Today’s submission comes from artist Gray Taylor. You can check out more of Gray’s work at http://graytaylor21.weebly.com/illustration.html and the video for this painting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB14_t8r-Pk
This piece is STUNNING! You’ve taken an already great reference photo and improved on it. People often ask what the point of photorealism is, and this is a great example. Taking that photo and making it even better. You have hyped up the color saturation and contrast perfectly. The crop on the photo is also very nicely done.
You asked if there was an easier/faster way to achieve this look in the fur. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot to speed this sort of detail up. You can use a rake brush for some of the fur, but you can’t depend on those for everything because they start to cause the fur to look too uniform making it look unrealistic. The good news is the more you paint like this, the faster you will get at it. One other thing I notice in your video is it looks like you’re mixing different colors for different patches of fur on those thin lines. One thing I like to do is do it all with one color then glaze over it to create the depth that I need. So in this case I would have used white for all the detail fur, then glazed over it with whatever color I needed when that layer dried, then come back through with a few areas of white strands on top of that (not many though). This just saves a bit of time in color mixing and the end result is very similar.
Now the charcoal portion you did first, I don’t do that much detail in my initial drawing, but this worked for you more like an underpainting so it’s quite possible that doing so much work on it at this stage actually saved you time in painting. For some artists this saves time, for some it is unnecessary so you will need to try both ways to know for sure.
One other tip I have for you is in getting the photographs of your work. Oil paintings are REALLY hard to get good shots of because of the glare that comes from the shine of the paint. The best way I’ve found is to use natural light with the light coming at a 45 degree angle to the painting.
This is absolutely amazing work!