How To Draw Black Fur On An Animal
Drawing and painting black fur presents a special challenge
in that, so often, very little detail is visible and the animal
looks like two eyes floating in a black blob.
This is especially the tendency if the subject is poorly lit and if
you’re working from photographs, which tend to flatten tones and decrease subtle variations in color.
Many of the problems can be solved by working from clear references or by starting by drawing the same animal, but with a light-colored coat.
This enables you to familiarize yourself with the complexities of the animal before adding the difficulty of a black coat.
The key to drawing black fur is to remember that even black fur has variations in darkness, though they may be subtle.
The fur in shadow will be darker than the main body of the fur, and there will still be highlights.
Bringing out the distinctions in tone are just as important in drawing black fur as other colors of fur, if not more so.
Begin with a clear sketch that shows how the body is moving.
Even if y ou can’t see the leg, neck, paws and so forth because the fur is too dark, draw lines where they go. When the sketch is complete, begin laying in the tone, always putting the strokes down in the direction of the fur growth.
None of your lines should be contrary to fur, even at the earliest stages. Be careful
to work around the highlight shapes to preserve them.
Blend, then bring out the darkest areas by adding more tone.
Cross a few lines into the highlights to keep them from looking like stripes, and do the delicate blending in t he face and smaller areas with a tortillon.
Darken the eyes and add details such as whiskers, nails, and a few flyaway hairs with a sharp pencil to finish. If you want to add a background, you can do so with lines that are as tight or as impressionistic as you wish to give the animal some setting.