Which Coloured Pencils to Use for Black and Orange Fur | Colour RecipeMar 25, 2022
Recently, I've been working on a new tutorial piece of the gorgeous Basset Hound, Nanny. She's been a joy to draw, but with the black and orange in her fur, it was a challenge trying to find the right colours and making sure everything didn't just end up green! So, I thought it might be useful to other coloured pencil artists out there if I shared my tips and colour recipe for getting this shade of fur just right.
If we focus on just her head, you can see there a quite a few different colours in her fur. We've got some light, some dark, and some slightly pink sections.
For me, I always find that the best way to approach choosing colours is to think about the layering first. Usually, I look for the lightest colour and start with that. In this case, that's an orange colour, so I chose the Polychromos Terracotta for my initial layer, and used very light pressure to add it as a base.
Next, I like to bring in the darker colours and a little more of the lighter colours as well. I know that might sound odd, and you might be wondering why I'd choose to do that, but it allows me to temper my pressure as I'm bringing some of the texture in, and it means I can continue to add layers over the lighter areas. So, I continue using the Polychromos Terracotta, then bring in a little Polychromos Caput Mortuum Violet.
Next, I add the Luminance Dark Flesh, which has been absolutely fabulous. It's almost like the Caput Mortuum Violet, but it doesn't have the vibrancy to it; it's duller and darker. And, the great thing about the Dark Flesh is that you can use it for a lighter layer or a darker layer, depending on the pressure you use.
Now, it's time to add some black. I used the Derwent Drawing Ivory Black, which is a real saviour, particularly on Drafting Film, as you don't have to use a lot of pressure to get a really great layer. It's very opaque, very soft, and it's got great coverage.
Then, I've got to look at some of the other tones in the face, and figure out which pencils to bring in. I might add some of the Polychromos Cinnamon on the top of the head and in a few areas throughout the face. I might add some Polychromos Burnt Sienna in, although it is a colour you have to be careful with when working with black and orange fur, as I find it's a little on the green side.
I try to avoid getting too excited and adding every colour under the sun in, and stick to a range of quite basic colours. You might see a little touch of purple or a touch of blue, but you've got to be really careful with what colours you add in, and you've got to have your colour theory in mind as you go.
I wouldn't suggest using blue and orange together for fur like this, as you'll be left with green. I'd recommend using a purple or a green, which are split complimentary and triadic colours. And, I know, I've just said to avoid turning your drawing green by using green, which might not seem like it makes sense, but when you mix green and orange together, you get a nice, dark brown.
Give the video above a watch to see my putting these colour together, and to get a clearer idea of what I would and wouldn't do when it comes to drawing black and orange fur.
If you'd like to try drawing Nanny yourself, she's available to members of my Academy and on my Patreon channel. The Academy is opening again on 18th April, make sure you've signed up to the waitlist if you'd like to become a member!
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