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Need help with fur

Discussion in 'Getting Real!' started by AndreZA, Sep 22, 2015.


  1. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    I need help please.

    I started this tiger 3 years ago but could not get it right. That was before I went for a Marissa portrait class. There I tried to steal some ideas on how to do fur. Got back and tried the wire technique. Did not work. Painting standing again for another 2 years. Now it's time to finish it.

    It is on recycled canvas that has a smooth gesso coating. so easy to scratch and erase. The background was done with colour buffer technique and I'm happy with that. This is how far I am. It does not look too bad on the photo bu up close it is terrible. Any advise?

    @haasje will your grumpy cat technique work here?

    tiger_wip.jpg
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  2. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    Watching with interest...
  3. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    This is something that I am very confident I would succeed at, but as much as I could probably give you an idea on how to proceed I would rather not because I know 500% that your skills are far beyond anything I could even dream about, I don't have enough knowledge of the colour buffering thing to be able to use it with any success, if I did try to advise you I would only be teaching you bad habits since my methods are pretty unorthodox.

    Now that I have that out of the way I don't think this is anywhere near as bad as you think, even if it is worse in the flesh, the only thing I can see here that concerns me, and this is only because it would scare me and not because I think it's wrong,, and that is the sharpness around the eyes and nose, I would be afraid that I wouldn't be able to knock that back some to blend in with the rest of the painting, you didn't mention the paint used but since your are a an E-tac fanatic I'll assume that's what it is;) so based in what you've said over the substrate I'm sure you'll cure that in a jiffy.

    Again I am far too talentless to advise but I would have approached this just as you did your Walter White masterpiece, I would have started with umber and continued monotone until the very last minute before adding any colour at all, I'm too scared to blast in dark areas in one take so I try to build them up gradually, but again that's just me:)

    I'm pretty sure the correct fix is a simple one and probably even staring you in the face and I have feeling our resident cuddly fur buff will pop a long and cause you one of those slap your forehead moments:thumbsup:

    I'll be watching this for sure, firstly I want see you succeed and secondly it's my favourite subject so I want/need to see it done:)
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  4. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    thanks @Madbrush. The tiger I want to finish in E'tac. The black and yellow ocher as well as the background was done with Com-art. Going over the black with the umber does knock it back a bit and would prefer to continue the way you mentioned. I just don't know if I must continue with millions of dagger strokes like @haasje's grumpy cat or do the spray through wire effect. Maybe just do whatever works as either will take forever to cover the area. Oh BTW, it's pretty big at 24" x 20".
  5. haasje dutchairbrush

    haasje dutchairbrush Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    If you can erase and to a certain degree scratch (should be easier on this than the schoellershammer I use) that texhnique should be viable.

    I recently found (yup I'm embarased by this :p) that you can greatly speed up the daggerstroke proces by locking the needle to a fixed position (don't know the english wor for the thingie at the back of the brush that blocks the needle). You can lay down loads of daggers pretty fast, just unlock the needle at the end and go over it once more (else it will look too uniform)

    Fur is realy pretty easy once you know the trick and looking at your work this should be eggs in a bascket for you :). It's just down to patience, layers and keeping a close eye on the reference for the direction of the fur (andthrowing in enough "random" hairs to avoid that "groomed" look)
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
  6. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    Thanks @haasje. That is called the needle limiter. I will change guns so that I can use it. It will be a first. I can erase and scratch very easily.
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  7. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    I have tried both spraying through wire and through the hairy fan brush in the past, no matter how I did it I just couldn't get away from the "too uniformed" look, I quickly gave up with that and resorted to scratching, but soon became too reliant on that, my painting had little variation in focus and again became to uniformed, like yourself, I now have a huge array of erasers and also now have the fibre pen so I plan to change my approach a little to try to achieve more distance in the stuff I do.

