Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pen and Ink Series: Drawing Fur

Welcome to the first installation of the Pen and Ink series! This is going to be a fun adventure for both of us. I'm going to share with you the basics of pen and ink drawing. Today's lesson is about drawing fur. For each concept, refer to my drawing at the bottom of the post as an example.

Fur Drawing Concepts

1. The Basic Pen Stroke

  • The building block of fur drawing is the pen stroke pictured above. How fancy; it's a line. Why yes, yes it is. But not just any line. If you don't draw this line correctly, your drawing will look far from believable.

  • To start. set your pen to the paper (a big obviously here). Then, as you draw your line with a quick motion, lighten the pressure of the pen until it no longer touches the paper. This whole motion should take about 0.25 to 0.50 seconds. Once you've it, practice, practice, practice! Make sure the lines all go the same direction.

*Note: The 'proper' way to draw anything is by using your entire arm to make the motion, with the movement originating from the shoulder. I draw my small pen strokes with the movement originating from the wrist, which I shouldn't, but it works for me. Beware of forming this habit, it won't work on long pen strokes!

2. Fur Length

  • You can probably guess how to do this one already. For short fur, draw short lines. For long fur, draw long lines. You control this by how quickly you lift off of the paper. That's it! On the example drawing, you will see that the fur is shorter near the face and longer towards the top of the head.

3. Adding Form

  • When look at an animal, you will see that the fur will look darker and lighter depending on where the light strikes it. We need to create shadows and highlights in your drawing too, so that it will look life-like.

  • To make a shadow, add more lines, closer together. Then, to blend into the mid-tone, slowly decrease the amount of additional lines you use. Once you reach the mid-tone, decrease and space out your lines until there is more blank space than pen strokes.

  • Let's say you're drawing a polar bear. When you draw it's fur, there won't be much work to do. You will use a line here and there just to indicate the presence of fur while making it obvious that it's white.

  • Now, let's say you're drawing a black cat. This will take a whole lot of work. The majority of the coat will be composed of lines grouped closely next to each other, leaving very little, if any some places, blank space.

  • You can also create fur patterns, like cheetah, by alternating how close you place the pen strokes together.

There you have it! If you have any comments or questions, leave them in the comment section below. below is a pen and ink drawing I did of a gorilla. Take note of the distancing of the lines. Closer for darker and farther apart for lighter. You can check it out here, Now it's your turn!

Don't forget to subscribe at the top of the page so you can follow this series along with me!

Challenge: Draw a mouse! Don't forget to send a picture in when you're done.

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