How to Draw Fur

In this tutorial, I will detail the best ways for beginners to draw fur. When I started drawing, I really enjoyed drawing animals, but I did not know how to approach the fine details of fur. Hopefully, this tutorial will help you begin learning how to draw animals!

Supplies:

  • Sharp 4H, 3H or 2H pencil (for light lines)
  • Sharp HB, B or 2B pencil (for medium lines)
  • Sharp 4B, 5B, 6B or higher pencil (for dark lines)
  • Drawing paper
  • Small Eraser (a new cap eraser or a precision eraser)
  • Optional: fine tip marker
  • Optional: Tortillon or other blender (cotton swabs, felt, or similar materials work well)

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Step 1: Choosing a Reference

First, take a clear, high definition photo of your subject. It is very important to use a clear reference for fine details when drawing. I chose to use this photo of my cat, Oliver, for this tutorial.

Step 2: Draw an Outline

Sketch an outline of your drawing. This doesn't need to be detailed- but it should mark where changes in fur patterns occur. (I drew a tabby cat, so I marked out the stripes in his fur).

Step 3: Start With Light Marks

After you have your outline finished, you should begin lightly drawing in the fur. Start with a pencil of hardness 4H, 3H or 2H. In my drawing, because I was drawing the fur on my cat's face, I used very short pencil marks to make the lines. If the animal in your reference photo has longer fur, begin with longer marks. Optional: if you notice that there is a lot of space between your pencil lines, you may want to lightly blend in the marks you have made using a tortillon, or another soft blender (cotton swabs, felt, and cloth blenders work well). Be sure to blend lightly- the pencil marks should still be clearly there. If you choose to blend out your drawing, you may want to go over your pencil marks again afterwards.

Step 4: Start Layering in Details

Next, take a medium-hardness pencil (HB, B or 2B) and begin layering in the details of the fur. In this step, it is important to clearly designate where the fur is darker. The marks should be short and frequent for best results- too sparse of marks won't create the desired effect.

Step 5: Add the Darkest Layers

Finish by adding the darkest values to your drawing. This should sharply contrast the lightest values, for best results. You may also wish to lightly erase the lighter areas of the drawing to sharpen the contrast. This is best done with a precise eraser- a new cap eraser or a precision eraser would work best.

If you are experienced with drawing with pencil, you may wish to add a layer with ink. This could add a cool effect! I recommend using a very fine tip marker for this, and not a ballpoint or fountain pen.

Step 6: All Done!

Your drawing is all done now!

I hope you found this Instructable helpful. Have fun creating artwork!

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