    I mentioned your Walter White above and low and behold, I slapped my own forehead:confused: because I sat looking at your tiger a little more and thought more about Walter, I was concentrating on your monotone start and completely forgot about his beard, really everything you need was involved in that beard, why not try a little postcard size tiger and adopt the same techniques that you used there, I know I wasn't the only one who was gob smacked with that beard, so I think if you do a little quicky tiger you'll will almost certainly shock yourself, damn it, I would would be chuffed to bits if it was actually me who caused that slap on the forehead:thumbsup: if you do the little one and it's a success (which it will be) then it's mine ha ha ha
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  8. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    @Madbrush, all my hair gets done with the wire. Maybe this is just too big for it. One of two option really. Either start over and smaller or continue with controlled dagger strokes.
  9. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    I was actually typing when Haasje posted so I didn't see his post till I was done, I would give that a go, and the locking the needle tip sounds good even to me;)

    Both options are viable but if you can avoid a restart it would be cool, you know well enough the importance of being able to fix stuff when it's needed:thumbsup:
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  10. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    Yeah, I'll just get rid of some of the uniformity that is currently there.
  11. beanpoleuk

    beanpoleuk Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    Any of my furry animals done on gesso or Claybord I used the edge of a 2mm fibre pen after sanding the end flat gir the initial layers building up the colours with transparents final highlight hairs or hairs I needed In sharp focus I used a scalpel blade. Everything gets supplemented with lots of dagger strokes and for really Soft focus hairs I use a 2mm pencil eraser. That's how I did the caracle cat, so basically the same process as hassje but with less finese and acurracy :)
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  12. Smiler65

    Smiler65 Detail Decepticon!

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    Firstly I had to look twice to see it was you @AndreZA asking for help, it's hard to believe someone of your talent would need help with a pic. But nice to see that everyone still has stuff to learn no matter how high they are up the ladder.

    In my own opinion I can't see why you would even think about starting again, although a bit uniform for the beginning surely as you build up the layers that would be lost as each layer of randomness fur was added would bring it right.

    I have bookmarked several of haasje and beanpoles fur paintings and sbs's as there is great pics and descriptions on how to do it, although they make it sound and look easy, I'm sure it takes a lot of skill to pull it off right.
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  13. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    Thanks @beanpoleuk, I forgot about the fibreglass pencil.
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  14. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Andre I look up to you, your stuff always rocks, (and if you are asking for help, there may be hope for me yet!), so I think you are maybe just overthinking this, and losing some of your natural flow. It's something I did with fire. I struggled for ages, saw how other people did it, and couldn't seem to make it work the same, and just got more frustrated. When I finally let all that go, and just did my thing, rather than tried to replicate exactly what other folks did, it seemed to come together.

    I have no words of wisdom except to say that I've never had much luck scratching (seems to look too harsh to me) for fur, or only doing dagger strokes (to soft, not enough definition), and find a mixture of techniques gives a more natural look. I like to spray through a fan brush or a thing I made where I sandwiched some coarse bristles between two pieces of cardboard at different lengths and angles, use dagger strokes, erasers, and just a touch of scalpel. Of course I'm nowhere near being able to do fur as well as the masters on here, but it's the way I've had most success with.

    Plus, remember what looks terrible up close to you, looks amazing to us lesser mortals :D
  15. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    Lots of good advice here, I can't add particularly. I have a question, this is also one I noted on @Carnun piece he is doing. @AndreZA you mention doing your hair with wire and carnun mentioned doing the feather texture with a bike cable. I assume in both cases you are splaying the wire and spraying through? I expect in carnun's example he gets a consistent angle as well. Is that correct?
  16. ferret

    ferret Needle-chuck Ninja

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    We all have our own visual interpretation and what we think looks pants looks great to others . With regards to the learning it never stops . I like many here are continuley impressed with your work .
  17. Carnun

    Carnun Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    lollol
    Actually, it was just my interpretation of the 'wire technique'. But reading Andre's posts, I am guessing you actually spray through wires....

    I use a break cable because it's....just something I had lying around, but next to that the wires are incredibly sturdy, can be splayed out with a pair of pliers and give a variable pattern for scratching the paint.

    your tiger looks like it's just got its first layer of paint, and the direction of the fur....plenty of layers to go to build it up and get wild in all sorts of directions... I am pretty sure you will ace this.:thumbsup:
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  18. Wayne Wickers II

    Wayne Wickers II Young Tutorling

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    Sorry, whats "the wire" technique? Any good sites or places of interest to check it out fully?
  19. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    Either using wire to scratch though the paint surface to gain a texture or holding the wire flat on a a surface as a type of loose stencil and spraying through the wires. Gives a light and dark straight line pattern that looks like fur.
  20. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot!

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    The wire technique is done by getting some fine wire (bike brake cable is one type) and spreading it out like a fan and spraying thru it wayne
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