Portrait of Katey, a Cavalier
I completed the underpainting and went on to start layering in the strokes that create the fur. Coats on different animals and breeds vary enormously. The artist needs to use different types of brush strokes to capture their many textures.
This detail photo shows that when it comes to Katey’s fur–she has some long smooth straight hairs on her body, and a softer more curling texture to her ears. I used a pointier brush and a more sweeping stroke for one, and a softer brush with a more sideways “swish” to start the curl on the other.
When I started to paint animals, I rapidly learned that one of the most critical parts of painting believable fur was to understand the different patterns that hair grows in on different parts a dog or cat body. If you get these right, you are well on your way to fur or hair that looks real.