?In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a small set of Fur brushes, and then we will use the created brushes to recreate the animal’s fur. We will practice on the fox tail. Using our created brushes, including the tool Finger (Smudge Tool), we will create both soft fur and coarse fur. We also use blending modes to add color and warmth to the fur.
1. Prepare a Photo
Open Adobe Photoshop, create a new document, create a new layer. Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B)), in the settings, set a hard round brush.
- Draw several dots of different sizes. Borders around points will determine the size of your future brush.
- The points should be slightly scattered, but do not worry if the points are evenly spaced.
- The points must form either a circle or have an oblong shape.
In terms of style, we will call this brush a “point brush.”
Create a new layer or go to the free space within the workspace. For the next brush style we use a hard round brush, in the settings panel of the brush select the option Noise (Noise). Decrease Opacity (Opacity) and Pressure (Flow) brush up to 60% or about (you can also experiment with these settings). Next, go to the settings panel of the brush (F5). Select an option Form Dynamics (Shape Dynamics). Set the following values.
Size fluctuation (Size Jitter) Control (Control): Pen pressure (Pen Pressure).
- The next brush will resemble a bundle of fur.
- Draw lines with an overlap so that the lines are convex on each side.
- Vary the length and opacity of the lines.
In terms of style, we will call this brush “a bunch of fur”.
The next brush is one of the most basic ones we use to recreate the fur. Using a soft round brush, draw dots scattered in a circle of various diameters. The first option is to draw with the setting turned on. Noise (Noise), and the second option without noise (draw both options), so we create a brush with soft fur and coarse fur.
We will call these brushes “soft fur” and “coarse fur.”
In conclusion, we once again use a hard round brush. In the settings panel of the brush, select the option Building up (Build-up) and Smoothing (Smoothing) to create short fur hairs that look like grass fragments. Vary the size of your hard brush to recreate different thickness of fur hair.
We will call these brushes “short fur”.
2. Keeping and Applying Brushes
Select one of the selection tools. Create a selection around one of the patterns you drew earlier in this lesson. Next, go File – Define Brush (Edit> Define Brush Preset), give your new brush a unique name (or give the usual name if you continue to experiment with brush shapes and their styles). So you add the new brushes you created to the standard brush set.
Now, test each brush. Play with the settings Push (Flow), Opacity (Opacity), including settings in the tab Brushes (Brush (F5)). Try a long brush stroke to see how the brush draws, and what texture it creates.
3. Draw the Fox Tail: Stages of the Artistic Process
Create a new document, and then create a new layer. First we use a hard round brush to create a tail that will represent the fur pattern. Next, use the brushes we created earlier in this lesson.
- Draw the tail using light gray shades. Note the white tint at the tip of the tail.
- Next, add dark gray shades at the very top of the tail.
- In conclusion, I use the medium gray tones at the top of the tail. This will give you an idea of what the base of the tail should be.
Now, switch from the current brush to the Coarse Fur brush or the Soft Fur brush, we have already created both of these brushes. Notice that I set the value Interval (Spacing) 4% and also chose options Building up (Build-up) and Smoothing (Smoothing). I also chose the option Form Dynamics (Shape Dynamics) and set the following values: Size fluctuation (Size Jitter) Control (Control): Pen pressure (Pen Pressure) because I use a graphics tablet for the entire lesson. Drawing digital pictures can be tricky without a tablet.
Let’s continue adding texture to our tail, as well as tonal alignment.
- Let’s start with the upper part of the tail, use a brush Coarse fur or a brush Soft fur, the color of the brush is gray and of medium and light colors.
- Note that the size of the brush will determine the look of the fur on the tail. Adjust the brush size accordingly. You may need to experiment a bit to see what brush size is right for you.
- At the top of the tail, I used the Rough Fur brush, and at the bottom of the tail I used the Soft Fur brush to represent the different texture of the fur.
- Play with other brushes that you created. Now, pay attention to the variety of color tones on the foxtail. (Translator’s Note: halftone tail base will help create a variety of color tones). I drew small dots around the tail using the dot brush we created earlier. I drew small dots at the top of the tail on the side.
- Once again, add a light gray shade to the bottom of the tail. Consider how light reflections can be reflected on the fur of the tail itself.
- I decided to add shadows to the right upper part of the tail.
- I also decided to add a dark gray color to the sides of the tail. Keep on combining the tones, keep the original image with the tail on hand if you need to see what the fox looks like in terms of the transition of tones.
4. Draw the Fox Tail: Soften the fur
Let’s tune the tool Finger (Smudge Tool).
