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This is a discussion on fur? within the Horse Artwork forums, part of the Horse Pictures, Videos, Artwork, and Contests category
  • Horse fur detail

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    09-01-2011, 06:00 PM

I've been looking at some peoples drawings on here, and the way they are so realistic is amazing! I find the fur is what makes it so good, the way it is so detailed, but when I draw horses it just looks like scribbles. How do you do it? Do you draw each hair individually?
Thank you for your help!
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    09-01-2011, 06:53 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
I typically don't draw every piece of hair on the horse's body, just the mane. For the body, you always want a sleek appearance (unless, ofcourse, you're drawing a pony. In that case I do draw many of the hairs individually.) so I generally use my pencils to shade the musculature of the horse- paying close attention to which muscles stand out most, and which just sort of blend into the body. That is where I base my shading. Once I have my muscles sketched out and shaded, I go back with a softer pencil and use fine, smooth lines that move in the direction of normal horse body hair- relative to where it is on the body.

It's a bit confusing and really you just have to study study study. Look closely at a horse's body and draw EXACTLY what you see, even if it looks funny at first =] you'll get the hang of it.

    09-02-2011, 07:44 PM
It all depends on the distance and the kind of markings of the horse. If you're doing a full body piece, to try and do every hair would do more harm than good. May make it look too busy and messy. But if you're doing a dapple gray or a roan as opposed to a black, you'd of course pay attention to the detail rather than having a solid coat. With a black horse you want to make sure you include where the light hits. Even on a very dark horse you can tell the changes in tone and shadow. If you're drawing a paint, sometimes the splashes fade into the white rather than a solid line...gradually shading out will give the illusion of fur.
Hope this helps!
    09-03-2011, 06:56 AM
Exactly as midwestgirl said, it does depend on the view and also the medium. I am a very finicky, fussy artist and try to get as much detail as I can into my work. On a head study piece I will draw all of the hair in. However, your tonal values and ability to make various parts of the subject 'pop' is more important than drawing each hair.
In graphite it is easier to get each hair and the fine detail. However since I have begun working primarily in pastel I have had to change my technique and now I just slap on the base colours and not until my final layer do I start building up some fur details using a pastel pencil.

No one can tell you a sure fire way to create fur on an animal, it's really up to the individual artist and their own impression of their subject.

Good luck!!!!
    09-03-2011, 08:31 AM
Thanks for all the tips, i'm going to have to draw some horses now to try them out!
    09-03-2011, 10:13 AM
Kayty is exactly right. Funny that we agree when our styles are so different Where she pays attention to detail in the fur (which looks amazing) I'm more the opposite. So like she said, it all depends on your style.

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