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Old 04-07-2004, 12:34 PM
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Caterwallin' Caterwallin' is offline
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Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Before I left on my trip last week, I was asked by several persons to post a short but detailed demo on how I rendered fur. They had heard me describe it before but did not completely understand the process. I do not think my fur is special or any better than anyone else's! It's just my adaptation to painting what would usually be time consuming and tedious! I use the K.I.S.S. technique for fur and I like to paint it fast and easy!
Tinting colors are Medea ComArt transparent paint.
The white is Badger Air Opaque.

Photo 01
This is how I create fur using white paint and the airbrush for tinting. For this demo I will be using a canvas board that I have masked off with 3m painters tape.

Photo 02
I start by shooting in a darker or what I call a contrasting background. Iím not using a reference for this demo, but Iím picturing in my mind the neck fur of a long hair breed of dog. The fur may transition form short to long, weíll see how it goes! I use a mixture of brown and smoke gray. I want it fairly dark, but I have to remember that I will be laying in more pigment as I progress so it will get much darker.

Photo 03
For me fur has great depth and is hard to render. I work from back to front starting deep and then working to shallow. I also work from the darkest layer to the lightest layer. Using a No 8 Round paintbrush and white paint, I begin laying in the deepest layers of hair. if you have your paint nice and thinned, itís moisture content will drawn in color from the proceeding pigment layer! So these strokes have a nice brown tint to them. Unless you use your airbrush for this process.

You can just as easily shoot in the individual hairs with your airbrush using dagger strokes. I did so for years! Especially on t-shirts. It was when I started doing more and more animal paintings on illustration board and canvas that I started using the ďhairy stickĒ.
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:37 PM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Photo 04
After I fill in the entire area with hairs, I want to shoot in some more of the dark mixture that I originally used for the background. No too much since the strokes were already slightly tinted and I have to remember that this layering process will cause the deepest pigments to get darker!

Photo 05
I decide that I want a line of delineation where some longer hairs overlap shorter ones. Using my trusty handheld mask and airbrush I protect the upper half and darken the lower half.

Photo 06
Now I have a line through the middle of my demo piece. I will work on the area to your right as these hairs will be covered by longer ones on your left.
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:40 PM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Photo 07
More hairs painted in.

Photo 08
More airbrush.

Photo 09
You can see that I have darkened the line and begun to gradate the darker color down and to the right.
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:42 PM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Photo 10
Here I have changed from the No8 Round to a No 4 Liner. Using only the white paint I again lay in another layer of hairs.

Photo 11
Again I airbrush in the darker mixture. Note that I have randomly created some dark streaks. These streaks will create even more depth. See the dark under layer forming? It appears as strokes. Some people interpret these dark strokes and try to paint them with a brush.

Photo 12
Again I paint in hairs with the white. Now you can also see that I begin to add diagonal strokes to create character and disorder. The contrasting under layer is really beginning to form!
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:45 PM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Photo 13
More airbrush. This time I lighten the mixture leaning more towards a light brown.

Photo 14
More painted hairs using only the white. This layer is good enough for me at this point. You can really get carried away and you have to know when to say when. The under layer now has color and great depth.

Photo 15
I begin working on the upper fur. For times sake, I left out some of those photos. I used the No8 Round and then switched to the No4 Liner for the finer hairs using white paint only. I airbrush in the darker mixture between the layers. You can see where I gently pull the hairs down into the lower area of completed fur.
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:47 PM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Photo 16
Again I add another layer of white hairs. I add the chaotic diagonal strokes to generate character. The under layer is taking shape. I can break the hardness of the line in the fur by adding more strokes. To me itís kinda like crosshatching with a pen, only in reverse.

Photo 17
Here I have airbrushed in the lighter mixture of brown and added some random streaks.

Photo 18
I add more white hairs. I want these to appear a little longer so Iím making longer strokes and placing the hairs into clumps or tufts. I want these hairs to be lighter. I also airbrush a darker area in the upper left hand side as well as the area on the bottom center.
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:49 PM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Photo 19
Switching to the No8 Liner, I start adding the longer hair and hair clumps using the white paint.

Photo 20
I add some of the darker mixture over the longer hairs using the airbrush. I also start adding airbrushed dagger strokes in the longer hairs to create shadows in the clumps.

Photo 21
More long hairs with the white paint.
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:51 PM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Photo 22
More airbrushed brown. More long dagger strokes.

Photo 23
Iím happy with the hairs so I begin to darken the shadowed areas. I also continue with the long dagger strokes. Iím going stop right here, but with a reference, you could work this up more.
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:53 PM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

This entire demo took me about 26 minutes. Thatís with stopping to photograph each step! And I left out quite a few photoís.

This may not be the best way to paint fur but it works well for me. Itís extremely fast and easy.

There are some variations to this technique. I will sometimes tint some white with the appropriate color and mix that with the white strokes. Remembering that with additional tinting they will get even darker. If the fur is one consistent color, the tinting with the airbrush would be more drastic than I have shown in this demo. Other than really dark colors, the white paint strokes can be tinted to any color.

Sam
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Old 04-07-2004, 01:23 PM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Awesome! That is way cool. The power is the tinting and ability to always add more layers. Gotta bookmark that for later. hehehehehhe


Thanks, Sam.



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Old 04-07-2004, 05:35 PM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Wow Sam that is awesome. I'm going to have to try this some time.
Thanks for demo.

Shane
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Old 04-07-2004, 06:08 PM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Thanks Sam for the great hair demo.Would this work on a t-shirt.
Nick
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Old 04-08-2004, 12:06 AM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Thanks Tim!
Thanks Shane! I have also used this technique for feathers. The only difference is that I have to make a different brush stroke for the feather look. Then you use the airbrush to paint the quill and the barbs.
Thanks Nick! Yes, this will work on a tee! You have to make the individual hairs with the airbrush (dagger strokes) and it may take a little longer!

Sam
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Old 04-08-2004, 06:38 AM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

Hey Sam,
Thanks for the demo. I do it pretty much the same way only I use just the airbrush for it.
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Old 04-08-2004, 11:20 AM
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Re: Fur Demo: Hairy Stick or Airbrush!

FANTASTIC SAM

You did a wonderful job!

This would make a great article! Pleeeeeeease

I'm in awe!
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