw about acrylics and animals. He does an amazing job with detail in fur.