Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Art Lesson: An Old Paintbrush, Brindle Fur, and a Boxer

Hello! Sorry I have been away so long.
I have had the unfortunate experience of my computer getting beyond repair and then having to decide what to purchase in its place.  I am very thankful for the help I received today in a friend who got everything fixed up and running well for me.
What a huge relief!

Now on to this week's lesson.

Painting animal hair can be quite a challenge.

I was recently asked to paint a life-sized wooden Boxer.
The difficulty was that it was brindle colored.
Brindle coloring gives an animal a striped look.
This particular boxer has a brownish undercoat with black highlights.

I decided to see what kind of help I could find on Youtube.
The first video explained how the artist painted each hair of the horse in his artwork.
While I enjoy realism, I knew that this was not an option with the designated amount of time I wanted to spend on such a large piece.

The next video had what I was looking for
except that the woman on it was actually marketing this particular paintbrush she was using to make painting fur more feasible.
I decided to make a similar one from her explanation.

I took an old brush and cut triangular shaped sections from the paint brush, cutting up into the bristles.
This thinned the brush and made the bristles whispy and more flexible.

Using acrylic paint for this piece, I coated the whole dog with brown.
(It had a white base coat already on it).

Once the brown dried, I squeezed a generous portion of both brown and black into my painting bowl.

Touching the brown paint to the brush, I painted a small section onto the dog in the direction that the hair falls.

While this was still wet, I dabbed some black onto the bristles and worked that on top of the brown.

Once I got that worked in the way i wanted, I applied a bit heavier black paint in certain sections to give it the brindled look.

I kept some of the brown lighter in sections to give the brindle look a bit more distinction, working it until I got the look I hoped would be what the owner wanted for this piece.

I used photos to work on the face and specific features of this dog.
I hope I caught his personality in his eyes. 
 It was obvious by the pictures that he is a sweet dog.

Sometimes something as simple as cutting up an old paintbrush to become a better tool for you is a useful solution to a perplexing situation, such as the brindled coat of an animal.

Have you created any tools to help along an art piece?  I would love to hear about it.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. WOW! You did a fantastic job on this!

  2. Hi wonderful piece thanku, what shade of brown would u suggest x


Thanks for your thoughts! If you have a question, I'll try to answer it.