Painting Animal Fur in Corel Painter 12

'Painting Animal Fur in 'Corel® Painter 12

Welcome to this tutorial on Painting Animal Fur.  Painting furry animals such as cats and dogs can be a lot of fun if you know the right brushes to use and some basic techniques with Painter 12.

After the sketch is complete, use the Opaque Round Oil brush to create a base coat of color. 

This will serve as a reference for where the colors are and it will also blend nicely with the layers of fur you will be applying later.

It's up to the artist where to start the painting but when you're painting animals sometimes it can be useful to paint the eyes first, that way any fur that overlaps the eyelids and lash lines will only need to be applied once.



If you have a photo of the animal, display it on your desk or on a second monitor and don't be afraid to use it as a guide.  Subtle details are often easy to recognise looking at a photograph but it's virtually impossible to remember all of them without a reference. You can also use multiple photos to get inspiration from various sources. In this example I have been using the close up of a cats face as a guide for the proportions and shape but the colouring is completely unique.  Even though most cat's eyes are green or blue, I will make these eyes the very  rare turquoise color sometimes seen on calico's.

When you have applied the color you can then use a blender brush that does not add paint, such as the Grainy Water blender, to smooth the color together. 

Glint's of light on each iris and the inside eyelids will give the eyes a glassy 3 dimensional look.  


Adding fur can be a lot of fun.  If you're painting a dog or another animal with a long coat you can use a fan brush.  For the face you will need something a little more detailed and soft, in this example the Medium Bristle Oils will create a soft-fur look. 

You may recognise this style of painting fur, it is often used in Folk Art paintings of animals for Calendars and large canvas paintings. 

Layering is key, you really can't go wrong since most animals have so many subtle variations of color in their fur. 
The cats nose is generally slightly darker than the surrounding coat except in the cases of a pink nose. After completing the basic shape you can use a photo for reference on the lighting; otherwise the rule of thumb is to simply lighten the center and darken the edges, creating a thick dark edge on one side of the bottom third of the nose. 

Paint a dark line from the bottom of the nose vertically to the bottom of the mouth to create the split lip.   Apply more fur to the lip area pulling out horizontally away from the center line. 

Most cats and dogs will have some dots on their faces and dark spots around where the whiskers grow.  to add these, slightly darken the paint color from whatever the fur color is in that area, in this case the fur is white so the dark spots can be a medium gray.   Dab them in carefully and remember, if they don't look the way you like you can always either undo by using the keys CTRL + Z on your keyboard or simply paint over them and start again as you would in a live painting.

Before adding the actual whiskers make sure that the fur is completely finished as the Whiskers must be done last.
Select the Detail Oils Brush, adjust the size and make sure to select a bright white.

Cats have at least two thicknesses of whiskers and they appear on the eyelids like long eyelashes as well as on the mouth.  Begin with the small ones first and then add the larger whiskers after.  Start at the point where the whisker is attached to the face and then flick the brush outwards.  Some are straight and others arch over.


When the image is complete it can be saved and sent to friends and family on the Internet or even printed onto canvas.

If you have enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to check out the other tutorials that are available in the Discovery Center. If you have any ideas for tutorials or projects that you would like to see in the future, e-mail

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