Straight forward coppy paste of the relevant parts of a lion step by step I posted a while back. Background I started out with searching for a reference photo where the light was a bit interesting (generaly these nature pics seem to be made to give the clearest image of the critter possible which doesn't make for any interesting shadows). With photoshop I cut out the part I wanted to paint (a lot less background ) and adjusted the darklights a tad to get a bit more shadow and enriched the colors a tad. As this isn't going to be a portrait and no one will notice if I don't follow the reference exactly I used a beamer to get the basic scetch on the paper. When drawing the scetch I search out the light/dark areas and some reference lines with animals I also indicate the direction the furr/hair is going. For the background I used fleshtone to indicate the light /dark areas at the bottom. The top which is just dark had a 1st layer of sepia which I also used to make the transition between the light and dark area. With transparant yellow ocher I went over the whole light area. With transparant blue I went over the area's that had to be a tad greenish (yellow below a transparant blue = green). The top got a layer of brown ocher and burned umber. As the colors of the background where a tad to bright I did a white wash with a verry reduced transparant white to push it a bit back. With transparant yellow ocher I enriched the bottom a tad again and with burned umber the top. Layer1 To make it easier for myself to keep the detail up I'll do the lion in parts. With the tiger this was a tad easier as you had the black stripes that easily defined the border between area's. In this case I'll take the transitions between light and dark in the face which means I'll have to do a tad larger area's than I'd like. With sepia I verry roughly mark out the darker areas after that I use daggers and dots to indicate the direction of the fur and color in the darker area's where needed trying to aproach the grey scale as much as possible. This means that if I would use photo shop to make a black and white image of my lion and the reference I'd want the grey's to come out the same. I do step 2 at the same time as constantly doing daggers and dots gets a tad boring. With an electrical erazor I further define the hairs keeping a close eye on the direction they go. With an erazor pencil I lighten the light area's and make the hair a tad fuzzier where needed. As there will be a couple of more layers I'm not too precise here except for the eye area's but I do keep a close eye on the direction of the hairs as they in a large part will be responsible for giving the illusion of depth and shape. Sommething I came up with but didn't try on the tiger is to use a water color pencil on the tad out of focus hairs. I apply quit a bit of pencil and go over it with a wet finger in the direction of the hair. This gives a nice out of focus effect (didn't use it much in this layer but will certainly use it more in the last few layers) 1. The 1st layer of sepia and erazong is done. While doing the sepia I try to stay as close to the greyscale as possible. The erazing of the hairs will ruin this but the light/dark areas will remain visible through them making it easier to stick to the correct light dark values in later steps. It will also keep shining through making the background hairs in the darker area's darker. Erazong in this steop is done with the pencil erazor to lighten where needed and to make hair a bit fuzzier/out of focus, the electrical erazor was used to do individual hairs and harder textures. 2. With transparant yellow ocher, brown ocher and brickred ocher the first color is added I apply the colors roughly in the area's where its needed but am not too carefull yet as this is pure background and needed to give the hairs some debth. In the eyes I am a lot more carefull as not a lot more will be done there (eyes got yellow in the light area's and brown in the transition to the dark area's). Just to be sure, coloring it like this only works with transparants as opaques will just cover all the work you did before. 3. With blue and sepia I went into the area's that are either white (around the nose) or where more whitish (top of the head). As the top of the head already had some yellow in it I used mainly sepia there as blue would become greenish. The dark around the eyes got some blue as did the shadow parts of the hair. I did deviate a tad from my reference here the top of the head was basicly the same color as the whole face but looking at some other pics of lions some had some other color here and I thought it would make for a more interesting picture (I do stick to the grey values and hair direction of the reference ofc) 4. Another layer of erazing, a repeat of the erazing step before only a tad more carefull as this will remain a lot more visible. 5. Yellow ocher as these will be the final color steps (except maybe some tweaking in the end) I'm nor pretty carefull with where I apply my color. 6. Brown ocher 7. red ocher 8. With burned umber I did the darkes parts and applied shadow where needed (looking at the grey scales), I also did detail hairs (loads of daggers) where needed and in the transitions to the dark areas. With a mix of black and umber I detailed the area around the eyes a bit further. 9. White washed the eyes. With a mix of +/- 1 white, 2 water, 2 base I "glazed over" the eyes 10. With a verry reduced yellow ocher and brown ocher I added a bit more color back to the eyes where needed and redid the highlights. 11. With an erazor pencil I lightened some areas and fuzzie dup the hair again, with an exacto knife I did the individual hairs. I do use an electrical erazor in this stage also but only in the verry light areas as with the electrical erazor you have a bit less controll than with a knife (it leaves a pretty clear start and end point) The work itself is considerably lighter than most posted pics as most were taken in the evening with my phone. Step by step wise I won't be able to add a lot to what I already posted as this will be just an endless repeat of what I already wrote (and though I wouldn't mind repeating myself 10 times over as I love to hear myself I hate typing :untroubled For the manes the process is the same as for the fur only I use longer strokes (pic 1 (sepia step) & 2 (erazing with erazor pencil and electrical erazor)) as the hairs are longer. Especialy in the 1st erazing layer make sure you do some hairs in random directions that don't go with the flow. Unless youre doing a model with perfect madeup hair there will always be some hairs going against the flow. With an exacto knife and a light blue pencil I did the individual hairs on top. The knife are for the "infocus" hairs and the ones with the pencils for those a tad in the background. In this stage I also "repair" those anoying dots you sometimes get at the start or end of an electrical erazor line. With the knife I make them to individual hairs camouflaging those dots. This will ofc only work if you do the background 1st A nice trick (use it a lot when doing human hair), take a couple of hairs you did with the pencil and go over a small part of it with an exacto knife, it will look as if the out of focus hair reflect a bit of light (watch out ofc you do this only in places where it could actual catch light) Got some more fur done. This was a repeat of the steps posted earlier, only at the end I went over the "light" shadow area with a reduced burned umber and the darker shadow areas with a mix of black and umber as the hairs in the last step would otherwise stand out too much. Don't over do this and make sure the paint is reduced enough else you run the risk of going to dark you want to have all the work you did before shine through and all the shadow area's should already be in there. This is just to prevent there from being white hairs in your dark area's.