I don’t usually post works in progress, but it’s Furry Friday, and I’m in the middle of learning neat things about color – and why not post a ‘how-to’? asks my girlfriend.

Why not? Indeed.

It’s not the most exciting FurryFriday you’ll ever see, but it’ll provide a little insight into my process – might be interesting.  You never know!


First, lets start with an ink sketch that I did waaaaay back in February while on sick leave:



Cute, huh?  I’ve got a secret weakness for rabbits. (not so secret now, is it?? >.<)


I deliberately left the inks light around her figure and through most of the picture because I wanted the color to do a good chunk of the work this time.  I need to learn both, but the girlfriend suggested that it would look better with color determining most of the value, shade, and depth, so we’ll see how it goes.


To start out, I had to find a tutorial on fur coloring.  I can do shading pretty well now, but fur is a much more difficult process than simple, flat layers of shade.  And, when I hit a point where I don’t know something, I usually go looking for answers.


Drawfurry.com had some wonderful insights, and an absolutely AMAZING tutorial by Farore (link is to the artist’s DA account) that gave me a good jumping point.


First, I started with separating the whites from the blacks in the picture.  I used to do this by taking the “magic wand” tool in Photoshop and selecting all the “white” to delete, but that can also get rid of some of the line definition I want when the ‘little crawling ants’ get too much. (ants=lines defining which areas are selected)


This tutorial provided me a method for getting what I wanted done without all of that pesky selection work.  And now, with a clean lineart that is free of the white ‘clutter’, I set to work.


First, I dropped a layer of color where the bunny’s fur was supposed to show up.  It was a flat, grey shade – just enough to define where the color was going to be – and I placed it underneath the line layer.


Next, I locked the transparency of the color layer to keep any further color from sliding around every which way.  Artist friend showed me how to do that recently.  I was happy.


Then, I took a brush with a lot of texture, and painted on the bunny’s skin like so:


Used different colors, made it blotchy – just as long as there were spots everywhere, and they were grey’ish, it was good.


After that, I took my smudge tool – set to some weird, yet hard speckled pattern, and smudged them all into something resembling fur:


Starting to look a little bit like fur, isn’t it?


Apparently (according to the tutorial), all I have to do now is keep layering lighter and lighter shades on top of the fur that already exists to create realistic looking definition – but only in the areas where the light has an effect.  So far, so good.  I’ll drop by next week and let you know how it’s going.  ~-^


Oh, and one more thing.  You may be wondering why the color is grey.  And why I can’t screenshot the entire process.


Answer to #1 is: because-of-a-reason-that-I-will-show-later!

Answer to #2 is:  I don’t know how!


Till next time!

© 2011, Kira. All rights reserved.