Painting available $150 HERE Commissions WelcomeThe photo above shows a fur color chart I made. I illustrate how local fur color is actually made up of layers of local color along with some unexpected colors. The key to making it work is VALUE. If you have the value right then layering several colors will make it read correctly.
Brown, Black, Tan, Yellow, White ....are all words we use to describe the color of animal fur. When I paint animals I rarely use these colors. I like for my fur to have more life and exciting colors than what we consider the local color. A black cat painted with a black pastel isn't as interesting as a black cat painted with purples and blues. The same thing is true for any of the 'local' colors. Animal fur will reflect the colors in the environment and by incorporating some of these colors you can make the fur more lively and interesting to the eye. Sometimes it is easy to see interesting colors in the coat and of course everyone sees color differently but I have a technique I use for painting animal fur that allows me to introduce unexpected colors into the fur and still have it make sense.
Let's take the creamy white fur of the Goldendoodle. I'd be tempted to take out my white pastels with some gray for the shadows. Instead, I simply chose 3-4 middle dark colors...peach, green, lavender and layered them in the shadows. I also chose 3-4 light colors that were lighter versions of these middle darks and layered them in the lighter fur. I always make sure to choose one of the colors to be close to the local color of the fur but by layering several colors of the same value, this local color is now much richer and more interesting.
The photo above shows a collection of my small cat pastels. I used the same technique to get the fur color as I did for the dog painting. Just remember the Value does all the work but Color gets the glory. So get the value correct and you can get away with interesting and unexpected color in animal fur.
For a refresher on value you may be interested in my post on value HERE
The mini aceo cat paintings are available on Daily Paintworks auction this week. Click here to see them larger.