How to Draw a Mountain Lion: fur texture.

Mountain lions have short fur covering most of their bodies revealing strong muscles below the skin. They have slightly longer fur on the belly, chest, and back of the legs that may form clumps with distinct cracks between them. Use a combination of the techniques you have seen for drawing animals with long and short fur.

Techniques to draw fur

  1. Vole showing out to in flicks or "Bill Berry marks", suggesting breaks in the fur.
    Vole showing out to in flicks or “Bill Berry marks”, suggesting breaks in the fur. Note that these marks are also used on internal contours such as around the head or the back of the folded forearm.

    Do not draw individual hairs, draw the pelt by showing the cracks between clumps of fur.

  2. Suggest breaks in the fur or cracks along the contour or edge of the animal by strategically placing out-to-in flicks or “Bill Berry lines” where the contour abruptly changes angle or where the fur stretches over a prominent bulge.
  3. Suggest the shapes of muscles below the fur with shadows and highlights.
  4. If the fur is glossy like that of a horse, add sharply contrasting highlights.

Click on the first image to follow a step by step sideshow, detailing my process in painting the fur of a mountain lion

2 thoughts on “How to Draw a Mountain Lion: fur texture.

  1. Diane says:

    I notice you use Shadow Violet, Black Tourmaline genuine and Neutral tint for shadows. Can you substitute one for the others? Are there ways to mix these? I can’t share paint costs with anyone, so have to limit what I purchase. Is there any one of these three that is best if only buying one and adding the others later? Thanks, Diane

    • I use a combination of Shadow Violet, and whatever mixture of gray brown gunk I have in my black/gray mixing area. Straight up Shadow Violet is sometimes too purple for my taste. I use the Black Tourmaline to create neutral grays on shrikes and things like that. I tend not to use it as a shadow color. It is fairly pale. I would start with neutral tint and shadow violet. I know there are folks who cringe at the idea of ever using “blacks” like neutral tint. I see the point, mixed blacks can be so lively but I find it really convenient.

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