How to Draw Textured Fur on Drafting Film | Coloured Pencil Tips

May 17, 2024
How to Draw Textured Fur on Drafting Film | Coloured Pencil Tips

If you are struggling to create texture in your coloured pencil drawings on drafting film then this blog is for you! There are some really simple and effective techniques for adding texture to your drawings when working on a smooth surface like drafting film, so let me share them with you!


I tend to start my pieces, particularly like this fox’s ear, by getting the darks in. For me, this is always a good idea because it means that I'm kind of setting the scene and getting those darkest areas in. Particularly when I'm using drafting film, because I use the subtraction technique, getting those dark darks in means that you can then work out how light your highlights need to be and how light your mid-tones need to be. So for this one, I used a fair bit of Polychromos Dark Sepia, one of my most used pencils, which is a really really super pencil instead of using a black. 

What I try to do, particularly when I'm working on drafting film, is bring in the details quite quickly. If you're not familiar with drawing on drafting film, it's a fantastic surface it’s very smooth there's no tooth and it means that you don't have a huge amount of capability of getting lots and lots of layers in, so getting your details in quite quickly is paramount.

I tend to use a Tombow Mono Eraser alongside my trust Slice Tool to help bring in some of the hair details. So I’ll put the colour in and then use these tools to take some of it out. I’ll often then go back in with a darker colour to add some more depth and details in areas and when mixed with the Tombow, this gives a really lovely textured effect with the softer fur and then the sharper hairs, like in this fox’s ear. The Tombow works beautifully for softening and creating highlights and the Slice Tool allows you to be really precise and is a great way of creating details, particularly on drafting film.

As I worked down the fox’s face I used the same techniques of first plotting in the colour and those darks and then using the subtraction technique to remove some of the pigment with my Tombow and Slice Tool, paying attention to the fur direction and length. 

Bringing your darks back in to get those little details and making sure you concentrate on getting those darks really dark is important when you’re drawing realistic animals in coloured pencil. Sometimes it can be a bit tricky and I often find I have to keep going back in and making it darker so that my values are correct.

It is important to note that although using a Tombow and Slice Tool works beautifully to create texture and fur, it doesn’t replace good pencil work. You can’t just create blocks of colour with your pencils, you need to bring in the texture almost like an underlying structure of the animal. For me, it’s really important to get the structure of the animal in very early on by watching my pencil lines and following the growth of fur, the angle and curves, which will mean you end up with something that looks structurally correct.


If you’d like to hear more and see some of the techniques and tips I’ve been talking about in action, you can by clicking on the video at the top of this page. This fox is a full tutorial in my Ignite Membership, which you can find out more about here.

Ignite by Bonny Snowdon the ultimate membership for those wanting to improve their Coloured Pencil Skills, increase their confidence and realise their dreams!


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