- Choose a tool Finger (Smudge Tool).
- Set degree Intensity (Strength) 77%. You can, of course, vary the degree Intensity (Strength) during the process. You can choose a more or less suitable value for your work.
- In the settings panel of the brush, turn off the option Form Dynamics (Shape Dynamics), and the option Smoothing (Smoothing) must be enabled.
- Finally, set the value Interval (Spacing) 10%.
Now, let’s soften the tail.
- Using tool Finger (Smudge Tool), start processing the upper part of the tail. Carefully start smearing the fur locks in a downward direction.
- Vary the stroke length.
- Also, try to brush movement was mainly in one direction. At this stage, I got to the middle of the tail.
- Continue to move down the tail, smearing different parts of the tail. Notice how we softened the upper half of the tail.
We continue to smear sections of the tail.
- The movement of the brush should be as if you are drawing small pieces of fur, and not as if you are painting the entire tail at once. Try to keep your computer behind the movement of the tool. Sometimes he may fall behind and then you will have to wait a little.
- Try to smear the side at the tips of the fur. Thus, the fur will look more shaggy and less laid.
- Notice how soft the fur ends are, and how the fur narrows. All the lines that we drew earlier should be narrowed in accordance with the tone transition of the fur.
- Soften dark areas of fur so that they lie in one direction.
Let’s zoom in (Z), (honestly, I rarely zoom in / out during work, but for the purposes of this lesson, I tried to show each step completely).
- Notice how the fur stands out at the edges. This is thanks to the tool. Finger (Smudge Tool), in particular by moving the tool down and diagonally.
- Create a new layer. With a small hard brush, or with the Fur Buff brush, or with the Short Fur brush (the last two brushes we created earlier in this lesson), draw scraps of wool or individual dark hairs that stand out against the fur curls.
- Notice how these dark hairs of fur secrete whole curls of fur. Experiment with the size of the brush, as well as the location of the hairs and their volume.
5. Coloring Fox Tail
At this stage of the lesson, let’s set aside our created brushes (until the final touches). Now, let’s focus on adding color to the fox tail.
Create a new layer. Choose a standard soft round brush with opacity (Opacity) 75% or approximately. Set the foreground color to a dark reddish brown shade. Now with a brush paint over almost the entire tail.
Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay) and also reduce opacity (Opacity) layer up to 32%.
Create a new layer. Select a standard soft round brush, set the brush mode to Multiplication (Multiply), Opacity (Opacity) brushes by 28%, a Pressure (Flow) brush at 75%. Set the foreground color to a dark reddish brown shade. Now with a brush, paint almost the entire tail.
Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge), and also reduce opacity (Opacity) layer up to 67%.
The next step, in my opinion, is the most interesting. Once again create a new layer in the layers palette.
- Using a soft tapered brush, add a dark brown, yellow, orange, and reddish brown shade along the tail. You can add a slight blur to the layer, for this we go Filter – Blur – Blur (Filter> Blur> Blur). Translator’s Note: A taper brush is a brush with a tapering tip.
- Decrease opacity (Opacity) layer up to 55%.
- Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay).
- Create another new layer and using a soft round brush, paint over the tail with yellow-orange, orange, brown and yellow ocher. Next, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur), set Radius (Radius) blur, approximately, within 10 – 50 px.
- Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light). This mode should add a soft glow to the tail.
I zoomed in again to show you the details of the final layer. Notice how the fur texture looks. I increased the value Interval (spacing) in the settings for the brush Coarse fur to add texture to separate sections of the tail.
You can either paint it with yellow, orange and brown over the tail, or paint it with a light gray under layer with color paint. Play with light and shadows, because we are already at the final stage of processing.
Finally, this step is selective, let’s add some texture to the tail. To do this, create a merged layer (Ctrl + E). If you want to save the created layers, first group the layers (Ctrl + G), and then create a duplicate group. Next, being on a duplicate with the group, perform the rollup.
Next, go Filter – Sharpness – Contour Sharpness (Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp Mask). Apply the values below:
- Effect (Amount): 180%
- Radius (Radius): 8.0 px
- Threshold (Threshold): 19 levels (levels)
Great job, we have completed the lesson!
Now, armed with the technique that we have mastered today (creating a brush, creating a pattern with a smooth change in tones, smearing and adding color), you can draw the head of an animal or draw an animal completely! In the screenshot below, you can see the fox mask I drew. In the same way as we drew a fox tail, I used the same steps when I drew a fox mask, the only thing, instead of a tail, I recreated with a fox head when I added a semitone.
Thank you for being with me. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!