Your cat is beautiful and very very lifelike! What you've done out of faux fur is what I'm hoping to do, but with dogs , so do you mind if I ask you if you have shaded around the eyes or nose with a black marker or something? As I had a terrible job shading mohair, in fact I didn't manage it, so I'm hoping the faux fur works better :).
Hi PlushPuppy! I love seeing you on TT, it's so fun that we started trying to figure all of this out at the same time! Thank you so much!
With the shading, I use permanent marker. I try to mix many colors to give it more dimension. On this one I used a couple of shades of blue, a green, and black. I literally just color on the fur like I would use a marker on paper, I find I get more control that way. Sometimes if I get it too dark or the wrong color in the wrong place, I use rubbing alcohol to even it out or blend it, but it does remove some of the color. Also, I like to use all kinds of colors, even if a color is lighter than the fur, it can make a big difference. I use Bic MarkIts because there are a bunch of colors and they're inexpensive, but their selection of browns is a little disappointing.
I also tried using acrylic paint airbrush, but that was a disaster because it stuck to the hairs like...mascara. The particles are just too big. You can use an airbrush marker system like copic, but I think it's easier just to just use the marker tip.
Oh! Don't forget to get the under fur when you color. It's hard to get it right, especially with stripes and spots, but otherwise it doesn't look as stark.
Thank you for your reply Erin, that's perfect, exactly the sort of info I needed! I am going to get some of those markers and practice on off cuts to get a feel for it. I've got some surgical spirit (the equivalent to what you call rubbing alcohol) so I'll see if it works the same way. For dogs, I mainly want to shade around the eyes and nose to add some depth, your kitty's eyes look super realistic with shading around them, as opposed to just sinking them into the fabric, but being able to do patterns or markings in the fur would be good also.
I have some Copic markers and promarkers from when I was trying to shade mohair, but it wouldn't dry properly and marked your hands after holding the dog, so I gave up with it. I'm hoping with the faux fur being synthetic, it will take better to being 'coloured in', which would work better for me too as I've discovered that mohair isn't right for what I want anyway. It makes really beautiful teddies but not very realistic dogs! I can't quite put my hand on it but their not 'fluffy' enough somehow, not like your kitty, which is nice and evenly furred all over .
Hey PlushPuppy! I forgot to mention that, although the shading is very important, I think the biggest reason the eyes are natural is that I put an extra piece of fabric over the forehead and nose and around the top of the eye to make eyelids. Cats have very not round eye shapes, so without eyelids, the eyes look bizarre. I use a slightly larger size eye than other artists I think, at least for the same size head.