How to draw fur in pastels

how to draw fur with pastels - painting of a cat
(Image credit: Jill Tisbury)

Learning how to draw fur doesn't have to be painful. This feisty little Scottish wildcat is a perfect model for practising fur texture with. Here, I am working with pastels on velour, but the main principles hold true for any type of pastel paper. 

I like to use velour for two reasons. First, it takes plenty of layers before it becomes saturated, and second, the soft 'tooth' adds to the final texture that you're trying to achieve. Knowing the make-up of your subject can help too. Scottish wildcats are 'true fur' animals, which means they have a thick downy under-layer designed to keep them warm, and a more wiry outer layer to protect them from rain. Knowing this make-up helps you understand what you’re aiming for.

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Jill Tisbury has been drawing and painting since she could hold a pencil. She loves to experiment but her two main passions are pastel on velour and airbrushing (acrylics).